…lies in your hands, dear reader.

Another baby when my wife is 57 years old ? - discuss.

My job title when I joined Siebel in April 2003 was ‘Junior Architecture Specialist’. Four years later, it transpires that I am now officially entitled to call myself ‘Principal Architecture Specialist’.

However, I have elected not to change my business cards and .signature as I am simply not worthy. Please remember that I have worked with some very talented individuals (past and present).

In any case, who needs more boxes of business cards gathering dust ? I rarely dispense my business card to any client as I much prefer email as the sole communication channel. This also avoids the possibility of a customer calling me on Sunday evening to assist with a Service Request escalation or go-live support. After all, ‘Antiques Roadshow’ is absolutely sacrosanct in our household.

Secondly, such a deluxe, overblown, Rolls-Royce description may set the client expectations unreasonably high and this may lead to dashed hopes and bitter disappointment (especially when dealing with me).

So when I cross the threshold of the modern glass-fronted offices, extracting my contact details and preparing my firm handshake, I normally introduce myself with ‘Hi, I’m Norman Brightside from Expert Services. I know a little about lots.’

To be fair, this statement is unerringly accurate and leaves me with the perennial ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card: ‘Oh I’m sorry - but that’s an area of Siebel I am not intimate with’ (which I tend to use a lot).

Last March, following the Oracle takeover, our group was going to be re-branded as ‘Service Delivery Engineers’. All Siebel employees were also eligible for higher rate tax relief on any dental surgery and liposuction, if required.

I was abroad in Sweden and didn’t really care - after all, what’s in a name ? - Expert Services actually do ‘deliver services’ to customers although we are not (software) engineers in the traditional sense.

However, some of my colleagues fiercely resisted this change with a vengeance (think 1990 Poll Tax riots) which left me rather bemused. The standing joke was that we would tell customers; ‘Sorry I haven’t got that part on the van’ and suck through our teeth ‘Hmm - this isn’t gonna be cheap’ when faced with a thorny performance problem.

I honestly wouldn’t care if Oracle called me ‘Overpaid, ugly code monkey’ as long as my salary and benefits were preserved. In fact, when I was a mercenary contractor, I toyed with using this job title as my official occupation on my passport.

Surprisingly, the revolutionaries prevailed and the corporation ruled that we could preserve our job titles or upgrade, at no extra cost, to ‘Electrolux repair man’, if we so desired.

Twelve months on, my contrarian instincts are twitching so what do you think ?

  • Service Delivery Engineer
  • Architecture Specialist
  • Technical ‘Consultant’
  • Amusing alternative