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Top five made-up London job titles

Written by
Jonny Ensall

1. Brand ambassador

Fair play to anyone who has this job - it's a sweet deal to get paid for using a product particularly well, and in front of other people. I, for example, am a whizz with a roll-on deodorant, and would happily demonstrate the use of the Sure Quantum range for money. But let’s not pretend this position has anything to do with actual diplomacy. Face it, no White House functionary is ever going to interrupt the commander-in-chief with: ‘Mr President, the Jaffa Cakes ambassador needs to speak with you urgently. I think it’s about the whole ‘biscuit’ question.’

2. Mixologist

Once upon a time it was all right to just be called a barman or -woman. It was honest work, keeping weary Londoners supplied with alcohol, or (if you were serious about this drinking business) an agreeable blend of a few different kinds of alcohol. Why, then, has the noble employment of proffering liquor in various easy-swilling forms turned into such an orgy of intellectualised nonsense? Who wants turnip shavings, pickled candyfloss or whale sebum ruining what could otherwise be a perfectly good rum and coke? Mine’s a pint of Carling, mate. And hold the applewood smoke.

3. Artisan

It’s a word that suggests a time-served craftsman, working at his bench by flickering candlelight with the dexterity that only comes through decades of hard work and concentration. In London and this Amazon Prime era, however, you’re considered an 'artisan' if you’ve managed to put up a shelf that you didn’t buy from Ikea. You baked a scone? Bravo, truly. No I will not pay you £6 for it.

4. Ninja

Ninjas are highly trained assassins from Japan’s feudal past: deadly black-clad warriors, operating with guile and stealth. By contrast, computer programmers do stuff with computers. So if your tech job title includes the words 'ninja', 'guru', 'rock star', 'legend' or 'badass', then it's probably an ironic confirmation that you are in fact none of those things. Anyway, what are you trying to prove? Digital geeks rule the planet. When the apocalypse does finally come, it’s the pyjama-wearing kids at Facebook who’ll be first in line for the bunker, not the celebs, scientists or politicians.

5. DJ

Your 'best '90s hip hop eva' playlist has 37 followers on Spotify, so it’s time to take to the decks at your local boozer for a night at which a dozen of your friends will politely bop in front of the table where you’re ineptly mashing together a grime instrumental with Girls Aloud's 'Sound of the Underground', while realising it’s not the genre-defying #breaktheinternet moment you conceived in your bedroom. You, my friend, are now a DJ. Except you’re not, because you work in a clothes shop. But then, 'I have a portfolio career' sounds way better than 'I sell overpriced jeans', doesn’t it?

By Jonny Ensall, who’s a blue-sky word wrangler… and part-time DJ. 

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Images: Nathan James Page

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