In a bid to achieve maximal hipness and happiness, companies, particularly in the tech world, have collectively begun to create bizarre new positions or to attach peculiar names to the same old corporate paper-pushing nine-to-fives. A lot of these jobs have a bizarrely spiritual flavor—“evangelists” and “prophets”—while others try and infuse excitement where there is none—“Jedis” and “heroes.” Much of this might be a way of skirting around the grim reality that life in a cubicle is neither exciting nor godly, or that work on the retail line often lacks excitement and moral stakes. Earlier this week, I wrote about the rise of chief happiness officers. Now, here are 15 more completely ridiculous job titles:
1. Digital Prophet: AOL fills this position with something named “Shingy,” who holds dominion over profitable marketing strategies.
2. Retail Jedi: Companies (like customer management corporation Convergys) use this moniker for entry-level employees on the sales line. Sounds more demeaning than exciting.
3. Swiss Army Knife: A synonym for a generalist gofer, swiss army knives at companies like bitcore, a Pittsburgh software firm, have the double threat of utter willingness and the total capability of being used to any end by their employer.
4. Dream Alchemist: A dream alchemist (employed by tech start-ups such as Kyoger and QuickStep), which is also known the “head of creative” or the “lead designer,” finds ways to convert ideas into brands as annoyingly as possible.
5. Direct Marketing Demi-God: Vistage International, a consulting firm, apparently markets on a Zeusian level, and will therefore only hire a demi-god to manage their marketing division.
6. Kindle Book Evangelist: An Amazon employee devoted to preaching, marketing, and selling the Kindle platform to authors, agents, and customers alike.
7. Chief Inspiration Officer: Out to motivate the world, whether the world wants it or not, the chief inspiration officer’s infectious joy and enthusiasm motivates employees and raises sales to the same psychotic backbeat.
8. Happiness Heroes: Buffer, a social media app start-up, employs several happiness heroes who are tasked with pumping joy into users one click at a time—by managing the company’s social media presence and dealing with its p.r.
10. Chief Knowledge Officer: The VIA Agency, an advertising firm, maintains a knowledge executive to provide “wisdom to our clients, not just information.”
11. Chief Observance Officer: The Orwellians over at internet marketing firm WebiMax use a chief observance officer to “keep an eye on the office environment,” Forbes reports.
12. Innovation Sherpa: Microsoft has a Sherpa for innovation who, in addition to research of some sort, presumably does all the work and gets none of the credit?
13. Purpose Promoter: Consulting firm Delivering Happiness doesn’t have an employee to manage sales; they hired someone to manage purpose, instead.
14. Fashion Evangelist: Tumblr employs this guy, whose job is to connect the big, established brands with talented yet unheard-of fashion bloggers.
15. Genius: A job title so classic that it might be difficult to notice how ridiculous it is—every Apple store has “geniuses” tailored to solve your individual technological foibles and faults.