Anyway, I began the conversation by saying "so, what is your job title today?" (in reference to the many recent titles and responsibility changes that she's undergone in the last few months).
Immediately, I knew that I had put my foot firmly in my mouth (once again). She was visibly upset as she told me about how they taken away all of her titles, AND gave her even more responsibilities. The title thing was obviously really important to her.
So, I promised that I'd think of a new title for her to use, and one unique to her within the whole institution. She is black, so I knew that I'd have to be racially sensitive...and hell, sensitivity is definitely my strong suit!
She left for lunch, and when she returned there was a job title on her door created with typing paper and a Sharpee. It was the best I could do on short notice.
She seemed initially amused, but when I told her about the new uniform I had devised for her which included a very practical hood that she could pull down to protect her eyes from the glare of her computer screen, she seemed to find my attempt at humor less appealing.
Still, I thought it was better than no title at all!