Friday, October 12, 2007

Paper or Plastic?

Recently, I was admiring a friend of mine who is employed as "Senior Vice President" in a investment bank. I told him I was impressed that he has reached such a high position at relatively young age. I did not understand how come he still did a very technical job and did not have responsibility that normally went with such a title. He burst into laughter and explained me the story behind titles in certain industries using a joke. The joke goes like this.

A super market  worker came home one evening and proudly announced to his wife that he has just been made Vice President of Grocery Bags. Wife was very happy. Next day she called the super market and asked if she could speak to the Vice President of grocery bags. Voice on the other end quipped - "Paper or Plastic, Ma'am?"

So it seems in banking people start at Assistant vice president then become vice presidents and then senior VP and so on. So it is like a principal software engineer or software development manager or something of a similar title in our industry. People with gold always make golden rules. These banking guys are like that. Regardless, title sounds too good. Especially a great pick up like and a conversation carrier in cocktail parties where cock and bull stories run amuck. So, it becomes easier to move in such crowd using these fancy titles.


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