What's in a Job Title?

Reads: 60  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

I must admit, I wrote this story just to preserve a job title. For the most part, you can't Google it but that doesn't mean it never was, or is. The names in this story may be fictional, but the job title is real; honest.

As we begin this story, we find ourselves in a Sears and Roebuck Department Store; we are in the Credit Department.

The year is 1967 and our subject of attention is a man named Floyd Richardson; Floyd is applying for a Sears "Revolving Line of Credit."


Here you are Mr. Richardson, if you will review the information I've applied to your credit application, then the review process can begin immediately.

Floyd looked the application over and except for one small misstatement, it was flawless.

"This is wrong," Floyd told the clerk as he pointed to the line that stated, Job Title: "Hand Foreman."

Floyd explained, "In aircraft factories there is no such Title as Hand Foreman, and if there were, it would be a management position.

I am a "Hand Former," a former of aircraft parts, and that is not a management position. See the "Wages" box, I get paid by the hour."

The Clerk looked puzzled, then she took the application from Floyd and called her supervisor, Mrs. Quibble.

The two department store employees whispered for a moment, then the supervisor asked Floyd, "Why don't you want to be called a Foreman?"


These kinds of questions were nothing new to Floyd, his job was a curse and a blessing in some respects. A curse because no-one ever understood what Floyd did for a living without a lengthy explanation. And a blessing because the job paid well, you know, compared to other non-skilled labor jobs.

So Floyd put both elbows on the counter in front of him, then he rested his face in his hands while gazing at Mrs. Quibble; the supervisor was a short woman. That is when Floyd said, "Let me tell you a little story."

Hand Formers are kinda like "the Blacksmiths" of the aircraft industry, you might even say that they are kinda like "the body and finder people" that repair damaged vehicles, we are both and we are neither.

During wartime, we are the ones that repair damaged aircraft, fabricate aircraft parts so the plane can go back into service once again.

In factories we are a cross between a "Ship-Fitter" and a "Sheet Metal Mechanic", but we don't get the Skilled Labor Certifications, or the extra pay that goes along with such distinctions. Hell, even the job title of "Hand Former" never rings anyone's bell.

No, we are Hand Formers, sometimes know as "Extrusions Formers", and there are three classifications that go along with our profession, Light, Medium, and Heavy.

So call me what you will, but make no attempt to title me with the likes of management. Hand Formers are laborers, we work hard for our money and are proud of it!"

Mrs. Quibble leaned over the counter and whispered to Floyd, "People with management sounding job titles are twice as likely to be Credit Approved."

And so it was, for the very first time in his life Floyd Richardson was credit approved with Sears, Roebuck and Company. And as far as Sears knew, his profession was that of a Hand Foreman.



JE Falcon



Submitted: June 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 JE Falcon aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



A gripping piece of flash fiction.

Mon, June 21st, 2021 3:44am


Thanks, LOL

Mon, June 21st, 2021 2:40pm

Vance Currie

Well, that mistaken title turned out to be 'handy'. Perhaps the protagonist should have declared his job as that of an aircraft fixer upper.
Job titles change with the times. I started work a long time ago as a clerk. Now, anyone doing the same job (but with modern technology) is called a digital assistant. I know where to go if I need any assistance with my digits.

Mon, June 21st, 2021 10:38pm


Thanks Vance, now I know where to go to get my digits adjusted. ... Hmm, I wonder if they do replacements?

Tue, June 22nd, 2021 4:13pm

Serge Wlodarski

This gets even more confusing when Hired Hands retire and become Former Hands.

Tue, June 22nd, 2021 11:36am


Hmm, a Hand Former retiring and becoming a former Hand Former (?). Interesting!

Tue, June 22nd, 2021 4:08pm

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