b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Strange things you've been paid to do » Page 7 | Search
This is a question Strange things you've been paid to do

I once spent two years being paid by the UK government to play Quake.

What's the strangest thing you've been paid to do?

(, Thu 30 Sep 2004, 10:13)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The first one that comes to mind ... oh wait ... two ...
I'm a classical musician in Germany.

I once got a call to play in the backing band for one song with some one-minute-wonder pop starlet whose career peaked when she sang the theme song to professional ski-jumping on TV (the big time!) and whose name I have completely forgotten. I got given the dates for our TV taping and got the music as a fax (these people are too important to use the mail). STRICT INSTRUCTIONS: "You must have this memorized for the job, you will be on camera etc." I got to the studios and we got dressed by the producers in identical *beige* kit - including beige shoes and socks - and were then called for rehearsal. We tuned up, played the number a few times, made some adjustments ... waited three hours. Pigged out at the giant *FU* TV studio buffet put on for us. Rehearsed again. Waited. Went into studio - no microphones in sight ... ? ... turns out we were hired for Top of the Pops and we had to fake the whole thing for the cameras, but the producers wanted us to "look authentic." The money was bloody good though and I'm sure I ate and drank my fee a second time by the end. Funny note: the German word for lip-synching and air-guitar playing is "Playback" - they don't even have their own for it ...

Another time a mildly-famous-German-person gave me and some mates a gig playing chamber music at the house of a very-famous-former-German-prime-minister (the house even has a mini police station built into it!) ... our employer for the evening wanted to show up with a little something to contribute to the festivities ... or something. We showed up and played maybe 10-15 minutes tops and then got shuffled off into the next room while the big-wigs went on chatting. The next room turned out to be the bar and came equipped with a bartender and multiple enormous gift-for-state-visit boxes of cigars ... barman gave us a nod and a wink and we left an hour later drunk as the proverbial and with our instrument cases bulging with finest tobacco products ... this is what we call "work."
(, Sat 2 Oct 2004, 9:48, Reply)
Market Research in Pubs
I once got paid to visit pubs for 3 weeks!

The job was basic market research, counting the number of customers at different times of day, male/female split, approximate age split and rating the pub on various criteria (were the toilets clean, were the staff poilte, was there a clearly displayed price list and so on).

In addition to basic pay, I got a mileage allowance to compensate for the travel involved and also a drink allowance per pub visited.

Unfortunately as I had to drive from pub to pub I couldn't knock back a pint in each one, but that coupled with soem subtle fiddling of the mileage claims made it the best job ever.
(, Sat 2 Oct 2004, 8:21, Reply)
Masonic Secrets
An ancient, blind former architect paid me £20 per hour to read his 33rd degree freemasonry books into an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. I learned lots of Masonic secrets and was kept busy every Saturday for a couple of years.
(, Sat 2 Oct 2004, 8:00, Reply)
sheep with stomach windows
My daughter working a an ag research lab with sheep that have opening windows to their stomachs.
She has to open the window to remove partially digested food for analysis or add stuff.

Also I have known two different professional fly & maggot breeders in my time.
(, Sat 2 Oct 2004, 3:05, Reply)
The strangest thing I was ever paid for
You wouldn't believe all of the different ways the people behind this satanic ad wanted to mess with me. Paid well, though.

(, Sat 2 Oct 2004, 1:05, Reply)
Impregnating your sisters lover
Like a story line from a channel 5 soap opera I give you 'IMPREGNATING YOUR SISTERS LOVER'.

One of my very good mates has a sister who, to many of my friends bitter disappointment is a full on lesbian. No, not one of those cool ones that likes to make with men, but one of those rare 'I love women, not men' ones.

Anyway, her and her 'life partner' had been looking to have a baby for quite some time but didn't want the hassle and what not of adoption or going to the sperm bank. So instead they offered my friend a cool £2000 for a night of hot steamy romance with the one who wasn't a relative (if you get my drift).

Anyway, like the true gentleman he is, he graciously accepted the offer and right now the 2 lesbian lovers are awaiting their first, and for my mates sake atleast, last baby.

I'm just glad he only sees he sister at christmas.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 23:32, Reply)
I need more stickers !
I had a very cool , yet strange job when i was backpackin' around Australia ;

It started with the person at the job-office being very emberassed when telling me what -could- be my next job :

I had to censor shiploads of Playboys and Penthouses by covering the 'naughty' parts (read 'nips' and 'pussy') with very-strong-not-to-be-removed- black circular stickers.

The shipment was meant for the Asian market (can't remember what country specifically) and somehow that job needed to be done ;

So there you sat with 20 or so backpackers, all covering nips and pussies... all... day...long.

Great to give some anonymous random asian guy the best day of his life by *cough* forgetting a sticker here and there though ;)
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 22:45, Reply)
I once got paid £1500
to do nothing.

As a fill-in between jobs I've been working for my brother installing lighting for country estates and events - Turned up on Monday only to be told be the Lady of the manor that she didn't like the look of us and we were told to clear orf pronto (or I expect the next sentence would include the words "Set-on-dogs-you")!....The cheque arrived on Wednesday and I've been drinking it ever since.


*edit* I also had a job cleaning out operating theatres after use but just thinking about it makes me want to retch.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 21:45, Reply)
Septic systems
Toilets and drains were backing up at this gentleman farmer's property. His "handyman" came to the Manpower Casual office looking for a labourer. I won!

Was then privileged to dig up one of the run-offs of the septic system looking for a blockage. Up to my knees in excrement and urine. Found the blockage, though - a nest of plastic tampon inserters. Got to tell "madam" that you can't flush stuff like this when you're dependent on a septic system.

At least the job ended. They had a monkey that would do anything to achieve eye contact with me and try to communicate something verbally. It might have been, "You've gotta get me out of here - the bananas are making me constipated," or "Do you believe as Wittgenstein does that 'Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts'?"
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 21:32, Reply)
Working in a brewery as a student
We had an ale with a tasteful gold wrapper around the crown. The wrappers arrived in long lines that were stacked half-inside one another, like coffee filters. Four guys would stand on either side of the line, and as the bottles went past, we'd pluck a wrapper from the end of the stack and drop it on a bottle - any bottle. Pluck drop pluck drop pluck drop. For eight hours.

On the midnight shift we would clean the gunk out of the soaking machines, that removed the labels from returned bottles (tipped out the roaches and ciggy ends as well). We got to do this dressed in rubber suits while brandishing fire hoses. We were uniformly pissed within an hour of arriving at work. What could go wrong? I can still see guys propelled across the building with a judicious blast from a fire hose, then getting their revenge.

Fork lift drivers would get bombed, then take corners too quickly with 20 foot loads of fresh beer cases on the front.

We'd drink about 18 beers during a shift (straight off the filler and before it hit the pasteuriser - draft beer in the bottle!), grab a burger after the shift, then go out drinking in the evening.

Oh, we're talking about Canadian beer here, not that American horse-piss.

The strange part is that we had any production at all.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 21:21, Reply)
I love the NHS
A month ago I got paid 15 squid an hour to follow a doctor around on his night shift, ticking boxes as part of some audit. Fortunately the doctor in question was either a lazy btard or chronically underworked, cos I spent the entire week lying on a sofa, watching sky, drinking tea, playing table tennis (though I was standing up for this one), bumming fags etc while he slept soundly in the on call room.

2 weeks later they sent me a cheque for £800! Now my liver hurts.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 21:00, Reply)
e-list celebrity dogsbody
Whilst at my time at "Britain's Best New Theatre" here in 'Keynes, i was often found running around doing odd jobs for the actors between shows like getting them food, a newspaper that sort of thing.

Anyway, during a Pantomine a few years ago Sooty and the bloke who 'operates' him was part of the show and backstage there were 6 Sooty puppets just to be sure nothing went wrong.
For a weekend during the panto when visitors were given tours backstage, i was paid to sit in the corridor accross from the room all the Sootys were stored in to make sure none of them were 'Tampered' with.

Bizarre to say the least....
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 20:53, Reply)
Well, not me...
But a friend of mine was paid $10 to walk around naked with a sign covering his front and back which said "Will work to get laid". Needless to say he never got any jobs.

(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 20:25, Reply)
Aus Horse Sales
When I lived in Australia, I on more than one occassion was paid Aus$200 a day to work at the horse sales picking up shit. The yearling racehorse walks in and as he /she is being bid on, he/she craps everywhere as the auctioneer raves on and on, and I go out and pick it up.

In front of over 20,000 people.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 20:05, Reply)
Hot as Hell
I worked in a vinegar factory just before uni. The stench was unimaginable and couldn't be washed off. Also all the jobs involved the vinegar being hot so I had lots of nice little burns on my hands too.

The factory wasn't modernised so one of the jobs I had to do was to put the little paper packing slips into the trays of vinegar bottles as they rattled down the ceramic rollers towards the cling film wrapper. An endless stream of trays with me putting a little bit of paper in each because I was cheaper than a machine. And the vinegar being hot I singed the back of my hand slightly more with each one. For 3/4 hours at a time...

Needless to say I got a better job pretty sharpish.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 20:01, Reply)
Two words: Bat shit
I once spent an lovely afternoon during the summer holidays from university crawling around on my hands and knees in what must have been 2-3" of bat dung lining the rafters in a church attic, running cables for the new lights my employer was installing.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 17:58, Reply)
Unusual jobs
As a junior doctor, I've had to do many strange things in my job.

The strangest was to remove a turnip from someone's rectum.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 17:55, Reply)
My Ex-Girlfriends Mother
asked me to come round every friday to work on her house as she'd recently divorced. After two weeks she then got me to work on her. At least I still got paid my £50 per day. I worked on both jobs for about 6 mths before people told her I was obviously taking her for a ride (apologies for the pun) as they could he redecorated the whole house in the time it had taken me to do 3 rooms.

Easy money for an 18 yr old! Ah Those were the days...
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 17:39, Reply)
I've paid my dues godammit
Night shift in a bread factory, 8 hours of standing over a conveyor belt, watching as all the little individual trays of pre-baked dough passed by.

My purpose, to pick off any odd lumps so all the bread was nicely bread-shaped when it passed through the oven on the other side of the warehouse.

It's amazing how quickly the smell of freshly baked bread slipped way, way down my 'best smells ever' list.

The only positive thing to be taken from this experience, was the fact that any subsequent job I've had, however dull, has felt like a non-stop rock and roll mind-scramble of excitement.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 17:25, Reply)
MSG goodness
One school hols I took a job in a factory that packaged various health foods. And spices. And other foodstuffs. Ah, the memories...

Spending a day packaging MSG into 50g packets. Load hopper from large drum. Put empty bag on other end of machine. Turn machine on. MSG shakes down chute into bag, sending up clouds of MSG dust, turns off when 50g has arrived in bag. Sneeze. Send bag through heat sealer. Repeat ad nauseum.

Salting peanuts in a row of ordinary cement mixers.

Using said mixers to "repackage" out of date various carob shapes and different dried fruit into "special carob mix", sticking a new use-by date on the resulting mix and sending it back out to stores.

"Tidying the coolrooms" for days on end, trying all the goodies therein.

It could have been worse - my Dad was pushing me to take a summer job on an oil rig. I don't think "rigger's pet" was for me.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 17:02, Reply)
paid for doing not much
I was once paid by the French government to be a language assistant - the thing is at that time all the teachers were on strike on and off for the whole of the six months I was employed so instead of teaching 6 hours a week I taught a total of 3 hours in six months, but still got paid as if I had done 6 hours a week, so essentially I was paid for loafing about and drinking coffee in the sunshine - nice eh!
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 16:55, Reply)
I once was
paid a tenner by my gullible mates to eat ten cigarette butts from an ashtray sloshing in beer.

Cue me keeping a brave face on for ten minutes after 'til I could sneak off to the loo and chuck the whole lot (+ inevitable carrott pieces) back up and decorate the loo bowl.
Unpleasant, but paid for quality kebab and cab ride home!
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 16:52, Reply)
I was once paid to dress up in a chicken costume
and hand out tiny fake chocolate eggs to children. It the hottest Easter I can remember, and the suit had been worn by upwards of twenty different people over the previous three weeks without being washed. It stank, and was still moist with the sweat of the previous occupant - one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had, it must be said.

After an hour or so I was choking on the fumes so badly I had to get some fresh air, so valiantly struggled to pull off the utterly steamed-up head and light up a fag.

Cue small child turning the corner to be greeted by a giant, stinking, soggy, headless chicken with smoke rising from its severed neck. The screaming didn't stop for some time.

Does traumatising small children count as strange?
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 16:36, Reply)
Dinners, sandpapered skin and big brother
A few spring to mind:

-I was a dinner lady on a territorial army camp for 3 summer holidays, serving up 3 meals a day to [mostly] horrible children. Making 500 rounds of spam sandwiches between breakfast (at 6am) and lunch is no fun for 76p per hour. We were in the middle of nowhere too - one camp was 40 miles from the nearest town somewhere in Northumbria, another was slap bang in the middle of Sherwood forest.

-I've had fellow scientists sandpaper my arm until it bled for £100, in the interests if studying the inflammatory reaction afterwards

-Focus groups - easy money, but once you've done a couple, they don't want you anymore. Campaigns that got my input (for £40 a session) included a long-defunct domain names company, Re-designing the packaging for Scan meatballs (the one of the the shelves now is the one our group designed), an internet company who wanted to get people to make bets as presents for their mates, at £10 a go [never saw them come to light], and Amazon. The Amazon one in particular was odd - they had two campaigns they were thinking of running - one centred on "the box" (i.e., the excitement of getting an Amazon box), and the other was to do with their recommendations-based-on-what-you've-bought feature, which unfortunately came across as a deeply sinister Big Brother is watching you scenario.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 16:32, Reply)
I'm a nurse...
...and during my training and subsequnet employemnt I have done many odd things including -

Being regularly goosed up by old ladies.

Peeling dead skin off of burnt people.

Following a consultant round, listening to what he had to saying patients and then putting a tick on a clip board.

Advising a chav mum and her even chavvier offspring about good bowel habits.

Collecting dirty nappies in order to weigh them.

Removing and then re-applying a Ddressing to any extremly burnt knob.

Learnt Mandarin, Arabic, Lingala, Hindi, Polish and Hebrew(or at least enough to ask 'have you had a poo' to someone).

Accompanied dead bodies to the morgue.

Given antibiotics which make bodily fluids turn orange.

Spent 3 weeks in a room with a five-year old watching 'Wacky Races' on repeat.

Taken samples of every known bodily fluid.

Suctioned up all manner of multicoloured gunge from people's lungs.

Spent a night shift convincing a nutter that there was not a dragon in the air con vents.

Spent 4 weeks in a house occupied by 3 young chaps with learning difficulties basically being paid to eat 3 meals a day and got to Lakeside(truly a chav mecca).

Telling one of said aforementioned gentlemen to kindly please 'go and wank in your room, Alex and Phil(not their real names) are watching the football'.

Checking linen baskets on an old people's ward to make sure that one 'confused' old lady had not crapped in one of them.

I could go on..and refuse to apologise for the length.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 16:10, Reply)
I once had sex with a young boy.
Oh wait.. you said payed?

(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 15:48, Reply)
another quick one.

One guy I know for a student job worked at Sunvale wanking off turkeys into a test tube in a big warehouse so they could inseminate the female turkeys.

He says whenever he hears turkeys 'gobbling' it gives him the shivers.

(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 15:41, Reply)
You ain't seen me, right
When I was a nipper, I was on me skateboard flinging recklessly around my estate when my mate's neighbour's car sort of got in the way. I was flung up. over the bonnet and onto the road on the other side. He was so guilty, and worried that we'd shop him that he gave us £20 to keep us quiet. Bearing in mind I was 7 and this is in 1981, this was a splendid amount of cash.

I spent it in caps for my toy gun. About 5000 of them. In one go. Best week ever. Fact
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 15:41, Reply)
Solvent Abuse
As a 17 yearold...
Summer job, Small unventilated room, cleaning 1metre diameter Aluminuim disks (freshly machined) that were to be used for giant cotton-reels for the weaving industry...

Can't remeber the pay, but basically I got these disk on a table, sloshed a can of Celulose Thinners onto it and wiped and wiped and wiped. More thinners... more wiping. Eventually the cloth would remain uncoloured.... Change Disk... More thinners. etc.

It was summer... and warm, and there were no windows. I got through 15 liters of Celly a day, and it all evaporated into the air that I was breathing.

The guys laughed thier asses off at me when i came out for lunch breaks... Apparently I was completely off my tits and would talk total and utter bollox. I can hardly remeber it. I rekon it f*cked my memory.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 15:28, Reply)
Y2K Bug Watching
Got paid a large pile of cash to sit watching computer equipment for a large company - as the head-bloke had read something about this bug that would hit on the dawn of the new millennium.

So we sat there - very high up in a tower block - with a nice view over london, several company provided bottles of very expensive plonk all waiting for something that WE knew wasn't going to happen.

Then left at 00:20 £900 richer and ready to party.
(, Fri 1 Oct 2004, 15:26, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1