Janitor, Porno Theatre
Unlike traditional movie theatres, when it’s safe to assume that the sticky goop under the chair is spilled soda, you’re likely to handle far more, er, interesting liquids. You can meet all sorts of really crazy people, whose idea of fun can border from the slightly unusual to the outright bizarre, which may explain the feather boas and razors you may occasionally find on the chairs.
Buckingham Palace Guard
"Public duties are mind-numbingly boring for soldiers. The fun aspect of the job evaporates after the first week. It's not what soldiers join the Army to do. It requires a very high level of personal discipline but that's about it. It requires no intelligence, zeal, athleticism or initiative. "
Sewer Cleaner in Kolkata, India
Rakesh sits in a low crouch at the bottom of a seven-foot-deep manhole, sloshing away in a swirl of human waste and sediment. Equipped with a hoe and a steel bar, and wearing only a pair of loose purple underpants, Rakesh (who uses only one name) empties the thick black sludge from a clogged sewer into a bucket that his fellow crew members hoist up and dump in the middle of a narrow road.
A small mountain of decaying excrement accumulates between the manhole and a rickety wooden vegetable cart. Two co-workers reach down and yank Rakesh out by his sore, extended arms, his body splattered with putrid muck. At 27, with a wife, three young daughters and a monthly income of about $100, he has been a sewage worker for the Delhi Jal (Water) Board for the past 10 years.
Roadkill Collector. Pretty self-explanatory. Roadkill collectors not only have the job of peeling the remains of dead creatures in various states of decay off the road, they also get to do it while braving oncoming traffic.
Need one say anything?
Cat Food Quality Controller
Quality control on cat food. Test 1: Bury face in a huge tub of it and sniff it to make sure it's fresh. Test 2: Plunge arms in it up to the elbows and grope for bony bits and take them out. Test 3: Scoop up huge dollop of it, smear it flat on surface and prod it with fingers to test how much gristle is there. Uggghh!
Brazilian Mosquito Researcher
Scientists fighting malaria must study the biting habits of the mosquito that spreads it. In Brazil, that’s the Anopheles darlingi, which doesn’t fall for the light or wind traps researchers use in Africa: This smart little sucker will come near scientists only when they offer themselves as bait. In the early evening, when mosquito activity is busiest, a mosquito dinner—er, researcher—finds a nice buggy area and sets himself up inside a mosquito-netting tent with a gap at the bottom. Mosquitoes fly in low and get trapped inside, where the researcher sits stoically, sacrificing his skin to science. He need focus only on his legs to keep him busy: Whenever a mosquito chooses a drumstick dinner, the researcher draws it into a mouth tube (!) and then expels it into a container. Veteran researcher Helge Zieler used to put himself on the menu twice a week. On his best evening, he caught 500 Anopheles in 3 hours. Meanwhile, of course, the skeeters feasted on his entire corpus—a grand total of about 3,000 bites, or an average of 17 per minute for 180 minutes on end. “It’s not so bad,” he says, explaining that his personal response to mosquito bites is an immediate itch that goes away naturally in a few minutes. Except when his response is to contract malaria. Despite taking prophylactic chloroquine, Zieler developed a case that took him two years to shake.
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