I know how writers like Theodore Geisel and Kurt Vonnegut—[and Charles Dickens, as reader Glynn Young suggests in the comments]—conjured bizarre worlds and set them here in this one. It was easy! They merely looked through government directories, as I have been doing lately for reasons I won't disclose because then you'd realize that life at Writing Boots isn't as glamorous as it seems (and it didn't seem so glamorous in the first place!).
They ran across names like Miffy Wiggs, Molly Motherwell, Karen Strangl, CoCo Good, Gayle McJunkin, Amy Sprinkles, Sparkle Anderson and Hillary Shine. The old masters knew why Richard "Rick" Virgin was so insistent upon "Rick," and why Richard "Rich" Bagger specified "Rich." But they must have scratched their heads at Sandra "Punky" Moore.
It was the job titles that gave them their big ideas. The U.S. Navy employs a Flag Writer, NASA has an Asteroid Grand Challenge Program Executive, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a Coordinator for the Federal Duck Stamp Office. Other real titles:
Correspondence and Information Control Specialist
Director of Correspondence Control
Privacy Officer for the Office of the Chief Information Officer
Confidential Assistant to the Chairman
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Human Exploration and Operations Directorate Public Affairs Officer
Secretary of Delegation
Communication and Liaison Disclosure Officer
Director, Threat Information Office
Director, Whistleblowing and Transparency
Inoperability Program Manager
And it's not just the government:
The National Confectioners Association employs an Executive Director of Chocolate.
The NFL has a Vice President of Football Communications. (I know a lot of guys who could excel at that.)
One large hospital system employs a "Public Contact Coach," and another employs an "Empathy Coach." (I know a lot of guys who could use those.)
I think I'm starting to lose it ... or maybe it's just starting to come to me.