Friday, January 11, 2013

The Title

"It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing." - Colin Powell

I never thought it would bother me.  After all, some of the greatest people in the world shun titles.  Some of the greatest people I've known do likewise.  Really, I understand why--it's important to make a personal connection with others, and requiring the use of titles in regular conversation makes that personal connection stilted and difficult to create and maintain.

I know that.  I get it.  Still, sometimes....

Remember that telephone that I lambasted yesterday?  At least once a week, and often as frequently as once per day, I answer a call that begins something like this:

"Good morning, this is Doctor King." (by the time they get a signal to my phone they've already heard the name of the college from either a computer or a person, and I figure they hopefully don't need me to repeat it)

"Hi, Mister King, I ...."


Really?  In the one to two seconds it takes a caller to realize that my greeting is done and to begin his part of the conversation, he loses track of the title that I just handed him? 

Now, I've only been a "Doctor" for a few months, and I really haven't been pushing it much, so it's not like I expect to hear it.  I'm constantly, in fact, greeted in the halls as Mister King, and that doesn't bother me at all.  It is, after all, much better than being called Poopyhead or LateforDinner.

But then there are occasional meetings with prospective students who are being shown around campus.  The admissions reps are pretty proud of the fact that the Dean just got his Ph.D., so they nearly always introduce me as "Doctor King, the Dean of Education."  And then, sometimes, the candidate waves a half-wave at me and greets me: "Hi, Mister King."

I don't get it.



  1. Just a great post about the realities of life - still a Ph.D is awesome

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  3. A Ph.D. is a huge accomplishment and should be acknowledged. Congrats to you Dr. King!!!!