The 10 Douchiest Job Titles in America

The 10 Douchiest Job Titles of 2012

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to keep my business cards free of my title. I feel this way for a couple of reasons: primarily, I don’t want those outside of my company getting hung up on my title; also, I really don’t give a shit what you call me inside the company; so long as the work is challenging and fun – and that my role can somehow influence the company’s results.

Of course, I understand I’m in the minority here. There’s an episode of Cheers that humorously magnifies America’s love for important sounding job titles when Woody, Sam and Carla individually go into Rebecca’s office to demand a raise; only to come out overly satisfied with nothing more than artificial titles.

So, while I get why some people want a title and want to proudly display it on their business cards, I struggle to understand why anyone would want a title that basically screams to the world “Hey, look at me: I’m a major douchebag.”

Do you have a douchie title or do you know someone with a douchie title? If so, please share them here. For now, here is my list of The 10 Douchiest Job Titles of 2012:

10. Lifetime Value Business Leader – This title is douchie for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I have no fucking idea what it means. To me, this title sounds more like something that would be inscribed on a crappy award you get from the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Chamber of Commerce than something you would print on a business card. Chances are, if you’re a Lifetime Value Business Leader, you probably can’t lead and likely provide no value to your business (even in the short term).

9. Talent Acquisition Expert – I have two major problems with this total douche bag title: first, if your title shows that you are an “expert” anything it means you are exactly the opposite; and second, the title “Talent Acquisition Expert” springs from the same political correctness that brought us such classic douchebag titles as “Sanitation Engineer” and Subway’s oxymoronic “Sandwich Artist.”

8. Director of Customer Experience – Taking care of customers should be Job One for everyone at your company; but if your business actually names someone their Director of Customer Experience, your front line employees are likely just paying lip service to the actual customer experience. Of course, that’s not what makes this title so douchie. What makes this title really douchie is that the role can only be filled by complete and utter douchebags. Think about it: have you ever met a Director of Customer Experience who didn’t annoy the fuck out of everyone around them? Sickie sweet phoniness does not make for a great customer experience.

7. Chief Motivational Officer – Similarly to the Director of Customer Experience role, if your company needs anyone with any variation of the word “motivation” in their title, then you have a real motivation problem. In fact, your lack of genuinely motivated people will not be solved by giving some made-up title to someone who cannot execute; but he’s really fucking nice so you named him your Chief Motivational Officer. Fire this guy and use the money you save to buy the employees a pool table for the break room and pizza every Friday.

6. Entrepreneur – This title is certainly douchie on the surface: it screams “look at me; I’m a real risk-taking maverick.” Yet these risk-taking mavericks who call themselves entrepreneurs are using the more cultural (mostly incorrect) definition of the word as “someone who starts a business that promises economic gain, but also entails great risk.” In fact, the word actually describes any manager or owner of a business – regardless of actual risk or gain. Putting “entrepreneur” on your card is equivalent to putting the non-descript “manager” as your title; only way more douchie.

5. Company Evangelist – The only people who should be allowed to have “evangelist” on their business cards are those hell-bent on saving our souls and taking our money. (Just taking our money is not enough to make you an evangelist.) In all seriousness, if you don’t spend your Sundays on television speaking to a bunch of sheep and fleecing them of their life savings, then you need to leave this off your business card.

4. Guru – The word is Sanskrit, and if you did not know that, then you’re not a fucking Guru. Moreover, this type of douchebag title is one of the “self-anointed” kinds. This means that no one ever called you a Guru (unless their tongue was firmly planted in their cheek) – you gave yourself this title; and for that, you are a douchebag of the highest order. In fact, you might just be the Guru of douchieness.

3. Mentor – What in the world would prompt someone to put this drivel on their card as their title? It is the job of everyone in your company to mentor to those with less seniority, knowledge or experience than themselves. However, if any douchebag put “Mentor” as their job title on their business card, then they are just announcing to the world that they really value their experience and opinions a whole lot more than the rest of us. I can honestly say that I have not learned a thing from a single person who ever “tried” to be a mentor to me. The true mentors in my life never tried, it just came naturally to them – and they gladly mentored without fanfare or the need to be officially called a mentor.

2. Visionary – Putting this on your card literally screams that what you lack more than anything else is vision. Because… if you had any vision at all, you’d see what a douchebag you look like with this on your card. Let me break this to you gently: being right about a few things does NOT make you a fucking visionary; knowing more than your boss about technology or the Internet does NOT make you a fucking visionary. “Visionary” is a title people bestow upon you at death (think Steve Jobs), not something you call yourself when you’re still alive and annoying the rest of us.

1. Thought Leader – The King of all douchebags, the “Thought Leader,” is another self-anointed position. Those who use this title to describe themselves really see their place in your industry as Socrates meets Einstein. They believe – generally because they have a below-average IQ – that they are both philosopher and genius. While the rest of us see the obvious for what it is, the self-proclaimed “thought leaders” point out the ordinary as if they’ve cracked the genetic code. Deep inside I think many “thought leaders” are truly just “do nothings” who gave themselves the title of “thought leader” because they don’t want to do any real work; they just want to regurgitate what others have published.

Generally speaking, I think the Internet magnifies the self-importance that the douchebags who proudly display any of my Top Ten douchie titles tends to feel and feed upon. Make no mistake, I get that many of you who read this think I’m a douchebag for my often ranting style of writing. The difference between me and the douchebags that might desire one of the above as their titles is that I know whatever I write will be douchie to someone.

Of course, if you happen to be one who thinks my writing is douchie, then I feel good that I could help you feel superior to someone; even if it is just some douchebag who rants when he writes…