Sunday, May 26, 2019

To George (verb)

We got new name tags at work recently, and my job title was gone. My last tag said "George Librarian," which allowed my library customers to joke that with a last name like that, what other job could I have possibly ended up in? 

Now, due to the ever-unexplained vagaries of city government, it simply says "George." Now I could be anything. Now I could be in Public Works. Code enforcement. Planning. In a way, it is freeing. 

Maybe I should consider "George" my job title now. My new job description? To George. So I have resolved that I will George the crap out of any task given to me. Georging will be the new goal from here on out.

"What are you doing?" a coworker will ask as I settle new DVDs into the New DVDs rack.

"Georging the crap out of these DVDs," I will say. "What are you doing?"

And because she also went from a titled name tag to a name-only one, she will say something along the lines of "I'm about to Jackie the hell out of these periodicals." 

George meant farmer in the old days, but now it can mean anything! Georging has got to be easier than Bobbing, don't you think? That's got to be tough on the neck. Easier than Kenning too. To Ken you have to know stuff. Georging is easier than Billing for sure. And Georging has to seriously beat the heck out of Harrying. I do not think it is even possible to break a sweat Georging. I'll get back to you.

Imagine if Shakespeare had gone a different way:

"To George or not to George. That...well...that is just puffery. When in doubt, by all means George!"

If George as a name goes in the direction I think it soon will, years from now when they ask schoolboys what they want to be when they grow up, instead of cop or fireman or TV talking-head, they will say "George." And the person asking the question will smile, knowing that all things are possible, and surely a kid should aim high. "Good answer," they will say. "Stay in school."

I have had name tag jobs before, and they never had my job title on them. It was always obvious what my job was because of what I was doing. I was delivering plates of food. I was serving up boxes of popcorn and sodas. 

What customer, upon approaching me and my previous name tag and reading my job title, would smack his forehead and say "Wait, seriously? You're behind a desk on the main floor of a library but you are a LIBRARIAN? I thought maybe you were in custodial. Mind BLOWN."

So titles on name tags are mostly a perk, a bit of an ego thing, like the chevrons on a sergeant's sleeve. Ideally, we shed ego as we age, so this name tag revision is a good reminder. Accepting change is hard, but I tell you this—I am going to George the living daylights out of it.