One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing someone refer to his employees as possessions. President Obama is one of the greatest culprits. “My team, my Secretary of Defense, my this and my that,” he says.
We do not own the people who work for us. We may pay their salaries, but they do jobs in return. They are flesh and blood, not decorative accessories for our living rooms.
I guess there are times when saying “my” is appropriate, such as in “my husband, my daughter, my teacher and my boss.” I’m not wild, though, when someone says “my attorney” (sounds so pretentious), but “my doctor” and “my hairstylist” seem fine.
I think we need to think before we use the word “my.” A young man recently–and officiously– referred to the two people who report to his girlfriend as “her staff.” The girlfriend is all of 23. When I had a staff of 200, I referred to them as ” the editors and the salespeople,” not “my staff.”
Don’t you think it’s much classier to refer to Bill Gates as “The Secretary of Defense,” rather than “My Secretary of Defense?”