While most of our dreams as children involved becoming lawyers, teachers, football players, doctors or even firemen, the world would be somewhat unbalanced if we all became successful in these prominent career choices. Who would then generate lots of customers for businesses by wearing a big board with an advertisement on it and who would contribute towards fulfilling the needs of those who find pleasure in toys? It might come as a surprise to many, but these aren’t even the most peculiar jobs in the world.
A person might choose to be a vermiculturist, which involves collecting, cleaning and classifying worms. This job may seem to have no perks, but an impeccable knowledge of worm farming is a skill known to only a select few.
Other strange jobs include dog food testing which is done by humans for dogs, gum busting which involves the use of special steaming tools to remove gum that is stuck to sidewalks, street benches and other places, odour judges who work for various industries such as underarm deodorant manufacturers and are required to smell armpits, dice inspectors who inspect for lopsidedness, blemishes, seven-sidedness and any other imperfections, or golf ball marshals, who search ponds, lakes and other water bodies around golf courses for golf balls.
All these jobs seem quite unusual but their services are needed. A professional gum buster commented in the Washington Post, “You’d be surprised how much gum is everywhere. Generally, amusement parks and parking garages are the worst. Since starting in the business I’ve been more aware of dropping gum – I try to find a trash can or at least something to wrap it in. And if I absolutely have to spit? Well, I make sure no one is watching.”
Not all strange jobs are unpleasant or too uncomfortable to admit to friends. Being a lifeguard at a nude beach is one job with more advantages than disadvantages, as your day consists of looking at and saving naked people. The same goes for porn retail or the manufacturing of sex toys. It is a common belief that you would not be involved in something you did not believe in it, so at the end of a working day, together with remunerations, you get to take home some of the goods that you spent the day working with or even got an employee discount on.
Some of these jobs require you to have some sort of tertiary education and specialised training but others just require a really courageous and fearless person. An oil rig dive technician’s job involves laying oil pipes on the ocean floor while facing possible shark attacks or jelly fish stings. An aeroplane repo’s job is to retrieve aeroplanes which are situated in the enemy’s territory, that are seized by the enemy during warfare with the risk of getting shot at and possibly being jailed in another country. Being a bounty hunter in a country wracked with crime is probably the quickest way to generate guaranteed commission. Pearl diving in Australia’s shark-infested waters is one of the most dangerous, high-paying unusual jobs.
As society develops and things that were previously unacceptable become normal, people’s life choices are judged and analysed much less than they used to be. However the jobs that await you after graduation may not be as boring as you might imagine.
Illustration: Simon-Kai Garvie