At twenty eight years old sometimes I question my career choices. As I mentioned in my previous post Living A Nomadic Lifestyle I don’t come from a wealthy family so I always have to fund my travels myself. This involves sinking to all time lows that I never thought I would see again, but hey – it funds my passion, right? So enjoy reading about the strangest jobs I have had while travelling.
This was probably my most short lived job ever, after getting the job purely based on the fact that I turned up in corporate attire, I boarded a bus with fifteen other backpackers. We were told that we would be milkmen delivering milk to the city of Newcastle 168km north of Sydney and were all given a uniform. I had sudden visions of me resembling Dougal from Father Ted on my first day delivering milk.
It turns out this job could not have been further from the truth. Being made to walk the streets door knocking, in forty degree heat, was not what I had in mind. I had also not expected that we were supposed to lie to the people who did open their doors by telling them we were their milkman before actually launching into a spiel to sign them up for a contract grocery order. Needless to say I laughed and cried that day for many reasons and after ten hours the long awaited bus ride home was nigh. Not only did we get paid on commission (so nothing for that day then) anyone who didn’t sell anything had to down a bag of Goon on the ride back which was coupled with our new boss showing us images of him in various sexual positions with the housewives he had slept with while door knocking. Charming.
Christmas Elf This job takes first place for all time low. The only consolation was that my partner and I were doing it together. Santa Land is an overpriced, low budget Christmas event in Sydney complete with carnival rides, ice skating and shows throughout the day. Pay is below minimum wage and compulsory hour breaks are enforced every three hours. No water or sunscreen is available and the work is brain numbing.
I wish I could say that I had Will Ferrell’s enthusiasm in Elf but my mentality was more matched with the Grinch. We did it all, from running the roller coaster and duck fishing pond (I had always wanted to be a carnie for the day, not weeks at a time though) to selling magic wands to children. Did I mention you are dressed in a synthetic elf costume complete with hat in forty degree heat? It’s safe to say that I have heard enough Christmas songs to last me a lifetime.
Karaoke Host This one had to make it in based on the interview alone – even though I never made it to my first shift. Craigslist (the birthplace of strange jobs) had directed me to this particular job with promises of $35 an hour. We were on our way back from my uncles house in Perth when I had been offered an interview and having had a lot to drink I attempted to compose myself. My partner who was completely smashed decided it would be better to interview as a team (visions of the movie ‘Step Brothers’ comes to mind) and I was in no position to disagree with this genius idea.
We were sat in one of the karaoke rooms and my partner then decided he should start the karaoke up. When the boss arrived mid song, questions started flying around like ‘what are you doing?’ and ‘why are there two of you?’. At the time the reasonable explanation was to say that my partner was my boss from my last job (which was true although this still didn’t explain his presence). He rolled with it and surprisingly we both got offered a job. The reason I declined was due to the dress code being ‘slutty’, commission based ‘extras’ and the presence of a panic button in each room.
Working at a Desert Newspaper It actually took me over an hour to write about this job, purely because I spent the majority of this time laughing at NT News headlines. I have compiled a collection of my all time favorites for you above – you’re welcome. Needless to say, news in the Northern Territory is unusual which made this job anything but average.
The list could continue, I did not even cover working as a real estate agent, gardener, nanny or a dog sitter but I will leave those to your imagination. Lets just say they don’t all make it on to the CV…
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