I am going to be away for a rehearsal I was supposed to run and I found myself struggling with what to call the person I wanted to be in charge while I was gone. I searched and searched but in the end what felt most satisfactory was a military term. I went with Lieutenant. I felt like the lieu in it had a nice correlation with something being in lieu of something else. Also – the nice thing about military roles is that they are still imbued with authority. If someone is my lieutenant, they may be under me in authority but they still have quite palpable authority to those s/he’s leading.
What’s hilarious, though, about this preference for a military title, is how un-hierarchacal, un-regimented, un-authoritarian I actually want my processes to be. But maybe that’s why it’s funny. Because you never saw a less militaristic group ever.
Captain wouldn’t be as useful a word. Because without a military context, it could be the big big boss, the top banana. A lieutenant’s authority is both clearly subject to a higher authority and incredibly authoritative.