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As I reflect changes in the corporate world in the course of my career, I must say that designations have certainly changed! These days designations are, in a sense, more liberally dished out. It’s not uncommon to see young professionals take up their first assignment from business schools as Asst. Vice Presidents!  Things were very different when I started my career…

In the first company I worked for – in the ’70s, I admit, the Big Chief of a cement plant with thousands of people working for him was simply titled ” Manager”. This was a hallowed title as each cement plant had one, yes, just one “manager”. After long careers, many who didn’t quite make it to the manager spot had to be content with retiring with the second best as  “Asst.Managers”!  Some years later, the Managers were in keeping with the times upgraded with the richer title of General Managers.

Oddly enough at the Head Office, the system was abs. simple. You had Senior Officers and Junior Officers. Period. I as a Junior Officer once accompanied my boss for a conciliation meeting with a very high-ranking Government official. My boss introduced himself saying that he was a Senior Officer. The Government big wig said he was glad to hear that but asked what he was called. He was once again told “Senior Officer”. He got fairly annoyed and said in a peeved voice” You would not be here for a meeting with me, if you were not a senior officer but again I ask “Who are you?”. I interjected by saying ” Sir, his designation is that of Senior Officer”. There were smiles all around and the tension was broken!

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