Grade schoolers have a much easier time deciding their future careers than first-year college students or even college seniors. There’s no societal judgment if you want to work on a garbage truck or join the circus. You can also dream a lot bigger–like aspiring to be an astronaut or the president. By the time you’re old enough to get a job, you realize that only a few people get to work the really cool ones. If you can’t get a good job, you might as well get a weird one. Here are six of the strangest jobs in the world.
Passenger Arrangement Staff
The people in this line of work are better known as “people pushers.” Major cities in the island nation of Japan are packed with people, all of whom need to make it to work on time. Japanese public transportation hired “passenger arrangement staff” to deal with an overcrowded train system. People pushers politely shove passengers onto crowded trains.
Technically, working as a vomit collector is a sub-category within being an amusement park janitor. Combine heavy fried food with stomach-churning rides, and puke is a common feature beneath roller coasters. Amusement parks hire people with iron constitutions to clean up the vomit as soon as it happens.
Street vendors in Mexico carry suitcases containing electric shock machines. Passerbys pay money to take part in a “game” of wills. They hold on to the positive and negative electrodes of an electrocution device. The vendor cranks up the voltage (to a maximum of 120V) until the participant yells.
License Plate Blocker
In an effort to deal with overcrowded streets in Tehran, license plate numbers determine the days a vehicle is allowed on the road. Plates ending in even numbers can use the streets half the week; odd numbers the other days. Plentiful traffic cameras enforce the rule. But you can make money as a pedestrian, running behind illegally operating cars to cover the license plate number. It sounds like an excellent job for people who are into physical fitness.
Egypt, China, the Mediterranean
If you put on a good show when you’re grieving, you might have a future as a professional mourner. People who worry about low turn-out at their funerals can hire professional mourners. They’re virtual strangers who will come and grieve, give eulogies, even comfort or entertain family members present at the memorial.
In the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, things go awry now and then. When accidents happen, sometimes the bicycles end up in the many canals. Up to 14,000 bikes end up underwater every year. Amsterdam hires bicycle fishers to keep the waterways clear.