I am sure that most of you remember the Seinfeld character Bob Cobb from Season Seven. He was a conductor for the Police Orchestra. Bob preferred to be called Maestro and took great exception when people called him otherwise. Although he hit off romantically with Elaine, she was still reluctant to call him Maestro. Jerry had a major problem with it.
So, where do you stand on the Bob Cobb or Maestro controversy?
The recent political barrage we were forced to endure got me to thinking about the whole title/name thing. Mitt Romney served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and he is still called Governor Romney. I can understand former Presidents retaining the title “President”, but Governors?
Doing a little unscientific research, I came up with quite a few occupations/positions that definitely merit “title retention”. Included on this list are President, Governor, Senator, Doctor, Judge, Chef and a slew that are related to the military – Admiral, General, Commodore, Major, etc.
Think about it.
We still address Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter as President. And like I said before, Mitt Romney is still called Governor Romney. Heck, I have even heard Sarah Palin being referred to as Governor Palin and she quit.
To the best of my recollection, Doctors have always kept their title even after they have retired. A case in point is Julius Erving. He ended his career in 1987 and yet he is still respectively called Dr. J.
As far as Judges go, I am pretty sure that Judith Sheindlin, Joe Brown, Joe Wapner and even Greg Mathis will be referred to as Judge long after they hang up their robes. No telling when that might be with Judge Judy, though. The sharp-tongued arbiter just turned 70 last month and her show is now in its seventeenth season.
The title Chef is another one that seems to carry a lot of weight. Being a big fan of Gordon Ramsay and his shows, “Hell’s Kitchen”, “Kitchen Nightmares” and “MasterChef”, I should know. He is always addressed as Chef. Although, with Ramsay it might the fearing of being berated and cursed at more than a respect thing.
With military titles, my only question is how far down do you go in rank before this honor is no longer required. I don’t think that Privates merit this distinction, but I’m not sure with Sergeants. I kind of think they do. I have never heard Sergeant Slaughter or Sergeant Schultz addressed by anything other than Sergeant, so it probably stops there.
Getting back to Bob Cobb, or Maestro, where does this title thing end? Why aren’t other occupations paid the same respect? What about Trash Collectors, Quarterbacks, Hair Stylists, Nurses, Dishwashers, Bakers or Mechanics?
What makes some guy conducting the Police Orchestra any more distinguished than the person who keeps your vehicle running or your hair looking good? I’m not so sure there is anything to warrant a conductor such esteem and notoriety.
In fact, from now on I am going to call the guy who repairs my truck, Mechanic instead of Pete and the lady who cuts my hair won’t be called Corrina anymore. No, instead she shall be Hair Stylist.
I like this, I really do. Now I just have to come up with a title for myself. I’m not so presumptuous to think I should be called Author. No, not by a long shot. Let’s see, what are my other options? Hmm, Stacker, Bagger, Sealer, Group Leader, Supervisor, Human Resource Director, Telemarketer or Pre Press Operator are all possibilities.
I know, Entertainer! Yes! That would be great title. Oh wait; Cedric Kyles already grabbed Cedric the Entertainer as his moniker. Rats. Back to the drawing board. I welcome any and all suggestions.
Damn that Bob Cobb. Until next time…from the booth.