The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. – Arnold J. Toynbee
There are times when I wish I was a travel show host, employed by TLC or National Geographic to visit all exotic locations, chat up a few locals, and get a hefty paycheck. Best job in the world, I thought. But then came Andrew Zimmerman and his appetite for bizarre foods – bugs, rat placenta, and rotten shark, all being consumed by the brave man.
Well, that got me thinking – what is the weirdest thing a person can do for a living? I'm not talking about some remote rainforest, but here in my lovely city, filled with highrises and a million people. And the million people can't all be doing the same jobs; some must be doing something truly unique.
So, I went on a quest to find the strangest and most bizarre professions that normal people, just like you and me, have. And here they are:
Fortune Cookie Writer
Fortune cookies, filled with cryptic little messages, were probably invented by the Japanese in California, and the Chinese restaurants popularized them and made them into a tradition that we know of. But, have you ever wondered who writes those little fortunes on them? Well, of course people do! Wonton Food, the largest manufacturer of fortune cookies, periodically hires fortune cookie writers to write intriguing predictions.
Professional Pet Cat Catcher
Cats have a mind of their own, don't they? So, what do you do when you have to relocate or take the cat to the vet, and it won't come on its own? Here's the solution – hire a pet cat catcher. Jordana Serebrenik from New York has started a service called 'Catch Your Cat', and charges a fee of around $80. She has an unusual knack for catching them, using both instinct and experience to do a job that requires agility and sharp reflexes.
Professional Pencil Sharpener
Artists often require their pencils to be perfectly sharpened. Well, precision sharpeners are available to do this job, but it can also be done through an expert in the art of pencil sharpening. David Rees, a former cartoonist, has even written a book on it. For a fee, he mails a pencil sharpened 'with love and care', along with its shavings and a certificate of authenticity.
Furniture needs to be tested, primarily for safety and comfort. The safety part is done through machines, but to judge the comfort and ease of use, some human intervention is needed. So, manufacturers hire people who can test furniture for them. All they have to do is sit, lie, wriggle, and sometimes even jump on the piece of furniture, to gauge its comfort level. Some manufactures even have precise instructions, and might require the employee to recline in a particular manner, or sit on the furniture for a set time period.
The name is slightly misleading for this profession, as it involves testing the entire room, rather than just a bed. Mostly hired by hotels or mattress companies, a bed tester needs to sleep in a particular room, and later report his experience. Everything from the décor, noise level, softness of the mattress, lighting in the room, and temperature are to be considered and evaluated by the tester.
Teddy Bear Technician
Teddy bears are a child's best companion. Unfortunately, this also means that the toy is chewed on, pulled, and pushed around. In short – handled rather roughly. But, a minor tear can sadden the little ones, and a replacement is often simply not acceptable to them. To rescue hapless parents, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. employs teddy bear technicians, whose job is to repair the bears, and replace any lost buttons, bows, and eyes.
Pet Food Taster
We love our pooches and want them to have the best to eat, with many owners wanting them to have the same quality food as themselves. This is where a human food taster comes in. He tastes the food and checks, if the customer would like to feed it to his/her dog. The things he usually looks for is a paté texture and very mild flavor.
Ever dreamed about swimming in a sea of gold? Then this profession is just right for you. The US government has around 4,500+ tons of gold in its Federal Reserves. This gold needs to be moved around periodically, and is done for the most part, manually by gold stackers. It is a back-breaking job for sure, but also the best conversation starter – imagine telling someone that you stack gold for a living.
Paper Towel Sniffer
Paper towels are a necessity in any household, specially those with kids. Superabsorbent and tough, these have one more quality that endears them to those of us who are a bit particular. They are practically odorless – before, during, and after use. An essential requirement, as can be inferred by the outrage a particular brand received when their towels began to 'stink'. Manufacturers, therefore, employ 'Paper Towel Sniffers', to ensure their towels are pleasant to use.
|Professional Snuggler||Ethical Hacker|
|Presidential Poison Taster||Golf Ball Divers|
|Urine Farmer||Cheese Sculptor|
As strange as these jobs are, they require some unique skill – like a sensitive nose or knack for writing funny one-line predictions. If you have any such talent or hobby, perhaps you too could make a living out of it, and give us one more 'bizarre profession' to write about.