Friday, March 25, 2005

New Job Title

When Emily was renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office she was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean," explained the recorder, "is do you have a job, or are you just a . . . "

Emily was indignant! "Of course I have a job," she snapped. "I'm a . . . "

"Housewife? Mother? We don't list Mother as an occupation; generally, Housewife covers that," the recorder offered disdainfully.

"I am not a housewife!" Emily exclaimed. "I'm a Research Associate in Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. Emily repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words and stared with wonder as her pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the application.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in her voice, Emily explained, "I manage a continuing program of labratory and field research. I'm working for my Masters, and already have four credits. This job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, and I often work 14 hours a day. It's more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers, but the rewards are more about satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's demeanor as she completed Emily's form, stood up, took her photo, and personally escorted her to the door explaining that the new license would arrive by mail.

As she drove into her driveway, buoyed up by her glamorous new career, she was greeted by her lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs was her new experimental model, a 6 month old baby, in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

Emily changed the bureaucracy! She is listed in the official record as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research Associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"? Are great-grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates"? This makes all aunts, "Associate Research Assistants".

Spread the word!

Thanks to J.T. for sending this along!

Dick Mac Recommends:

It Takes A Village
by Hillary Rodham Clinton

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