10 Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of!

weirdjobs

There are tons of jobs in this world that nobody’s ever heard of.  They’re not advertised anywhere — and companies will deny they even exist – but they do.  And after years of research, I’ve managed to identify a few of them.

Flak Catcher – Every company on this planet employs an army of people whose only job is to answer the telephone and get yelled at.  They’re the ones on the other end of “Customer Support.”  They have no real power and can’t actually fix your problem, so they are just supposed to listen to your assortment of threats and obscenities and hope the hell you go away.  Most companies prefer ex-nuns for this position.

Complimentary Crying Baby – You’d think that child labour laws would prevent this sort of thing, but every airline employs a variety of babies who fly around the world and cry — during takeoffs, landings and just when you’re about to take a nap.  There’s a lot of room for advancement in this position, and many babies go on to become the “Obnoxious Child.”  I have no idea why airlines do this, but I’m assuming it’s to boost liquor sales.

Motorcycle Rider – This occupation dates back to post World War II when housing developers hired ex-servicemen to roar around the streets of urban areas on noisy motorcycles.  Their purpose was to “encourage” young families to buy houses in quieter suburbs — and it worked.  These days, the building trade still hires “Motorcycle Riders,” and in some cities, it’s considered a growth industry.

Useless Government Employee – All governments hire one person whose sole purpose is to give you the wrong forms, send you to the wrong department or generally muck up the paper trail so completely that even Stephen Hawking can’t figure it out.  They do this so the other government employees look good in comparison.

Cat Sex and Barking Dog – I don’t know how they train these animals, but pharmaceutical companies have employed them for years to help sell sleeping pills.

Arguing Woman – Always found in grocery stores, this person’s job is to hold up the line by arguing with the cashier over some ridiculous thing like expired coupons.  The purpose is to stall you at the checkout long enough so you buy stupid crap you don’t really need — like magazines, gum and candy bars.

Movie Talker – The jerk in the movie theatre eight rows back who insists on explaining the coming plot twists to her hearing-impaired friend.  I’m not sure who hires these people, but I imagine it’s probably Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming service.

Condescending Techie – Companies that sell electronics all have one techie who’s an utter asshole.  His job (and it’s always a guy) is to roll his eyes, speak gibberish at you and reconfigure your device so you can’t find anything.  They do this in the hope that you’ll eventually get so fed up with the problem you’ll just say, “Forget it!” and buy something new.

Stereo Guy – This is a seasonal position (summer only.)  Air conditioning companies hire people to wait until midnight, turn their stereos up to a million decibels and blast Mega-Death Hip Hop Techno Country music into the stinkin’ hot summer night.  The purpose is to force you to buy an air conditioner so you can close your windows against this unholy din without dying of heat stroke.

And finally:

Dog Walker/Jogger – These people are hired by the police to go to secluded wooded areas and find dead bodies.

Jobs In The 21st Century

jobs

Like the elves of Middle Earth, jobs are leaving these shores and they’re not coming back.  These days, if you are a travel agent, cashier, bank teller, journalist, or in any one of the other 1,001 person-to-person professions of the 20th century – you’d better start looking over your shoulder.  In the next decade, your paycheque is going to go the way of the dinosaur.  Quite frankly, blacksmiths will have better employment opportunities than you will.  Luckily, however, economics is a survival of the fittest science, and it’s already creating a shedload of new careers.  Here’s just a small sampling of the new jobs being created in the 21st century.  The crazy thing is – for the most part — these are real.

Harassment Officer –This is the only job in history that’s totally dependent on the employee NOT doing the job.  Think about it!  If a Harassment Officer actually puts a stop to harassment in the workplace, they’re out of a job.

Social Media Consultant – Apparently, there are still people on this planet who don’t know how Facebook, Instagram and Twitter work.

Millennial Generation Expert – Yes, companies hire people to try and figure out what makes their younger employees tick.  My best guess is they wander around the office telling everybody under 30 they’re “awesome” and then, once a week, they give out trophies.

Personal Shopper – This job has been around for a while, but it still amazes me that some people hire people to buy presents for the friends and relatives they can’t be bothered going to Walmart for.

Bikini Waxer – Back in the day, personal grooming was – uh – personal. Now we get professionals in on the plot.  My question is how do these people learn their trade?  Where are the schools?

Cloud Services Specialist – I have no idea what the hell these people do.

Activist – These are the people who make a career out of being pissed off.

Grant Writer – These are the people who convince rich people to give them money to pay the people who’ve made a career out of being pissed off.

Uber Driver – Simplest job in the world.  All you have to do is go to Uber.com and sign up.  According to one person I talked to, Uber doesn’t even check to see if you actually have a car.

Influencer – We used to call these people shills. They worked carnivals and sideshows, trying to entice the local folk into spending their money on rigged games and cheap gadgets.  These days, they prowl the Internet and confine their activities to promoting perfumes and overpriced designer clothes.

Ethical Sourcing Officer – These are the people who make sure the Asian sweatshops aren’t beating the children who make those overpriced designer clothes.

Jean Ripper – I don’t know whether this is a real job or not, but somebody’s got to be ripping those overpriced designer jeans.

But my two favourites are:

Content Creator – These are the people who have YouTube channels, podcasts and — the grandmother of them all — blogs.  Yep, people actually get paid for wasting your time.

Content Reader – These are people who spend their days checking the contents of YouTube channels, podcasts and — the grandmother of them all — blogs.  Yep, people actually get paid for wasting their own time.

In Praise of Higher Education

A couple of weeks ago, I got into a hopeless discussion (argument, for the uninitiated) with some young people (under 30) about education.  I haven’t taken a beating like that since Betty Jones (not her real name) and her 2nd grade boyfriend decided my lunch was more interesting than hers.  The problem was, in both cases, no amount of reason was going to be sufficient to change anybody’s mind.  Unreasonable people, with big boyfriends, have a way of winning discussions.  In the early part of the evening, I relied on Aristotlesque logic.  I laid out concise theses, which I supported with facts and observations, which in turn, naturally led to the only possible conclusion: mine.  Q.E.D!  Their response was “Crap!” (or a somewhat stronger version of said same.)  I spent the rest of the night — and at least two more bottles of wine — fighting for my verbal life against wave after wave of anecdotal evidence, non sequitur reminiscences, rhetorical questions and profanity.  The kids were clearly angry about the fuzzy end of the lollipop they had received at the hands of liberal education, but they couldn’t articulate it.  Therefore, even though I knew they were intelligent young people, they looked just about as dumb as they assured me they weren’t.

I’m not going to rework the discussion here.  That wouldn’t be fair.  But my position was “Stay in school you’re going to need it” and theirs was, the oft repeated, “Crap!” (or a somewhat stronger version of said same.)  This really surprised me, because my generation and every generation before mine has worshipped education.  Ever since Gideon outwitted the Midianites, it’s been seen as, not only the magic carpet of social mobility but the keys to the bank vault.  Even in the darkest of the Dark Ages, education was the one thing that gave ordinary peasants a leg up in society.  A millennium later, our contemporary world is so compartmentalized that, without a specialized education, you are almost certainly relegated to tier-two employment – Starbucks, et al.  Either that or you could luck-out and land a union-protected public service job (but you might want to buy lottery tickets on that one just to be on the safe side.)  Of course, there is intrinsic value in learning for its own sake.  Nobody denies that, but practically speaking (which is all I was doing the other night) it’s all about where the money is.

My young friends beg to differ, however.  They see education as a great wormhole that eats time, energy and student loans, then shoots them out the other end, no wiser, several years older and deeper in debt.  While admitting that post-secondary education is indeed a necessity, they also see it, for the most part, as a waste.  Their argument is, why should they spend four years and forty thousand dollars for information they already know or can find on the Internet?  To them, a liberal education is merely a thinly disguised tactic to keep them out of the job market for as long as possible, and a single university or college degree is a ticket to poverty.  The “piece of paper” as they call it, with disdain, is not essential preparation for future employment but an artificial barrier to their own advancement.   With it, the only guarantee is student debt.  There are not that many high-priced jobs going begging these days, and experienced expertise trumps recent graduation, every time.  Remember, these kids are making cappuccinos with a lot of underemployed PhDs.  However, without a diploma (of some sort) there is a serious top end to whatever employment they find.  Whether they’ve landed their perfect career/job or they’re just getting a pay check, without accreditation, they’re going to stay where they are for an awfully long time.  It’s a no-win/no-win situation, and they know it.

To be fair, the kids have a point.  However, they’re missing some essential ingredients.  First of all, the big bad world out there has never heard of them.  Education is the hello handshake that separates them from the herd.  To be brutally honest, to employers, a degree is just shorthand for “at least the guy hung in there for four years.”  Secondly, education, off its own bat, is useless.  It needs thought and practical application.  Getting a degree in Earth Science, Medieval Dance or the infamous Art History is indeed a ticket to poverty.  Our society is awash in people who found that out – the hard way.  The trick is fitting education to employment, even if it isn’t a perfect match.  Sometimes, the difference between doing what you like and making change at Chevron is flexibility and imagination.  Finally, and most importantly, only about half of post secondary education occurs in the classroom.  At this level, gathering information is nothing serious.  The kids are right; it’s all on the Internet.  The important stuff is learning the complex skills of analysis, organization, communication and time management, to name but a few.  The smartest person in the world is just a German Shepherd with a thumb if he can’t find his notes, doesn’t have the discipline for deadlines or can’t express his ideas effectively.  Anybody can Google “the capital of Poland,” but it’s post-secondary education that teaches us how to use that information.

It might have been the wine, but I wasn’t this articulate the other night.  Maybe it’s time for Round Two.  After all, I met Betty Jones years later, and we came to an understanding over a couple of churros and a bottle of Kahlua.