1. People Who Know How To Say ‘Sorry.’
It may be difficult to believe, but the Japanese were the first to employ professional apologizers, whose sole job was to make amends to people who felt offended. This was mainly done in the business world, as the Japanese are very formal when it comes to how business is conducted. Protocol being so important, professional apologizers express regret and are empowered to do what it takes to make amends. In the U.S., many customer service departments are hiring apologizers to deal with issues that strain relations between a company and a loyal customer. Work includes writing apology letters, offering coupons and asking customers how to make things better.
2. Human Bed Warmer
Yep, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. Originating in the UK, professional bed warmers are usually part of a hospitality staff, and their job is to roll around on freshly-made beds to ‘break them in’ and warm them up for hotel guests. Bed warmers dress in fleece body suits and lie on a bed for about five to 10 minutes. Warm beds apparently make guests sleep better, never mind the ‘ick’ factor that someone’s actually been rolling around on your supposedly fresh sheets.
3. Professional Hitchhiker
Amateur hitchhikers just want to get around town, so you’re doing them a favor when you pick them up. Professional hitchhikers in Jakarta, Indonesia, however, actually charge drivers to ride in their cars. With heavy congestion, Jakarta features fast lanes for cars with three or more passengers, hence the need for pro hitchhikers who can hop into a car, enabling the driver to use the fast lane. They only make about $8 a day, but that’s plenty in a country as poor as Indonesia.
4. Drying Paint Watcher
A watched pot doesn’t boil, and there’s nothing more boring that watching paint dry, unless you’re a professional drying paint watcher. Paint manufacturers hire people to sit and watch paint dry on walls and other surfaces to note how the colors change, not just with the naked eye, but under a microscope. Drying paint watchers help paint makers create better quality paint. And just for your information, one gallon of paint has billions of particles that react as they dry on a wall.
5. Professional Sleeper
You won’t get rich being a professional sleeper, but it will put a few bucks into your account. Hotels hire professional sleepers to test out the comfort level of their beds. Sleep researchers also higher sleepers so that they can measure brain activity while they are in REM sleep. It’s pretty simple folks, you have to sleep, right? Why not get paid for something you do on a normal basis?
6. Ear Cleaner
In India, ear cleaners set up shop on the street and charge about 25 cents to clean out a person’s ear. If that isn’t bad enough, these cleaners use a sharp steel needle and a pincers to remove wax. Ear cleaning is a specialty that takes practice, because of the possibility of perforating a person’s eardrum if not done correctly. Ear cleaners wrap cotton wool around the needle to prevent injury.
7. Chicken Sexer
Yes, this really is a job and it’s more difficult than you think. Chicken sexers are hired by farmers and ranchers to quickly distinguish between a male and female chick. Because hundreds of chicks are born on big farms every day, a chicken sexer has to do the job without hesitation. Typically, a sexer determines gender by the shape of feathers, or by squeezing a chick’s stomach to look into its intestines where the sex organs are located. Female chicks are prized because they lay eggs. Male chicks are sold as food, or are killed, depending on the ratio.
8. Funeral Crier
You’ve heard of a town crier, right? They existed in the olden days and stood on a platform to announce the latest news. Well, a funeral crier is similar, except this person is hired to cry at a funeral and to mourn. Funeral criers have no relation to the family that is mourning a loss, but their job is to set the appropriate tone for funerals, wakes and viewings.
9. Train Pushers
In Japan, ‘oshiya’ are professional train depot workers whose job is to push people into a crammed subway car. This is especially important in Tokyo, where the underground transportation is always jammed and without help, some patrons may wait an hour before they can get onto a train. You pay the train pusher ahead of time, and he ensures that you will get onto a car during rush hour in the morning and at night. Oshiya don’t guarantee you won’t suffocate once you’re on board, but that’s your business.
10. Laughter Therapist
Yep, things have gotten bad enough that they pay people to help you laugh. That used to be the job of sitcoms, funny movies and life in general, but now laughter therapists are paid to make patients learn how to let loose and laugh. The health benefits of laughter include happiness, muscle tone improvement and an increase in blood oxygen levels. You may also get more laugh lines, which you can just get rid of with Botox, and laugh off the expense.
11. Foley Artist
You know when you’re watching a great horror movie, and you hear footsteps coming down the hallway, but you can’t see anyone and the sound alone scares you to death? Well, movie producers pay someone known as a foley artist to create those footsteps and make them more menacing and creepy, because in real life, footsteps just aren’t that frightening. Foley artists create all kinds of movie sounds, including punches, falls and even that weird hum when a Star Wars lightsaber is turned on.
12. Head Lice Remover
In various parts of the world, and even in some parts of the U.S., a head lice remover is trained to look for fully-grown lice as well as lice eggs in someone’s hair. Lice are difficult to remove, and if even if you use a chemical cleanser, you still need to remove any lice that may have escaped death. Head lice removers use a special comb to sift through your hair and remove lice and lice eggs. If you have lice and you shudder at the thought of hiring a head lice remover…shave your head.
13. Pet Detective
You don’t have to be Ace Ventura to make a living as a true-life pet detective. Yes, this is a real profession, and offers recovery services for anyone whose pet has disappeared, been kidnapped or just run off. Pet detectives specialize in gathering information about your pet, your neighborhood and any other details that can help them track down your lost cat, dog or pot-bellied pig. Pet detectives often use trained search dogs who can obtain your pet’s scent to help the detective locate your beloved animal.
14. Elvis Minister
Truly one of the things that definitely happens in Vegas and should stay in Vegas. Elvis Ministers are professional Elvis Presley impersonators, who will perform a marriage ceremony for couple who must have Elvis’ unique twang to help them say their vows. Elvis Ministers hold licenses to legally marry you, so there’s nothing fake about the ceremony. And most Elvis Ministers work out of Elvis chapels, so you’ll get your fill of Elvis before you become man and wife.
Ok, so there are actually professional musicians who offer end-of-life music therapy to terminal patients. Playing this type of soothing music is the job of a music-thanatologist, who can play folk guitar, harp, violin or some other instrument that offers comfort and relief to dying patients. Music-thanatologists work with each family to design a music program that matches the needs of the patient. Music soothes the body and soul, and can bring sleep, rest and even usher a patient quietly into the after-life.
16. Professional Mermaids
Some of you may remember the movie “Splash,” in which a mermaid falls in love with a man played by Tom Hanks. But in real life, water ballerinas, also known as mermaiding professionals, provide mermaid services for children’s parties, business events or for freaks who like staring at mermaids in the water. Mermaiding pros wrap their lower half in costumes or prosthetics that are incredibly lifelike, and are expert swimmers, who also perform water dances. They’re not cheap to hire, however, because you have to rent the mermaid tank as well, but as a one-off, it may be worth it.
17. Crime Scene Cleaners
Whenever you see a grisly murder on the local news, you probably never think that someone has to clean the mess up. That’s the job of a crime scene cleaner, a person who specializes in cleaning crime scenes for insurance companies and property owners. Crime scene cleaners are trained in the basics of blood-borne pathogens, and they must know now to use equipment to clean up body fluids. They must also be certified to handle hazardous wastes.
18. Daily Wakeup Call Workers
If you’re one of those people who never hears your radio or smartphone alarm, you may need to hire a daily wakeup call worker. This is a call-center worker whose job is to call you at a time that you designate to rouse you from sleep and get you started on your busy day. Wakeup call workers usually call you five minutes before your wakeup time, and also offer reminder calls to help you remember important meetings and events. It works pretty much like a hotel wakeup call, though those are increasingly automated, so maybe not.
19. When-To-Pee Researcher
When-To-Pee researchers are people who are hired by websites or applications that make money telling you when to go and take a potty break during a movie playing in a theater. So these researchers have to watch as many movies as possible, and figure out boring sections of the film, or sections that aren’t plot-heavy, which are safe times for an audience member to go and urinate. Great job, right? It’s pretty subjective, because a boring or unimportant part of a movie to a when-to-pee researcher, may not be boring or unimportant to you, but in the age of instant gratification, trust is the first casualty of convenience.
20. Live Mannequin
Also known as human statues, live mannequins are models who are paid to stand in storefronts or inside a shop and remain still, sometimes for hours at a time. Unlike mannequins, live models give customers a chance to see how a bag or a piece of clothing will fit on a real human body. According to Forbes, a live mannequin can command as much as $100 an hour. But the job isn’t as easy as it might appear, as live mannequins can’t move during their session, or they will shatter the illusion.