And you thought today was gonna be boring ;) This all started the other day when my girl Money Mate Kate posted up some crazy-a$$ jobs she’s taken in the past (Italian Icee Truck Driver, Bone Counter, Substitute mommy?) – I was dying!
And once I began to compose myself, it got me thinking…I’ve done some pretty whacked out stuff too! But as I started writing out this post, another thing occurred to me: If shes’ a frugal person with a frugal blog, and I’M a frugal person w/ a frugal blog, wouldn’t it make sense that OTHER personal finance bloggers would have similar experiences too?
So I reached out to my PF friends & readers on email, twitter, & the Money Blog Network Forum (a *great* resource btw) and hit ’em up for their weirdest jobs they’ve ever done – and HOLY did i get some whammys! I’m not gonna lie – I KNEW some of us frugal ba$tards will get down and dirty to make a few pennies, but what I didn’t know was how far they’d go :) We’re talking Pea Inspecting, Tick Removing, Chuck E. Cheeze Dressing up’ing – jobs you couldn’t make up if you tried.
So grab a coffee, close your office door, and get ready to enjoy some crazy awesomeness:
:: Campground Timeshare Tour Guide | $700-$1400/per sale | You know those tours you “have to take” in order to claim your *free* prizes or weekend getaways? Whelp, I was one of those people who gave them and then tried convincing you to buy one at the end ;) And in this particular case, you’d get your very own campground lot forever and ever! (oooohhhh ahhhh)
:: Wrecked Car washer | $10.00/hr (plus anything you’d find!) | Two of us guys with a van full of water and a generator, listening to headphones and washing the crap out of these things in the hot sun. Apparently smashed cars that are washed bring in $500 more at auction than do dirty/bloody ones (don’t ask). And since it only cost about $5 per car to hook it up, the company raked in the money!
:: Stamp Maker/Package’r | $12.00/hr | Packaging and making stamps (those 42¢ ones) on an assembly line. 12 hour shifts, 4 days a week, one 15 mins break every 2 hours. The craziest part was that we couldn’t wear any clothes w/ pockets, nor bring any bags that weren’t see-through! You know, so we wouldn’t be tempted to steal and sell them on the black market ;) haha…it felt like prison.
And now, jobs from around the blogosphere!
:: Bone Counter | $5.00/hr (age 20) | Temp job in the shipping/receiving department of a company that took cadaver bones (which arrived semi-butchered and frozen) and chopped them up into usable bits for transplant purposes. I was the only temp they didn’t gross the hell out of. – Money Mate Kate
:: Tongue Boy | $0.05 per tongue | Cut the tongues out of codfish. – Money Grubbing Lawyer
:: Meat Packer (I think?) | minimum wage | For 8 hours, I manually flipped one half of figure-8 hamburger patties so they landed on top of the other half, concealing a slice of cheese in the middle to make a “pizza” hamburger. – Financial Reflections
:: Utility Study Researcher (nicknames: Space Cadet, Space Police) | minimum wage | Walking around my college campus, poking my head into classrooms, and counting the number of students in the room – much to the confusion of students and professors. – Stephanie @ Poorer Than You
:: Stock Boy @ Victoria’s Secret | $10.00/hr | See title, lol! – My Journey To Millions
:: Bug Book Stippler | $2.00/hr (in 1967!) | “Stippled” (added dots) to illustrations of bugs in a book being written by a college entomology professor. – Mr. ToughMoneyLove
:: Dirt Sifter | $0.50 more than minimum wage | I would scoop dirt onto a screen, then shake the screen so fine dirt would come out of the bottom – Trent @ The Simple Dollar
:: Promotional Rep for Altoids Mints | $12.00/hr | I had to hand out free samples of mints to people in movie theatres, and before each movie, had to use a microphone to interact and play trivia games with the audience. I had no boss. The company just shipped me out 14 MASSIVE BOXES of Altoid mints and promotional material and told me to work until I had no more inventory. I made my own hours, got to watch all the free movies I wanted with my friends, and got a free megaphone out of the deal. Score! :) – Krystal @ Give Me Back My Five Bucks
:: Class Note-Taker in College | $5.00/week | I did it for 1 semester thinking I’d be a better student. nope! – mauliesmalls
:: Timeshare Telemarketer | $10.00/hr | Selling timeshares in Williamsburg, VA….to people living in Williamsburg Virginia! The call list we had from another account and 1/3-1/2 of the numbers were locals. It had easy 4 hour shifts. I hated the work and left shortly afterwards. – Green Panda Treehouse
:: Pea Inspector | ??? | I’ve never done any crazy jobs but… I knew one guy who was a pea inspector. lol. He inspected peas in a pea factory! haha – Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet
:: Engineering Intern for Metro | $12.50/hr (summer job) | Performed QA/QC on the construction of a Metro Line by visiting different construction sites and verifying that the work was being correctly executed. I had absolutely zero qualifications for this job and I have no idea why Metro hired engineering students for these positions – Budget Save Buy
:: Donation Soliciter | NOTHING! | (Salary was based on donations solicited, and I’m not a very good sales person) I had to go door to door to solicit donations for CALPIRG. (I didn’t even know what CALPIRG was!) – Lynnae @ Being Frugal
:: Direct Marketing Rep | $200/week | Convince people in malls and train stations to sign up for a credit card (for real). Worst. Job. Ever. – Mr. Stokes @ Brizzle Bound
:: Cutco Knife Salesman | NADA. (Never made it out of training, couldn’t bring myself to sell to friends and family.) | Selling cutco knives to friends and family. It was a MLM scheme. – Living Almost Large
:: Dog’s Tick Remover | 1 penny per tick | Remove Ticks from dogs with tweezers. We can almost hear you saying “Ugh!…” but as kids we loved the job since it relieved the dogs from the pests :) – FIRE Finance
:: Dishroom Girl In a Dorm Cafeteria | $6.00/hr | Hairnet, long plastic apron, gigantic sprayer and garbage disposal, washing ridiculous quantities of wasted food down the drain, filthy sopping mess by the end of my shift. – Frugal Babe
:: Electrical-Environmental Systems Specialist, USAF | Enlisted pay grade E-2 through E-5 | Aircraft mechanic – worked in 30+ countries in temperatures ranging from -20F to 135F (not including windchill or heat index). – Patrick @ Cash Money Life
:: Cubicle Farmer | Too good to quit. | Ever seen Office Space? – Patrick @ Cash Money Life
:: Chinese Drive-Thru Window Fast Food Worker | $6.00/hr | Took orders for chinese food in an old Burger King, packed up food, and re-boiled dumplings in the same water for a week. Only lasted a month ;) – Jonathan @ My Money Blog
:: Library Organizer | $10.00/hr (with a max of 20 hours a week) | The mission: Working with a local organization, I was to start a local French lending library in one year with no budget (and by no budget, I mean no money available to me besides my salary, not no budget spend whatever you want). Some asides: Believe it or not, I lived on that salary for a whole year. It involved having a roommate and never going anywhere but I did it. And knowing I could live way below the federal poverty line gives me the confidence to stay on my relatively generous budget now. Oh and in the end I had over 10,000 books all on their shelves in Dewey Decimal categories, and 100 multimedia resources (movies and music mostly) that a purchased from a grant I got. I even opened a month early. And the old people said I couldn’t do it! ;^) – Nicole @ Breaking Even
:: Model For Drug Treatment Center Brochure | $150.00 (1 time fee) | A friend from our church was doing some literature for Hazelden, drug treatment center to the stars. He needed someone to do a before and after picture for the brochure. On the before picture I was a sad, drug-addled youth, and in the after I was a happy, well adjusted young man. It was pretty funny sitting there making sad faces pretending to be on drugs :) – Pete @ Bible Money Matters
:: Farm Hand on a Blueberry Farm | minimum wage (at 14 y/o) | While this job sounds fun, it actually entails riding on a massive blueberry harvester, at wide open speed, through fields infested with wasps, bees, and fire ants, in the 100 degree heat of July. – No Credit Needed
:: Chuck E. Cheese Dresser-Upper | minimum wage | Entertain customers, kids, and mainly myself in the sweltering heat of Hot-lanta dressed as Chuck E. Cheese. – Alan Corey, Author of “A Million Bucks by 30”
:: Watermelon Thrower | $10.00/hr | I worked in a watermelon patch the summer after my senior year of high school. As a thrower, we would pick up watermelons from the field and thrown them into a trailer with a 6′ wall, where a “catcher” was waiting with open arms. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done. I only lasted a week. The money I earned that week helped me with a down payment on my car for college. – Prime Time Money
:: Calf Catcher | Nothing | Wrangle a calf with bare hands and try to gently push it through a cattle squeeze. Try not to get kicked. (I’m a city girl, so moving to a ranch was a rude awakening on how weird jobs can be.) – Squawk Fox
Whew! So did i tell ya, or did i tell ya? We frugal ones sure know how to party :) haha…For all who participated – THANK YOU (esp you Kate)! And for all who still wants to, go ahead and re-live your job all over again by dropping a comment…we’d all love ya for it!
Till next time…God bless ya and keep “the sexy” alive,
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Never done this job…not sure you could pay me enough to actually do it…but it’s worth a watch:
Wow that is pretty impressive. I don’t think I could do that either.. maybe just once to prove it’s possible, though ;)
it’s a shame all my comments got erased here (when we moved from Blogger to WordPress), we had some pretty good additions.
I’ve done a million…. Applebee’s waitress… worked at a steakhouse where they gave me a check and told me not to cash it because they had no money… urm…. psychiatric wilderness camp counselor… tax prep associate… naughty phone chat … voicemail operator for a medical company… security at a hospital (ever touch a dead man’s toe? it’s bone chilling)….i might even come back and add more.
naughty phone chat? hahaha.. that is awesome.
OK You asked for it…I was 14 and had to get my very first SS card and special permission to work, It was 1970 and I made $1.65/hr at a Jack-In-The-Box when they had a big plastic clown head (the clown looked more like Bozo and not at all like the cool “hip” Jack of today. This was in Phoenix, AZ and my job was to stand out in the blistering heat with a walkie-talkie going to cars waiting in line to take orders so customers would get their food quicker than if they had to wait to get up to the clown head, I had hot car exhaust and smell mixed with the heat. I seriously thought I was going to pass out sometimes.
I also had clean-up duties too, because I remember cleaning up the mess created when some real-life clown smashed and smeared an apple pie all over the window, and cleaning up cigarette butts and food wrappers from the parking lot.
The job didn’t last all summer, because the owner wasn’t making as much money as he thought he would from doing it, but I had enough to buy a new outfit and shoes for school.
hahaha that is awesome. and scary at the same time ;)
My brother was a gardener in Palm Beach. A customer had one palm tree not going towards the ocean. His job, you guessed it, was to uproot it and turn it like the others.
Same time period…I worked at a nursing home as a nurses’ aide. I had to clean up bed ridden old ladies who had colon blowing laxatives. Whats worse is I had to scrub the diddle off the towels before they went to laundry. One time it flicked in my face. Yee haw.
Pay?? So low I can’t remember…
Wowwwwww, haha… both of those are crazy! Thanks for sharing ’em with us :) I hope you’ve found something more exciting & for more pay, my friend!
OOoh, I’ve done lots of jobs few of them a little weird/crazy. Worked as a construction laborer, painter, TV extra, model, gardener, house cleaner, industrial cleaner, mail packer, telemarketer, accounts assistant, Excel tutor, quality control tester, fake audience, mover, bartender, cashier, barista, dishwasher. Now I work on a cruise ship and one of my tasks is facilitating the sale of adult movies to guests. Yes, I’m a porn peddler!
Hah! Didn’t see that one coming :)
Let’s see…professional towel folder has to be my weirdest. I couldn’t get over the fact that a health club paid me to primarily fold their towels; sweet high school gig, even if the boss was insane. Other odd jobs I’d never thought I’d do was caregiver for the developmentally disabled. It sounds all noble, but I got bit by a grown woman and another liked to run us over with a power chair. Also working in a call center for an online workout supplement store. Getting yelled at by meatheads jacked on steroids because their shipment was a day late all day made for a short employment duration.
Wowwwww, haha… you’ve got some GREAT war stories over there! Haha… that is too funny. Getting bit???? OMG that’s freaky. Thanks for sharing! :)
Ice cream…ingredient…preparer? I was in high school and my friend had a job at a local ice cream shop. Twice a year all the employees had to ‘volunteer’ their time prepping the seasonal ingredients used in the ice cream. My friend talked me into joining her so for one Saturday I peeled and pitted crates upon crates of peaches, and peeled bunches and bunches of bananas! It was a long, sticky, GROSS day (not all the fruit was in good condition!) But they paid us with as many scoops of ice cream as we wanted at the end of the day, so as a 14-yr-old I was pretty happy about that.
HAH! That is brilliant!! I bet that was some fresh freakin’ ice cream too, thanks for sharing :)
I had a one day job right after college where I went to a Kohl’s parking lot at 3:30am on black Friday and counted the number of cars in each row every half hour. They paid me $30/hour and even paid me hourly for driving time plus whatever the IRS mileage rate was at the time. It ended up working out to something like $42/hour.
Wow, that’s random. And a nice chunk of change too!