Monday, October 25, 2010

PhDs who Insist on the "Doctor"

Imagine a guy who boasts to everyone that he's in Mensa. What would you think of a guy who boasts about being in Mensa? Would you have a higher, or lower opinion of this person? You would listen to him blather on about some recent meeting, or the upcoming national Mensa symposium, and what are you thinking? I wouldn't presume to speak for you, but I'm guessing you'd be thinking: "Who is this doughy load, and why am I talking to him?" And it's ironic and sad, because I'm guessing the only point of being in Mensa is to improve the regard other people have for your intelligence. Imagine the Mensa guy's disappointment when he discovers that the only thing membership in Mensa demonstrates is that you are a) insecure, b) a douche, and c) not all that intelligent because you couldn't figure out A and B.

This seems obvious to me. Yet this point eludes some of our nation's PhDs, specifically the ones who insist on being called Doctor, and the ones who sign their name in the style of this email I recently received. It was an email from a marketing firm, apologizing for sending me an incorrect survey. It was signed:

Dr. Jan G. West, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO
National Business Research Institute, Inc. ('NBRI')
15305 Dallas Parkway; 3rd floor
Addison, TX. 75001

What kind of a tool do you have to be to sign your name this way? Who on God's green earth is impressed by a PhD? You know what this is? This is stolen valor. You know, the crime of impersonating a veteran? That's what putting "Dr." in your signature is. Or asking to be called doctor outside the confines of the campus. You deliberately stoke the confusion of others who are temporarily and erroneously impressed that you're a medical doctor - you know, an actual doctor.

There's nothing wrong with getting a PhD. But to tack it on the end of your name - wow. Does a PhD really demonstrate superior intelligence? Does it even demonstrate mastery of a specialized area of knowledge? I'm assuming Dr. Jan G. West, Ph.D. got her doctorate in marketing. If you need a refresher on the rigors of a masters level marketing education, I report about my first hand experience of it here. As usual, I give a pass to anyone whose PhD was earned in engineering, comp sci, the hard sciences. Areas where specialized knowledge is very real and urgently important. You know, like the specialized knowledge an actual doctor has. But when you talk about the specialized knowledge a marketing PhD has, you are talking about the richest, most pungent and concentrated bullshit known to man. You're talking about pure bullshit extract, a clear liquid dispensed with an eye dropper while wearing rubber gloves. There is nothing useful, nothing, in marketing at the PhD level, except to practice your ability to weave impenetrable tapestries of gobbledegook on the page, for the benefit of professors who will grade you only on how inscrutable it is.

This is the substance of Dr. Jan G. West, Ph.D.'s implied boast. She's boasting that only a smart cookie such as herself could have qualified to forgo joining the workforce in order to spiral deeper and deeper into marketing academia. Furthermore, it's a statement that she thinks there's actual value in a marketing PhD. And finally, it's predicated on the assumption that others would be impressed by the decision. Dr. Jan G. West, Ph.D. is wrong on all three counts. In fact the only thing in her signature that impressed me at all was the inclusion of her middle initial. Oh no, wait - it didn't.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a very important meeting.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I own a pit bull & you couldn't be more wrong, your the ignorant one who wants to bash a breed only because your stupid ass is afraid of pit bulls, your probably the kind that own ankle biters, pit bulls are the most protective dogs known to man kind, EVERY dog is dangerous it's how u bring them up, so sick of hearing dumbass people like you run their chops on thinking they know what breed is dangerous and what breed isn't, my female pit is the most gentle pit you could ever meet she's so trusting that my one year old grandson plays with her jumps on her does what every child would do and she just lays there, her ears aren't cropped we don't breed her she's had a couple litters and she's a rescue dog, I could go on and on but whats the point u need to be educated more than u think u are becausen your apparently the stupidest person alive to think ALL PITS ARE DANGEROUS SO AS A PIT OWMER GO SCREW YOURSELF