Some people spend five days a week in the office with a title, others all or part of their life. Titles tell us both about what people do, and where they are in the pecking-order.
Once upon a time, man began to walk upright and banged on things to make a noise. But he could not spend all his time scratching signs and symbols on a cave wall, or grunting to try and make himself understood; he had to eat. He formed various weapons, killing prey, or pulling rank on the competition by clubbing it over the head. The trouble was that he was much smaller than the dinosaurs, could easily get trampled underfoot should one of them not be looking down and, they say, only got promoted up the food chain because of a meteorite. Titles were unnecessary because he had just invented the wheel.
Later on in history, having recovered from wearing itchy clothes and found out how to remove the facial hair that almost certainly blocked his view and smelled, he became a landowner. The itchy clothes were replaced by itchy wigs; scratching on the walls of caves was replaced by scratching paper with a sharp nib at the end of a quill pen. He exacted payment from those who did the work on his land, and pulled rank because he could. He paid someone else to do the clubbing. Because he was now trampling upon the peasants who worked his land, and travelling on wheels, he was called lord.
After having recovered from the plague that was also transmitted by wearing wigs that were made from the hair of dead, infected peasants, he wafted in to stately homes in England, France, Germany, or any other place that he felt suited him to be the centre of society. The banging on objects was replaced by banging on (slang for talking a lot). The club had been replaced by pistols at dawn, and he pulled rank on the other gentry by firing it first. The dead man was wheeled away.
As the years and centuries rolled by Henry T Ford motorised the wheel, and pistols at dawn were complemented by rifles and machine guns. The club was replaced by gentleman’s clubs where, instead of scratching their heads, they scratched each other’s backs. The oppressed peasants had become oppressed comrades, and nobody had a title. Banging on became bang.
Succeeding the years where all land was confiscated and most of Europe was oppressed, the oppressed comrades have become either tradesmen or lowly office-workers. Most of the lords have been replaced by managers and directors, and bang has become “you’re fired.”
In these times of economic difficulty, many people who have been fired are still scratching their heads as to how the fund managers and bank directors have managed to get away with daylight robbery.
What’s your title?
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