10/09/2009

When I am King: Entitlement

When I am King...

We will all have important-sounding titles next to our names.

My kids’ school has a new principal who sends out emails to the parents every week, always making sure to sign it with his name, “Dr. Feeg Cremble.” And that’s really nice, because I don’t know about you, but I find it totally reassuring that the principle has a graduate degree. I don’t know what I’d do if he was just an ordinary guy with enough educational background to become principle. So of course I would want to know his educational qualifications with every email he sends. I may have forgotten since his last email, so it’s great that he reminds us all every time.

This use of “doctor” is typical and expected with medical doctors, of course. We want them to tell us that they are doctors so that when someone in the room gets sick, we know whom to sue for malpractice.

But that’s not the people I’m talking about – I’d like to focus on the ones with academic degrees. I mean, I’m sure that becoming a surgeon is difficult and time-consuming, but think about the poor guy that spent 5 years in grad school crashing frat parties until the university finally gave him a degree just to get rid of him? He needs just as much attention as that other profession, so it’s right that he lay claim to it as often as possible.

There are many non-medical people that I’ve met that have “Dr.” on their business cards or signatures, or that introduce themselves as Dr. SoAndSo. But I don’t feel we have enough of this in our society. I know that there must be more PhDs in education, science, and art that we need to know about. And, in fact, we should know more about everyone through their titles. Why would I just want to know someone’s name and possibly their married status when they introduce themselves, when I could know much more about their academic qualifications?

When I am King, everyone will have titles that reflect who they are, what they’ve done, and how important they feel they are in their own world.

For example, everyone should obviously list the degrees that they have achieved, such as “BFA Music,” “MS Botany, “ and “BA Women’s Studies (minor Greek, concentration Literature).”

But even that’s not enough. How do we know how good they are in their subject? Or whether we can trust them to be the person we seek out when someone’s suffering from a sudden attack of Liberal Arts Deficit Syndrome? These titles should have enough information that everyone will know everything pertinent about you, including academics as well as occupations. Think of them as short resumes attached to your name. For example:

“Gloria Grendle, PhD Nuclear Physics, Top Secret Weapons Designer”
“Becky Bristol, 11th Grade (GPA 1.7), Skanky Barfly”
“Bob Baker, Game-winning hit 8th grade little league city championship, Town Drunk”
“Jon Brown, B.A. History (GPA 2.8), M.A. Danish History (GPA 3.2), Barista”

These new titles will be so much more informative than mere names and will save us so much time wasted in actually having to talk to people. Entire conversations can be covered just in the introductions, avoiding countless hours of wasted time actually talking to people just to determine that you have nothing in common with them. Why bother getting to know people when you can use their academic qualifications to determine whether it’s worth it?

Titles: Let’s take them to the next degree.
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