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Unusual jobs you've done

Discussion in 'Personal' started by robyn147, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. This stems from Lily's description of some jobs she's done in the past on another thread.
    So in my varied past, I've had some unusual and interesting jobs.
    I once tested operating theatre beds. We had to put weights on them and move them at all angles to see if they passed quality controls.
    I've sold soft toys door to door in Australia. Also on the Manly Ferry as well - pretty sure we were breaking some regulations there.
    I've tested pizzas and ready meals for salmonella. And tested 3 days worth of faeces for fat content.
    Life's been pretty interesting. Anyone else done any unusual jobs?

  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Digging up the remains of the departed

    ..as an archaeologist.

    I also used to import and sell American Fast Food toys to UK collectors as a sideline to teaching.
  3. Not had that many jobs really.
    However the most unusual:
    - selling posh ready meals and desserts to customers on their doorsteps
    - sales assistant at Netto! [​IMG] That was some time back though!
  4. v12


    During one holiday when at university, I worked as a labourer digging up and fixing the sewers in HMP Chelmsford.
    Scary job for only £20 per day cash in hand.
    I'm not sure who were the biggest criminals - the inmates or the firm I was working for!
  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Summer jobs have included:
    • Airport security
    • Packing filofaxes
    • Selling fruit and veg from a market stall
    • Dancing on a barrel outside a nightclub in Corfu
    Two weeks after the last job I started my training as an accoutant.
  6. I once worked as a labourer on a building site extending the sewage works. I was often sent down a trench to break into an existing sewer. I can still remember the smell though I did work on a farm in my youth and mucked out 300 pigs every morning (that's an awful lot of pigshit). Castrating the young boars always made we wince as well (my job was to pick up the nuts!)
  7. v12


    You never quite forget that particular smell, do you Dekka? It's rather cloying in the nostrils.
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Butchers boy when aged 12. Worked at 2 different butchers until age 15. Quite interesting especially at Christmas when we would form a production line to draw and dress an endless line of turkeys!
    The at 15 got Saturday job at Woolworths not a great job but some interesting times at the back of the stockroom!
    18 and a job as a lab tech in a college. Having to get fresh blood for experiments meant regular visits to the abbatoir armed with a flask!
    Then 10 years in the aerospace industry which was very varied but sometimes included dismantling parts from crashed aircraft to determine cause of crash!

    Then 21 years teaching where nothing interesting ever happens!!!
  9. I used to watch pies on a conveyor belt, and if it was a really good day I got to pack them in a box....
    Oh the good old days ;)
  10. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    I bet you had your fingers in every pie, blazer!
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    When I worked in medical physics I was called upon to do all manner of unusual jobs. To be more specific, the things I was asked to make were out of the ordinary.
    For the Dept. of Psychiatry I made an airplane simulator which was basically a mock up of a few rows of seats and windows through which a video of a plane taxiing along a runway and taking off could be viewed on a TV. It had a mechanism that tilted the platform the structure sat on to simulate the experience of take off. It all sound rather crude, but in fact if you sat in the window seat and focussed on the video, you could actually imagine you were flying. The rationale for making this was that lots of people are terrified of flying yet, book flights and freak out on take off to the extent they evacuate themselves. BA were looking for a solution to their cleaning problems and wanted to know more about these passengers. They donated the seats, aircraft windows TV and video for the project.
    More unusually, again for the Dept. of Psychiatry, I was asked to make a device that would measure the strength of an erection. They specialised in treating sex offenders and had a room divided by a two way mirror, behind which they had video cameras. The offender would watch sex videos and his responses noted, but the psychiatrists were interested in getting a measureable response to specific events in the video. The device I made, for anyone remotely interested, was a strain guage consisting of a silicon tube filled with mercury and electrodes at each end. Stretching of the tube alters the flow of electricity through the mercury. It would be wrapped around the base of penis.
    And a device for measuring the rate of micturation in renal patients. A device for capturing the sweat of patients suspected of suffering from cystic fibrosis so it could be analysed for the content of it's salts.
    There was never a dull moment in that job.
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Hah! I did that too at a similar age because my family had a butchers shop and come Christmas it was all hands to the wheel. I just rubbed my nose as I vividly remembered the final bits of turkey plucking that had to be done after the birds were delivered.
  13. Nothing remotely unusual, just 15 years on and off in catering. Served many a celeb. Still trying to block out a very late night (ie getting them to bloody leave) courtesy of the Hamiltons and their 'entourage'.....
  14. DM

    DM New commenter

    Rollercoaster operator. That one attracted the girls.
    Minor indiepopstar. That one attracted the anoraks.
  15. I spent the summer before I started uni researching and starting to put together a guide to all the gypsum production plants in the world.
    This was after I'd spent the summer between years 12 and 13 as a production assistant for the same publishing company. They produce magazines and guides about a variety of building products; cement, gypsum etc. One of their magazines - Global Slag - was 'Guest Publication' on Have I Got News for You about 5 years ago.
  16. bfudge69

    bfudge69 New commenter

    I used to be a regular volunteer for Police lineups which paid quite well. I've also done quite a lot of mystery shopping in local pubs etc. People say there is no such thing as a free lunch: they're wrong. [​IMG]
    I've done several normal jobs like shop assistant, bar staff, doorman and factory work.
  17. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    I have made pizzas, starters in an Indian restaurant, worked the till in a Chinese takeaway and all manner of washing up. Worked as a cleaner all through one summer at the SU where I was studying (cleaning those out of the way places that had things like old cigarette packs with no health warnings, and chocolate bar wrappers marked 3d). Answered phones for three months (great job as nobody listens to a word you say). The two best have to be:
    Packing instant tea and instant tea essence (the stuff from the machines - foul)
    Putting the plastic lids on cream cartons (it must be easier to get a machine rather than eight people to do it)
    Mind you, I did spend a year as a lab technician but signed a confidentiality agreement so I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you.
  18. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I signed a similar one. You shall all have to watch your backs.
  19. EcoLady

    EcoLady New commenter

    Back to sewage-related jobs. Many years ago I spent 9 months collecting samples of raw sewage (and the treated effluent) from sewage treatment works. Paid quite well thanks to overtime and I got lots of attention as females were at that time rare in that part of the industry. I drove a huge van all day, listened to Radio 4 to keep my brain alive and loved it!

  20. my first ever job was packing quiches. Not good, as I hate them!! After then, I went on to be a shop assistant and helped to run a school breakfast/ school holdiay club. Then, I operated the switchboard for 6 months in a local prison (they breed the most GIGANTIC spiders EVER in prisons! Luckily, had lots of prison officers to rescue me in my hours of need!).

    Now working as an LSA in a Special school, which is what I wanted to do to start with!

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