Having a hard day? Boss on your back about those reports you were supposed to have finished yesterday? Nothing to look forward to but a skipped lunch hour and a laborious drive home through rush hour traffic?
Well it could be worse, much worse. How? Try doing one of these jobs and you’ll soon find out.
It’s a widely reported fact that, in the history of the world, more people have been killed by diseases contracted through mosquito bites than all of the casualties of every war combined. One of the worst diseases that mosquitoes spread is malaria. In order to fight the spread of this, too often fatal disease, scientists must study the biting habits of mosquitoes. To do this, they must first trap them.
In Africa, this is done using various devices that the mosquito can be lured into using light and wind. However, in Brazil there lives an all together wilier breed of mosquito, Anopheles Darlingi. This little fellow won’t fall for the traps used elsewhere and will only come near scientist for one reason. Lunch.
As a result scientists are forced to offer themselves up as bait, sitting in a mosquito net with a hole at the bottom. Once the mosquitoes are in, they are trapped. The scientist simply has to collect them up in a tube and deposit them into a container. Whilst being bitten…About 17 times a minute…Sometimes for 180 minutes on end… Running the risk of catching malaria. Easy.
Cat Food Quality Controller
Do you find that cat food makes your stomach turn? Do you hate the way it slops out of the can, held together by what can only be described as (to coin a phrase from Shakespeare) “vile jelly”, looking like some sort of defunct, grotesque organ?
Well, how would you like to put your face into a huge tub of the stuff, sniffing it to ensure it’s fresh? No? How about plunging your arms, elbow deep, into a vat of it, searching for any bones that may be in the mixture? Then, there’s a final test, which is to spread a dollop of it onto a flat surface and prod it. This is done to test how much gristle is in there, naturally.
Bet those report don’t seem so daunting now, right?
A lot of people decide form an early age that they’d really love to work with animals. If you barge into any 6th birthday party (not something I’d advise you do) and ask what the kids want to be when they grow up, you’ll find, amongst the aspiring astronauts, ballerinas and quarterbacks, a number of vets.
If those ambitions don’t work out there’s always the less glamorous, more futile job (form a medical stand point) of roadkill removal. Duties involve scrapping carcases of the asphalt whilst trying not to make matters worse by getting run down by traffic yourself.
Not one for the faint of heart, a strong stomach is required to deal with the cocktail of tyre tracks an offal. Strong arms are also required, for all that dead-weight.
Ape Urine Collector
Alive or dead, animals cause problems in all sorts of professions, but hey, nobody said being an ape urine collector would be easy.
It should be stressed that this work is done for the benefit of science and the word ‘collector’ here should by no means be understood in the ‘comic book collector’ sense. These hardworking men and women aren’t geeks, fanatical about monkey pee. The urine is collected to be used as samples for scientific analysis.
Whilst the guys in the white coats wait patiently in their neat, air conditioned lab for the sample to come in, the collectors are out, tracking down apes, laying down plastic sheets or attaching bags to poles for the apes to pee on/ into.
I wonder if they ever switch roles…
Isolation Chamber Tester
Space is the final frontier. It’s also really, really big and really, really empty. It’s funny how many kids grow up wanting to be astronauts, a job which, assuming you get to go on a space mission, will entail spending months, or maybe even years, travelling in a cramped vehicle with no scenery to look at or even a cheesy radio station to listen to, yet these same kids raise hell if you try to take them on a two hour car journey to visit the grand parents…the hypocrisy!
To make sure NASA has a firmer understanding of the physical and psychological tests that the isolation and claustrophobia of space travel involves it has space engineers, who are responsible for life support systems, spend months in isolation chambers, testing the equipment. And you thought your office cubicle was lonely…
Matthew Pointer is a recruitment specialist in the field of driving jobs but also writes more widely about careers in general, especially those jobs that are out of the ordinary.