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The canary in the coal mine

Apparently there's a direct correlation between the growth in construction of tall buildings and the imminent collapse of an economy. In short, apparently just before an economic crash there's so much slack cash swilling around that the only thing left to spend it on is ridiculously tall skyscrapers.

There's another portent of doom. Ridiculous job titles.

During my tenure at Microsoft I met a number of people whom had appropriated for themselves job titles that sounded cute but bore no relation to their actual responsibilities - at least in comparison with their real world contemporaries.

This morning on Radio 4's Today programme they interviewed a chap from Microsoft UK who had the job title of "Chief Envisioning Officer". 

There's likely to be a form of deep malaise in an organisation that thinks its sensible to do this kind of thing. Not least because apart from making you sound ridiculous, it completely detaches you from the reality in which your customers operate - sales training 101 says it's important to build empathy with your customers.

Stupid, juvenile job titles do not empathy build.

Past examples of this kind of behaviour at Microsoft have taken on almost mythological status; the one I can recall most readily was when a PR spokesperson called himself "Chief Storyteller".

It's funny for about five seconds until you realise they're serious about it.

Get a real job (title).

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