By Bill Storie
For the second week in a row I’m rambling today about an old TV series I watched a couple nights back.
“Cheers – where everyone knows your name”. Remember it? A small bar in the middle of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Sam Malone (played by the wonderful Ted Danson) is the owner. Tremendous humor and everyday stuff we can all relate to.
In this particular episode, his sidekick Woodrow Huckleberry Tiberius “Woody” Boyd (played by Woody Harrelson) wonders why he hasn’t had a raise in two years so he marches into the office to demand more money. He explains that he hasn’t been off work in 2 years, never sick, no vacation, never late and so forth. The then boss Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley) says that he could have a raise no problem but raises the option of a new title.
“Wow”, he says, “I never thought of that.” He gets appointed “Senior Barman”. Not to be outdone Sam goes in and ends up as “Executive Barman”.
There’s no moral to any of this you understand, but the question of money versus title raised a question in my mind.
In the workplace do you prefer money or title….?
In my case I had no decision to make. I’m Scottish. What else would I take…??
Funnily enough after many years of having my own consulting company based here in Bermuda I realized that my travelling was getting out of hand, so I stopped the consulting business and started work with a local bank here.
At my interview I said that I didn’t want business cards (I had tons of them over many years), I didn’t want to travel (the reason for changing employment !!) and I most definitely didn’t want any title.
They advised that because I would be signing checks (I was in the Finance Section) I would have to be an ”Officer”.. so I was made Assistant Vice President. Back to the Future indeed……an historical flashback of over 30 years !!!!
I appreciate that getting a new title usually means a pay raise, so I can understand the correlation, but the title in and of itself was something which never appealed to me.
How many times did I go to parties or stuff like that and meet some clown who wanted to impress me by saying he was a “Vice President” or some other such glorious name. Nonsense.
I do admit however to being at a cocktail party in Bethesda, Maryland (suburb of Washington DC) in circa 1976, and being introduced to this fellow who was very nice. He didn’t mention what he did and was really quite conservative. Then a socialite woman (yikes !!) bounces across the room to tell me and maybe him too, that the guy was personal Legal Counsel to the President of the United States, (Gerald Ford at the time) and was really quite famous.
I suppose that title could be classified as being worthy of mention.
He didn’t mention it of course and was actually rather ticked off at the “LBD Lady” (Little Black Dress). Nice guy though. He and I chatted for ages. I told him I was an Assistant Vice President (my first time around !!) and he seemed very impressed. I’m sure he was at the White House the very next day boasting to the Prez about who he’d met the night before. In yer dreams !!!!
So, anyway, what did you like when you were working (or if you’re still working)…..?
Do you prefer being King …??….
Do you prefer to have the money associated with being King…??
p.s. I have a very good friend (fellow Scot) who now lives in Mexico who will get a great chuckle out of that particular question. He’ll understand the subliminal message. !!!
More nonsense next week, I promise.
By Bill Storie