A Few More Strange Jobs
By Steve Gillman
Can you make a living pushing people, spraying cheese or being
a clown at a funeral? Well, that last one is from the past, but
many of the strange jobs covered here are really making money
for those who have them. Here are the latest additions to our
ever-growing list of weird jobs, odd businesses and other unusual
ways to make money.
This job involves pushing people onto trains. In Tokyo the
trains are so full that before leaving the station passengers
need to be "packed" into them by train pushers. These
employees are called an "oshiya," or "passenger
arrangement staff," and work primarily during the morning
and evening rush hours.
This one comes from Colorado, where medical marijuana has
been legal for a while now. Only one position is available (or
was--it may be filled), and technically it is a job reviewing
different strains of pot for an alternative newspaper in Denver.
Of course to review them you have to try them out.
Here's one I have done-sort of. I was once paid $20 to wait
in line early for thirty minutes to get a spot at a limited number
of slot machines. I then gave the machine to my customer as soon
as he arrived. In Ecuador the lines at government offices are
long enough that some entrepreneurs regularly make money either
holding spots in them for people or they just get in line and
sell their spot as they approach the front of the cue. I have
read that this is becoming common in New York City as well, although
there it is more common to pay a line holder for getting tickets
to a big event.
Packaged popcorn that comes buttered or with cheese flavoring
is often sprayed manually for more consistent coverage. Machines
can't always get it right apparently, so someone needs to man
the cheese sprayer.
Rent Yourself as a Foreigner
In China, companies hire foreigners just because they are
foreign. The various jobs include posing as a fake CEO of an
American company, or an important dignitary. There are even agencies
that supply foreigners for these positions. Unfortunately for
some, white males get almost all of the jobs.
Strange Jobs of the Past
An orgy planner did about what it sounds like. This position
was apparently common in ancient Rome, according to an article
although workers in this field were not popular, and the trade
was even banned at times. Other ancient jobs reported on by listverse.com
A stecorarius went from home to home collecting people's human
waste. He then carried it off to to some dumping area out of
town. It was also sold to farmers as fertilizer for crops.
Curse Tablet Maker
If you wanted to curse someone in ancient Rome, you went to
the curse tablet maker, who etched a curse into a lead sheet.
You then posted this in a temple. Listverse.com had this example
of a curse from those times: "bind every limb and sinew
of Victorius, the charioteer for the Blue team.. the horses he
is about to race
blind their eyes so they cannot see and
twist their soul and heart so they cannot breathe."
Make fun of the dead, act like them, and dance around them
and the living during funeral possessions. Not a common job description
today, and one of the stranger jobs, but this was a well-paid
job during the days of the Roman Empire. The point was apparently
to placate the souls of the departed.
Watch for more strange and intersting jobs as a regular part
of the Unusual Ways Newsletter. If you have not already
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