Odd jobs?

in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
What are the strangest/most interesting/worst/best paying/... oddest... jobs you have had?

Of course, I want to hear your stories, but the real reason is to share some of mine (surprise, surprise, surprise!)

I've had a couple of doozies lately.

I transcribed the entire first season of Six Million Dollar Man last month for about US$600. I would sit in my local coffee shop for hours, sipping coffee and watching (and typing) Steve Austin's every word. I'm not the most efficient transcriber around, so each 48 minute episode took 2-3 hours. So my hourly wage wasn't huge, but it was still fun and really low stress. And I think I did a pretty good job, so I think Jamie Summers must be just around the corner (running in slow motion, of course).

But right now, I'm doing something even better, stronger and... fatter. I'm currently Santa Claus at Ocean Park, Hong Kong's smallish "Sea World" type amusement park. The pay is pretty damn good and I'm having a great time. Long hours, and no days off between December 17th and January 2, but my reward will come in the form of a big fat paycheck, all for encouraging teenage girls to sit on my lap (not really -- I reserve the lap for the under sevens, but I do get a lot of hugs and flirting from girls and women of all ages).

I have to wear a padded tummy, as I'm really too skinny to be a natural Santa, and of course, I have to glue a white beard to my face, which really irritates my skin. And I have to say "Ho Ho Ho" and "Merry Christmas" in three languages about 2 million times a day.

I'm not an actor by trade, but it's always something that's interested me. Maybe this Santa stint can get me into the bizness here in Asia... got to improve my Cantonese, though.

At least I know what my plans are next December! Time to promote my hohoho and jingle all the way to the bank. I'll just have to make sure any full time job I take in the mean time has a provision for a long holiday.


  • Reply 1 of 13
    Usually, jobs that are extremely undesirable are leveled with higher pay-rates. A few summers during high school and college I worked in the construction trade, which all-in-all was pretty good work. One summer, though, I had to do some survey work at the largest sewage treatment plant in the world (all the shit in DC. . .).

    Now, the smell can vary from bad to vomit-inducing (literally), and the less pleasant areas are those where you can basically look down and see liquified excrement. These pools and tanks are made of concrete and have various apparatuses within them, and there are times when they get clogged, or when various other work needs to be done in there, and they can't be drained.

    Enter the divers. These guys go in there with pressurized suits, totally immersed in crap. Let's just say that once, when I was nearby, a diving team has to pull the guy out prematurely because a leak had developed in the suit. Fortunately, these guys make some pretty good wages. I never was a diver myself, but I felt that it was a good trade to bring up since it's so shocking, yet so necessary.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Shit diver

    The summer of 1998 I worked for Coca Cola. All kinds of soda containers are recycled here 10+ times. Sodas in plastic bottles were new at that time (before then we only had glass bottles) and when they came back to be cleaned and refilled, there were no machines that could sort the almost, but not exactly identical bottles (one type for coke, one for Fanta and a couple of other types). So we were three shifts sorting all the bottles 24/7. I worked the evening shift.

    Now this was during a very hot summer and you would not imagine what people had put in the bottles. And the job was physical hard. But the pay was good, with all the extras @ $30/h
  • Reply 3 of 13
    I work at a distributor for fiber optics as the IT guy and internal application developer, but once a month for a week or two I am given a different task simply because we don't have much man-power as the company just started and only has a handful of employees. What my job consists of is spooling fiber. There are two spools in the set up, a larger one from which we feed lengths of cable onto a smaller spool to be sent out to customers, the larger spool is able to turn freely while the smaller spool is on a handcrank that I turn while pressing my finger against the contact point between the fiber optic cable being fed and the smaller spool onto which it is being fed to guide it cleanly into place. When I first started I actually bled several times simply from the constant friction on my guiding finger wearing down my skin slowly, but now I just have some nice calluses and a much firmer bicep on my cranking arm. We're hoping to buy an automatic spooler so I won't have to, but they're about $20,000, which we can't afford right now as we are still paying off those who funded the venture. It's annoying to do, but they pay me time and a half (and I get paid $12 an hour normally ) to do it and many clients have told us how impressed they were at how cleanly lain the fiber on our spools is and they want to know where they can get such a high quality respooling machine
  • Reply 4 of 13
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    My best job was spending the winter of 2002 as a ski instructor at Montage Mountain. The pay, at minimum wage for only the hours you spent giving lessons, participating in clinics, or receiving ski instructor training, was meager. But I got to ski for free whenever I wanted, got to keep my equipment in the ski instructor's lounge, learned how to sharpen and wax skis myself, and received a huge discount on a Spyder ski jacket. My form improved dramatically as the ski season progressed as well.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    tomjtomj Posts: 120member
    i worked at a spray paint factory one summer, my job consisted of cleaning out the tanks they mixed the paint in. The tools: a big brush and a hose that sprayed acetone. The tank opening was smaller than a manhole, and you had to stick your head in at the end to make sure that all the paint from the previous batch had been removed, so you took a big breath, and stuck your head in, got to work making sure all the paint was gone and if you were lucky you got done before your body made you take a breath, that only lasted five or six weeks until i passed out from the fumes and decided that i wasn't going back. (7$/hour)
  • Reply 6 of 13
    justinjustin Posts: 403member
    Worse, or best job?

    I worked in a juvenile delinquent centre for about the same as your $7/hour.

    I remember my first day - I was so excited about working there and the staff had been so good to me. In the first hour everything went pear-shaped. A bigger lad in his tough-boy clique picked on a younger white kid. I intervened like a fairy godmother with my handbag finding myself rapidly unpopular. The kid was pissed off that I tried to help him because it wrecked his street cred. Apparently I did the wrong thing by telling the centre manager that the boys were fighting - just came across as a grass. Playing 5 aside football with the kids later, I thought things were going okay. The lad involved in the confrontation deliberately socked me between the legs during a tackle. His mate belted the ball straight at me from 3 metres giving me a black eye.

    When the floor stopped moving, all the boys had left the football game. The centre manager didn't think much of it. Guess they got what they wanted. Must have been one of the most unsupervised and health-hazard related jobs. Packed it in after a term. Mostly recalcitrant kids looking for a free punch bag. When they're hardened at that age, it's just horrible.
  • Reply 7 of 13

    I won't go into details.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    regreg Posts: 832member
    Best was lifeguard between high school and college at the beach. Most interesting was being in the navy with 3 years of it in subs.

  • Reply 9 of 13
    Does anyone remember (70's) Bridget in the Buff? Most un-PC publications ever. Skin calendars and posters, except Bridget weighed close to 500 lb. I worked one summer at a publishing company entering invoices. Never heard of Bridget until she showed up one day for new photos. This company also did her stuff also.

    That was kinda wierd. Really wierd. Otherwise their stuff was mostly sports, kids stuff, and religious stuff. Interesting mix.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Sunday school assistant.

    Don't ask.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Worst job in the world is tele-sales.

    I lasted two weeks.

    I apologise if I called anyone here.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    celcocelco Posts: 211member
    Worst job... Insurance claims officer ... spent a summer working paying way through university (college). Worst claim was a girl who dick of an ex boyfriend

    burned her car to the ground... The thing was the car was the a final gift from her mother who had just died of cancer... My employer in their "caring policy"

    approach told me to disallow the claim.... yet had posted record profits that year.. It suck when you have to tell a girl that the only thing she had of any financial means is gone... and she's in tears as you sit behind a inch of bulletproof glass unable to do jack... Yep that was christmas 1996...

    Best Job:

    Christmas 2005

    I sit behind a duel screen G5.... friends around... I now run my own post house and brand agency... we have a moderate team and stable clients...

    And this year we posted a profit...
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