by The Urban Blabbermouth
I ran into the president and senior vice president (SVP) of one of our divisions in the lobby of our office building. Now I have known these two fellas a long time, since they were just lowly regular workers and well before they gained these exalted titles. I didn’t know if I can acceptably use their first names based on my long association with them. It didn’t seem right to call them by their first names since they got these are high titles and I am still a low title guy.
So I fudged. I called the president, “Mr. President”, a sly reference to how we refer to the President of the United States. I though that this was a beautiful and clever bit of kissing up. The SVP did not rate any special kissing up so, I called him by his first name. He will have to wait until he moves further up the company.
This first name thing can get tricky. We are a relaxed company and use first names all the time. That kind of familiarity gives a false sense that we are all really equals. I am not their equal. They are my bosses. Why try to hide it or downplay it.
At least these two fellas did not use their titles as a way of saying that they are better than me. They are better at running the company and making a ton of profits than I am. I respect that level of skill and why I wanted to use some kind of formal address. They greeted me in the friendly way of co-workers who have known each other a long time. We reminisced a bit of the old days and had a relaxing moment. Big titles comes with big responsibilities and they must feel it. It was a pleasing part of our day and, in part, was my contribution for the day to successfully running the company.
At home, I tell the neighbor’s kids that I am Mr. Blabbermouth. So they call me so. I think that anything less, like Mr. Urban, is too informal for children to use. If you pause to think about it, Father and Mother are titles too. For neighborhood children, Mr. Blabbermouth is good enough.
The British have Peers of the Realm titles, Your Highness or Lord So-and-So. We do not use them here in America, a casualty of The American War of Independence. Still, there may just be a Lord Blabbermouth in my future. I still won't be able to address the Queen as Lizzie.