In these days of the pandemic, I spend my days going to doctors’ appointments, watching my flowers bloom, and wandering around the internet. I recently browsed several jobs lists, and thought you might be interested in the following. 

Writers note: Maybe they could contribute to characters or plots.

  • Scuba Diving Pizza Delivery 
    • Yes, there is such a job. An underwater hotel in Florida (a bit of an oddity itself) offers pizza which is brought in a watertight case by a scuba diver. (Although food delivery is still allowed, I doubt the hotel has guests just now.)
Mr Marmite
  • Marmite Taster 
    • Why not? After all, there are tea tasters, coffee tasters, wine tasters, etc. Indeed, there is a whole team of Marmite tasters who check for texture, consistency, and flavor.  Marmite—6,000 tons a year of yeasty by-product of beer brewing that very strange [British] people like to spread on toast—is made in Staffordshire, England, and has been since 1902. A taster might eat the equivalent of about 100 jars per year. St John Skelton, also known as Mr. Marmite, retired in 2016 after 42 years as the head of Marmite’s tasting team. He estimates he’s eaten the equivalent of 264 jars over the course of his career.
  • Stunt Taste Tester
I think this pet is confused.
  • Pet Food Taster 
    • One might expect dog foods–including canned food, dry food, bones, chews, etc.—to be tested by dogs, and maybe they are. But they’re also sampled by humans who rate the flavor and texture compared to rival brands and human food. Indeed, pet food tasting is mostly pet food testing and development. These tasters usually hold doctoral degrees, and do a lot of things besides tasting, but in the end they must smell and taste the products. Smell may be as important as taste, given that pet owners are very picky about smell—and probably don’t taste the product themselves.
  • Nose 
    • And speaking of smell, being a “Nose” is an actual job in the perfume industry (and in other industries, though not as commonly) . Also known as a perfumer, a Nose must have an extraordinary sense of smell, used to select and combine elements to create designer fragrances. This job requires more talent than training. Although primarily identified with perfume fragrances, Noses in the food industry create synthetic and natural aromas to be added to prepared foods. The salary range is very broad, but the median salary (in 2010) was $68,320.
  • Dice and Card Inspector 
    • Gambling is a highly regulated industry. Part of the process is having someone measure all the sides of the dice to ensure that they are equal, that the corners are square, and that they haven’t been manipulated to land on a certain number. They are also in charge of periodically destroying cards and dice. They may be employed by state authorities, casinos, or manufacturers. Best estimates of pay range from low 5- to low 6-figures.
Those gloves don’t look thick enough to stop any fangs.
  • Snake Milker 
    • Technically, only mammals produce milk. So what do snake milkers collect? Venom of poisonous snakes, such as asps, vipers, cobras, corals, mambas, kraits, and rattlesnakes. This is hands on—right behind the head, getting the snake to release venom into a jar, beaker, etc. The venom is used to make anti-venoms and other medicines. 
Ancient Egyptian mourners had a well-established pricing structure for their services.
  • Professional Mourner 
    • In many parts of the world, both Ancient and Modern, a loud funeral is supposed to help the dead travel to the afterlife. (It is also a sign of respect from the surviving family members and a chance to display wealth.) Therefore, the crying and weeping of family and friends is augmented by the weeping and wailing of people paid to do so. Modern mourners, technically known as moirologists, can be found online and often charge per service, such as having hysterics and trying to jump into the grave.
    • You can also hire yourself out as a wedding guest or bridesmaid, with extra charges for making fantastic toasts or getting the dancing started.
  • Train Pusher 
    • As far as I know, this job exists only in Japan. These people, “oshiya,” are paid to push passengers into subway cars in order to reach maximum capacity before the doors close.
Pizza and beer not provided. Pizza shirt possibly provided.
  • Full-Time Netflix Viewer 
    • Yep, people are actually paid to do that. Before content is released to the public, an employee views it and assigns a tag, which aids viewers in finding exactly the type of program they want.
  • Drying Paint Watcher 
    • Someone can actually earn a living painting sheets of cardboard to test how long new paint takes to dry, watching for whether it changes color or texture. Hmmm… I wonder whether a colorblind person could do that.
Not creepy at all
  • Living Mannequin
    • For those who have very precisely proportioned bodies and dreams of making everyone’s deepest nightmares come true, working as a living mannequin is the ideal profession. They wear selected clothes and accessories, sometimes with very specific makeup and hairstyles, and pose as part of the store display. Staying very still, staring blankly into the distance, ever-so-subtly shifting as they breathe… And now I’m off to have nightmares!
    • Human Scarecrows are also available to make sure no one ever runs out of nightmare fuel. They’re technically paid to keep pests out of crop fields, but that’s really just a side gig.
Some agencies offer the service for free, but they tend to shed all over the blankets.
  • Professional Sleeper 
    • This is my personal favorite, though I don’t know how many hotels actually have such a person on the staff. Basically, the sleeper sleeps in a different bed each night and makes an evaluation of the bed’s comfort and how satisfying the night’s sleep was. But don’t quit your day job. A professional sleeper earns about $15,000 a year. If paid by the hour, it’s about $10.
    • Professional Bed Warmers perform an essential service for the most discerning hotel customers – huddling under the covers until the patron is ready to go to bed, ensuring there is no shock of cold mattress and chilly sheets. Hot water bottles and electric blankets lack that personal touch.
  • Professional Cuddler 
    • These people aim to make people feel respected, accepted, and worthy by one-on-one, fully clothed, platonic cuddle sessions. Depending on the level of contact, cuddling may also be an effective treatment for skin hunger, the human need for physical contact with other people. Cuddle sessions may be preferable to professional sleeper, for cuddlers earn about $80 per hour.

Bottom line for writers: novelty and variety are good things!

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