People Share The Weirdest Jobs They Ever Had
William Warby/Unsplash

Growing up nobody tells you that there are TONS of jobs out there to choose from.

We're presented options like "teacher" and "doctor" and "lawyer" and "sales person" - but nobody tells you that you can grow up to be a table, someone's fake boyfriend, or a shark-booper.

Yeah, I'm particularly heated about not knowing that last one was an option. Kid me would have chosen a vastly different career path had I known professional shark-booper was an option.


Reddit user CaptainLiv47 asked:

"What was the weirdest job you have ever had?"

They say it's never too late to make a change, so maybe there's still time for me to boop some sharks when I "grow up."

Clearly there are TONS of weird work options, though.

Exactly 12

"I used to work for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Weights and Measures Division— I was in charge of making sure all rulers were exactly 12 inches long."

- 0Ring-0

"I work in Quality in manufacturing. This is way more important than people think."

- WET318

"I picture you having this ruler made of pure platinum that is EXACT, then going to like school supply manufactures and just snapping random rulers off the production line to compare them."

"I also picture you with a big mustache and tiny glasses."

- dbatchison

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Shark Booper

"Underwater videographer for a National Geographic documentary shoot on Tiger Sharks."

"There were always two of us underwater for the filming. One with the camera and the other one just behind and above with a long aluminum pole with a crossbar on the end. We called it 'the Defender Pole'."

"If any shark came too close (these were some very large sharks) to the cameraman, you'd give it a gentle boop on the snoot with 'The Defender Pole'."

"The project was headed by a guy named Greg Marshall, who invented a device called "Crittercam" to attach to wildlife such as sharks, turtles, lions and stuff. He was the Nat Geo producer, and along with the amazing Birgit Buhleier, headed the documentary project."

"Monkey Mia in Shark Bay, Western Australia is a very remote beach resort famous for the wild dolphin population which comes in close to the beach most days. The greater Shark Bay area is home to a huge & diverse range of marine life - including a shitload of sharks of course."

"There is a resident group of international scientists who come from all over the world to study there (dolphins, sharks, turtles). One of the PhD candidates was studying Tiger Sharks (Mike Heithaus) and Nat Geo teamed up with him to film his research as part of the documentary storyline - including putting Crittercams on the dorsal fins of the sharks to see what they did in their natural habitat."

"The sharks would be temporarily caught on static lines, then measured, blood samples taken etc - and then the Cam would be temporarily attached to the fin."

"A lot of our filming work was to be underwater during the catch and release stage - Ian Kellett (the Head Cinematographer and great friend from then on) & myself, one of us filming, the other on Boop Snoot duties with 'The Defender Pole' as the shark swam away."

"The Crittercam would automatically release after some hours, we would retrieve the device and they would study the footage. It was fascinating."

- seavisionburma

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Granny Stripper

"I once asked a guy what he did for work and he told me he 'drove a granny stripper'."

"I assumed this was slang for some road building or agricultural machinery, but nope... He was the driver for a 70 year old stripper."

"I think it was sort of a 'gag gift' situation, for example where she might be hired by the best man at a bucks night to gross out the groom. I can only assume she was ok with that."

- AnchovyMargherita

"I once had a job as a Stripper working for a printer. The job had nothing to do with removing my clothes."

"What that meant was that I took a brush and painted some stuff on tiny holes that would appear in the film they were using to develop the printing plates."

"The printer specialized in making those paper menus and similar things. ONE of our clients was "Busty Rusty" (or was it "Rusty Busty"? I forget...) an actual stripper that wanted some flyers put out on the tables at the strip club she worked for."

- RetiredEpi

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On-Call... Kinda

"I made $30k a year to be this guy's on call driver when he came to LA."

"He only came like twice a year for a day or two at a time and I got to drive his Bentley when he was in town."

"I wasn't an official Bentley chauffeur, though they do exist."

"I got my ARCA racing safety credentials at 16 and my NASCAR credentials at 18. Class A at 21 with every added credential possible and then I gave one of my buddies rich friends a ride home one night."

"We talked on the drive from Hollywood to Santa Barbara to his house and the next day I got a call from someone richer than him thanking me for getting his friend home safely and offering me the job."

- Toof-Less

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Free Samples

"I once got paid to give out free samples of coffee at a gas station."

"I got there at 5am to be given this huge backpack with a giant container of coffee in it, and it had an air compressed nozzle that I would use to spray coffee into sample size cups."

"I was told to approach anyone pumping gas and give them one."

"It was a disaster. The air pressure was too much so the coffee would blast out every time and get all over my clothes. I kept burning myself as a result."

"It was a heatwave so no one really wanted them anyways and people laughed in my face."

"Multiple people also told me I should have gone to college, which I was in. This was just part of a summer job before my senior year."

"It was humiliating and I never went back."

- earthshifts

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Japanese Cabaret Girls

"I used to live down the road from a cabaret club in Japan - like a place where you paid to drink with girls and talk to them, basically. Not overtly sexual but if the cabaret girl was willing it could be."

"I used to stay up late back then so often bumped into them coming back from work around 2-3am. Some of them were basically my neighbors and I offered some supper once."

"They rarely ate properly if at all and drank too much at work so they took to the supper with the type of gusto you only get when you're drunk-peckish."

"I guess they liked my cooking. And I was a decent listener I suppose, so they hung around more and more and got guilty about eating too much of my food."

"That turned into me getting this weird gig where I got paid to essentially make food for 5-6 cabaret girls per night and let them drink bottled tea and bitch about their clients till they sobered up."

"Sometimes they puked or had to crash at mine because they were too wasted; if that happened they often paid me a bit more out of embarrassment despite me insisting they didn't have to."

"Some of them made BANK. 10k to 15k USD per month on average. I was paid like 40 per head so could make 200 per night in cash usually. Did that 2-3 days a week while I was living in Japan. Weird but really not all that bad and supplemented my living costs nicely."

"At the end of the day, they just wanted someone to talk to after a long day and homemade food to come back to."

- threechance

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The Intern

"Internship at a sex shop…. Don’t ask me how but my school managed to find a spot in the financial sector at a sex shop."

"I kid you not, the lady was the only person working there and she had 4 interns managing the whole business whilst she was maybe a few hours each week at the shop."

"At one point she even said f*ck it, you guys are managing the shop as well."

"We had no idea wtf we were supposed to do."

"One time a customer came in and asked us if we could sell some weed. We said we don’t sell that here, he went away and we called our boss explaining what happened. She yelled at us through the phone for not selling him drugs because apparently she sold drugs."

"Note that drugs are allowed in our country but only to be sold at verified stores."

"After that (this was like 1.5/2months into the intern ship and we were supposed to be there for 9 months) we were all like hell no, we ain’t getting paid so we won’t deal with this shit."

"She was unstable as f*ck shouting at us if we did something wrong if she was at the office/shop. We left a note on the door that the shop was closed, locked the door, informed our school and left the fuck out of there."

- Nutella_Cooki

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Inventing Stories

"I spent the summer working a night shift as a writer/editor on the tv series Big Brother. Very strange. I felt like Ed Harris in the Truman Show."

"But the best thing was, we were all at desks on the big sound stage at Elstree Studios, where films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark were made. Under my desk in yellow chalk, it said GOTHAM CITY WEST as they’d just finished filming a Batman film there."

"My job was to follow everything as it happened via a huge bank of loads of monitors. Then write up 'stories' that would go on the site and then be picked up by national tabloids and other websites."

"The problem was, if two housemates had an argument at 2.15am and I wrote about it and uploaded it, then other media would pick up on it pretty much instantly and then the Big Brother TV programme the next evening would have to cover that and show footage."

"So I was essentially the first line of deciding what got on the show the following day. And I would see everything totally live and unedited. Including at one point a drunk woman sticking a wine bottle up herself."

"But there was a lot of narrative shaping as well. You could make someone look funny by only covering the funny things they said/did. Or make someone look clumsy by only showing the times they were clumsy. Or stupid, etc."

"If they filmed you or I for 24hours then it would be easy to pick out the things we did at certain times and create a narrative about us."

- fletchindubai

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Stand-In

"I was a stand-in boyfriend for girls to take home during festival periods. Just so the girl don’t have to deal with the parents / grandparents grilling them for being single / leftover woman."

"Was a fun gig, I got free food, meet some nice and interesting people."

"I stopped now that I’m married, but my wife still wants to pimp me out for that extra $ LOL"

"This is actually very common where I'm currently based (Hong Kong). I hear same stories in China also."

"There are markets for male and female where I have heard people do trades where people go to each other families and after the dinners they go back to their normal life."

"But sometimes people pick people who are more presentable or even speak another language, I don't know why but I assumed it's for a exit strategy to tell parents we broke up afterwards?"

- Icewing

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Being A Table

"Human buffet table."

"I went to a sex convention to visit some friends who were working and ended up getting tossed a spare vendor badge. Spent the whole weekend hanging out in the Dungeon, chatting with slaves and their Masters and watching the live stage shows."

"Went for a smoke and ended up chatting with a lady who ran a pole dancing studio (they were doing fully clothed pole dancing demos on the stage all weekend) and we were just chatting when her phone rings and it's her employee bailing on a private event in like 2 days."

"She starts complaining about it, and I guess she was hired to MC a new year's event for a BDSM group at a strip club. Her staff was entirely former pro strippers so she had hired a couple of them to be human buffet tables, but everyone bailed. I jokingly said "fuck, that would be cool!" and she offered me the job."

"I got free tickets ($75/each) for me and my boyfriend at the time to the party and had a blast. Then at 11:00, I went in a back room, stripped to just my thong and was wrapped head to toe in saran wrap."

"I laid on a table, they layered all the food on me and then I got carried out on the table like a fucking queen by 4 big bouncers."

"I was told to have fun with it, so I would talk to people a bit as they grabbed the food. A lot of them had no idea it was a real person and thought it was a blow up doll or something until I would say hi."

"I scared a lot of people. Lmfao"

"At 11:45 I got ushered to the strippers change room, removed the saran wrap, had a quick shower, got redressed and went to keep partying."

"I made $750 and met so many awesome people."

- purple-paper-punch

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Here, Piggy Piggy

"Pig wanker."

"Best paid job. As the lab technician (I could use Google) I got a big house all to myself. Because I have no sense of smell, the job didn't bother me at all."

"All I really had to do was sit on a stool with a pig d*ck in one hand and a cup in the other, then look down a microscope count sperm. $28 an hour and a house to myself. I was f*cking mad to give it up."

"Now as a vet tech in Canada I calculate drugs, monitor for surgery and explain vaccines to morons six days a week 8-10 hours a day and get screamed at for $21."

- Bushtuckapenguin

Happy Illumination Entertainment GIF by Sing Movie Giphy

The Tutor

"I once tutored a lady who ran a whorehouse to help her get her high school equivalency."

"She got it. Then she went on to law school to become a lawyer and represent sex workers."

- CatboyInAMaidOutfit

"Wow thats pretty impressive"

- CaptainLiv47

Alison Brie Community GIF Giphy

Living History

"I worked for a living history farm."

"One day I'd be tending the gardens, the next I'd be in period clothing teaching kids how to make paper stationary or hand dipped candles, and the next I'd be be dressed up pouring wine and serving hor d'oeuvres. No two days were the same."

"On the grounds we had a Victorian house full of antiques, old barns, gardens, ponds, walking trails, chickens, cows, horses, etc."

"I loved that job."

- Moonlight1219

county offaly architecture GIF by Acorn TV Giphy

Visual Verification

"No idea what the title of this job was…but in college my job was part of the athletics department. I was given a list of student athlete pictures and I had to go to each class, stare through the glass in the door, and make sure they were attending."

"They could have been kicked off the team if I didn’t see them. It was really difficult when I had to go to 200+ lectures."

"As an epilogue, that job lost its funding the following semester so then they put me in the athletics study center where athletes had to sign in for so many hours a week."

"I had to police these other college students and make sure they were studying. I was also absolutely NOT ALLOWED to do any schoolwork at this work study job."

"I found so many students sleeping but didn’t say anything."

- SirDaedra

Interested Creep GIF Giphy

The Sessions

"I’m a musician, both live and studio, and I have had some very strange gigs in both settings."

"I did some studio vocal work for a 'songwriter' whose songs were clearly all about him having an affair. They were the corniest, and frankly god awful songs, but a gig is a gig."

"The weirdest part was how he would talk to me between sets. He would be like:"

" 'Hey, that was a really great take man, really great. Hey on this next one, I want you to picture yourself at a swanky hotel bar, and you lock eyes with the girl at the end, she’s just sent a drink your way' blah blah blah.”

"He would just go on and on, 'painting mental pictures' for me. Basically just telling me details about his affair. Very weird, and annoying on many levels, but mostly because I had the worst of those godforsaken non-songs in my head for like a month after."

"He still calls me every now and then to ask me to sing on stuff, and somehow I’m always busy on the day of the session."

- bassocontinubow

Times Square Smile GIF by sonybroadway Giphy

Not Fun

"Guerilla grower helper."

"Wake up at 3am, drive to the woods, hike in hundreds of pounds of fertilizer. Act like a farmer. Go home."

"Paid $250 a day in the mid 90s. It was so stressful I only did it one season."

"But it did lead me to trim jobs. Pay was great, but a month of trimming 8 hours a day is very tedious."

"Cannabis is one of my favorite things but the farming and processing the product is not fun."

- theironunderneath

half baked smoking GIF Giphy

Playing With An Octopus

"Worked at an aquarium behind the scenes looking after all the fishes. It was wonderful and I miss it, honestly so peaceful."

"Part of the job was 'enrichment' for the octopus."

"This involved building lego food puzzles for him that he would have to take apart to get food, and other such puzzles to get to food. We also got 'octopus cuddles' on rare occasions when he was feeling friendly which was just him saying hello and wrapping a tentacle or two around your arm."

"Most of the rest of the job was tank maintenance, daily water testing, feeding, cleaning etc"

"One time had to assist on a fish post-mortem too, to ensure cause of death was no risk of disease or issue that would harm the remaining fish."

- smolandworried

IT

"I had a 2 week contracted assignment to fill in for an IT support guy who was taking some time off."

"I had no knowledge of the computer system that I was supposed to be supporting. I didn't even have a login. I just sat there and read the newspaper until the day was over."

"Thankfully, the phone never rang once. I think it was some sort of scam position that the manager had running with the IT placement firm."

- dartdoug

Season 6 Nbc GIF by The Office Giphy

Speech To Text

"My weirdest job was also my coolest and best job. I worked for a deaf/Hard-of-Hearing relay center."

"The user would log in to a text system and give us a phone number, and then I would place the call, acting as their mouthpiece."

"It was kind of strange at first because I had to get used to listening and speaking in complete monotone simultaneously, because we relayed the hearing user's part of the conversation via speech-to-text software so we had to be clear and robotic for the software."

"Doing both sides of the conversation was a bit strange. But, I felt like I had a job that was worthwhile, even if I did end up going through the automated system for social security several times a day."

"What made it strange was when we had to relay calls that were obviously pranks, but had to take them anyway because we have no idea if the person in the text system is hearing or not, and even if they're not, we weren't in the business of censoring anyone's phone calls."

"If they want to prank call, that's their business."

"One of my last days there, I had to listen to the older woman who sat behind me say, 'oh. Yes. Orgasm. Orgasm. Orgasm. Yes. F*ck me hard,' in the most robotic monotone for forty-five minutes."

- Silence115

Cant Hear Baby Boomers GIF by MOST EXPENSIVEST Giphy

What Should Have Been A Guy's Dream Come True

"Costume dresser."

"I was around 21 at the time and was beyond excited to be working on a feature. The main costume dresser left because she wasn't getting paid (and later I found I wouldn't either) so I was picked to do the job because I was the only one close in age to the main actresses -- youngest being 18 and oldest being 25."

"The studio thought they'd be more comfortable with me."

"I was stoked because I knew I was about to see f*cking hot and nude college aged girls. That is how I was looking at it as a dude and for a moment that was exactly what I got."

"It was awesome and would be a moment I'd cherish forever...and then it wasn't."

"You see, I learned an important lesson that day -- a life lesson really: dressing women in general sucks."

"Holy crap, as a guy you would not believe how incredibly challenging and difficult it is to get women dressed for a movie! You cannot believe the sh*t they go through.

"Some of the clothes had to be taped to their bodies to be form fitting. They also had to wear pasties, which if you don't get them on correctly you then have to peel off; which is essentially like ripping duct tape off your nipple."

"There's also pins you have to poke in and then sew on. Even more tape was used on their breasts to prevent them from bouncing (bras were a no-no because you can see their outline on the costumes -- not form fitting)."

"Thigh high leather boots are not functional to walk in and are like two sizes too small, and need even more tape to be form fitting."

"Unitards (which is what they wore for the finale) usually means your butt cheeks will hang out, so more tape, needles, and glue there too. Lots of baby powder to get into the costumes quicker."

"The women got hurt, they couldn't breathe, they'd piss themselves because they couldn't get out of the costumes in time."

"Blood and band aids. Sweat filled balloons that were spanx. Tears that could fill a bowl of soup."

"It was unlike any pain I'd ever seen or experience I've ever heard of."

"What should have been a guy's dream come true soon became a walking nightmare that could only be thought up by some gender studies professor with pink hair and a belly. Never before have I understood a concept so completely foreign to me. I'll never experience this in my life ever, but just working around it and having to comfort some of these girls and women because it just got too much."

"So yeah, now anytime I see a movie where a woman is wearing a costume that isn't just clothes, I f*cking wince. Yes, there are sets that have been able to run through these things smoother and less painful. But the one I worked was working on a budget of a college dorm room, so we didn't necessarily have top professionals here."

"Still, the stories I've heard in that part of the film community are not far off from this story either."

- Bellude

Screaming Ashton Kutcher GIF Giphy

You've read what Reddit has done for weird work, but what about you?

We know our readers aren't all working 9-5 jobs.

It's your time to shine, you wonderful weirdos, so tell us what you do!


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