Once upon a time, in the dark days before the World Wide Web, when the telephone was king, I had a job that involved sitting in an office on a Friday night waiting to hear the speedway results on the radio then recording myself reading those same results so they could be replayed to anyone who dialed a premium rate phone number.
The company I worked for provided a host of other information services, from snow reports to flight information, all recorded in our own studio, so that people who were cash rich and time poor could pick up the phone and find what they needed to know instantly.
It seems odd now, when we can slip a computer out of our pocket and immediately access the entire collected wisdom of the human race with a few taps, but it's not nearly as weird as some jobs others do to get by.
Take these examples from Reddit. One contributor explained that she 'went around to wind turbines, collecting dead birds and bats that had run into the blades or died from pressure changes, and documented as much as I could.'
But that's fairly mundane compared to what others have done to scratch a living. 'I start on Friday as a Standardized Patient. Essentially, med students practice their bedside manner on me,' added another Reddit user. That was the cue for others to chime in with their own experiences of medical-related jobs. 'They practice a lot more than bedside manner on some standardized patients. We have one guy locally who is the go-to for DREs. He gets paid to have a class of med students locate his prostate,' replied another contributor. And then, this doozy. 'I cut eyes out of dead people. I am an eye bank technician; I surgically remove corneas and whole eyes from donors for cornea transplants and research. I think most people don't WANT to know about my job.'
Away from the medical field, jobs are no less weird. 'I once applied for a job as a Heritage Officer. Sounded normal enough, but it involved basically going around cemeteries photographing graves and keeping a log of them. It was so unusual I was desperate for it, not to mention working alone and out in the fresh air,' wrote another job hunter. Many of us, of course, would love to work in the fresh air, if not in a cemetery.
This job sounds more like my kind of thing: 'I maintain hiking trails in our national forests. I camp out for 8 days at a time, with 6-day weekends. While out camping, I clear downed trees from the trails with chainsaws, crosscut saws, build bridges, retaining walls, drain water off the trail, fix rock/land slides, cut down large trees, etc. I hike almost everywhere with my crew, although we use horses and mules to carry out camping equipment. Some places require us to ride ATVs and dirt bikes, while other places are only accessible by jet boat or airplane.' Now that's what I call a job.
As for the most fun job on the list? It's back to the medical profession: 'For work I get to break into hospitals and steal things. It's referred to as a "Physical Penetration Test." It's an integral part of a risk assessment, which is required under 164.308 of HIPAA.
I routinely pick locks, steal access badges, impersonate medical personnel, harvest data and credentials, crack passwords, and utilize various social engineering tactics.'
What's the weirdest job you have ever had? Comment below...
Image by Tim Shields on Flickr.