The furious woman started screaming incoherently, spittle settling on her lips, and it took me a moment to realize the rant was aimed at me.

As other shoppers stopped to determine what all the fuss was about, a few of her words started to become clear.

She was talking/yelling about baby pigs. Even then, trying to steady myself from the onslaught, I didn’t really understand what her problem was until she called me a murderer who hated animals.

“Don’t you care about the baby pigs?” she screamed.

Then I realized my crime. I was offering free tastings of crackers with some new brand of ham.

This was right at the time one of Australia’s top stories was the mistreatment of farmed pigs and the terrible conditions in which they were forced to live.

The outburst left me speechless. How could I defend myself, a self-professed animal lover who cares deeply for all living things?

“I’m just doing my job” seemed like a lame reply in the face of such outrage and passion.

She finally moved on and other shoppers stopped by my little table to offer a kind word, or bravely sample the evil ham.

Just another day as a demo lady (store demonstrator).




This was probably one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever done.

The four-hour shifts had me standing, almost always in the freezer section of the supermarket, behind a little table that I put together myself.

I loved those little tables. When packed they could fit in a box that fit inside a shopping trolley.

When put together, they had little shelves and enough space on top to hold a microwave, toaster oven or electric frypan.

The job often entailed cooking and that was a good distraction from the sore feet, boredom, and cold.




For the most part, customers were friendly and kind and it was rare that they would hurl abuse.

While I count it as the worst job I’ve done, I am also grateful for the experience because it taught me so much and gave me a much-needed confidence boost – despite the occasional rant from an angry person.

I learned how to be more humble and patient and was constantly reminded not to judge a book by its cover. And I learned new ways to be creative and grateful.

I didn’t however, miss that job when I left to take up more opportunities to work as an art therapist.




Could there be a worse job? Absolutely. Did you know people get paid to sniff armpits?

I’m not kidding. Various cosmetic companies will happily pay you to sniff armpits to ensure their deodorant product is working properly.

How about a pet food taster? Our little pooch gets the best food on the market but I’m still pretty sure I don’t want to taste it.


dream jobs picture


Would you like to be a snake milker? Somebody has to collect to the venom used to make antivenin. I’m not as terrified of snakes as many are but I would still be pretty scared about trying to squeeze that venom from the glands near their sharp fangs.

I actually love worms. As the earth’s mini bulldozers they are the magic that makes gardens grow. I’m pretty sure I would not want to spend my nights searching for their colonies and collecting them so fishermen can use them as bait.

A professional ear cleaner? In some parts of India, these people will clean your ears with a cotton-covered needle and tweezers.

How about a face feeler? These people are hired by companies wanting to know if their shavers produce the smoothest skin.

A professional mourner sounds like it could be depressing. They are hired to cry alongside genuine mourners at funerals.


A professional cuddler is more my style. They can earn more than $60 an hour. I prefer to give my hugs away.

In Japan, people are paid to be professional pushers – those who shove commuters onto trains during peak hour.

Undercover bridesmaids can earn anywhere from $300 – $2000 per wedding. It seems ridiculously sad there is a need to hire them.




dream jobs picture


I like the sound of being an elephant dresser. They are responsible for getting those beautiful animals ready for religious festivals such as Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.

In France, you can be hired to be the 14th guest at a restaurant so unlucky 13 can be avoided. Being paid to eat, that’s definitely more my style.

Being a waterslide tester sounds like fun, but my dream job? A professional sleeper – paid to take part in sleep studies and research.

What do you think are dream jobs? What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Let me know in the comments.

Have a gleeful week, Tamuria




  • My dream job would be to be a professional traveler who gives reviews on the best vacation spots around the world. The worst job I ever had? Renting port-a-potties! Yep. It was a crappy job but at least I didn’t have to clean them!

  • I can imagine a job like that teaching you patience and good poker skills!
    Enjoyed reading about all the jobs you mentioned. I think I’ll stick to mine, thank you. 😉

  • You really uncovered some very interesting jobs that people are actually paid to do, Tami! It reminded me of some the TV series we see now, maybe you have this one in Australia too, it’s called “Dogs With Jobs”. I can’t remember what my worst job was, but I can say I have done a myriad of different things in my life. I was always willing to try new things and to change when something ‘better’ came along as well. Thanks for the story and for your lessons learned being a demo lady… love the idea of a job teaching you to be more patient, and humble and not to judge a book by it’s cover. There is something quite wonderful about that indeed!

  • Tamuria,

    Great post and I love the picture of the cat and yes hugging is great . I really like the way you proposed this article and hugging animals is great too. I have two cat’s and a dog.

    Lori English

  • My dream job? Opening a ranch for senior and abused dogs who need rehabilitation prior to adoption.

    My worst job? As a teenager, I worked at a warehouse type store for returned merchandise. We weren’t allowed to smile. I would get yelled at almost every day, for smiling…

  • Oh, how fun to read and with your delightful style. I love what I do and will add in more world traveling doing it. I am on my way and it will not include any armpit sniffing! 🙂

  • Well, the professional ear cleaner is the worst job for me. I had to do this when the kids were little and I total didn’t care for it. We do need to stay positive in these worst jobs and remember that this too shall pass.

    • I do a fair bit of ear cleaning with the Goddesses these days and the job doesn’t improve because it’s grandkids, rather than kids, Sabrina. Not as bad as cleaning running noses though – that one really gets to me. You are right about staying positive in jobs that aren’t so wonderful. They often give you the tools you need to pursue your dreams.

  • Sadly, I have spent a LONG A$$ time in horrible sucky a$$ jobs… and finally, working for myself… I can’t complain about the boss, coworkers, bogus rules that only apply sometimes and to some people, the clients and so much more.. it’s all on me… and you know, I am okay with that.

    Side note… always thought I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be an infant baby rocker.

    • I’ve been an infant baby rocker (to my own kids and the Goddesses) and it is delightful, as long as the baby is not screaming in your arms. I think having a decent boss is probably the number one reason people choose to work for themselves, Kristen. Most of us have experienced the unfairness that occurs when working with others. It’s lovely to be able to set your own rules.

  • You have quite an imagination Tamuria. But then, there may be folks performing all of the tasks that you mentioned.

    My worst job ever was working in City Hall and having to help customers at the counter. Customer service is not my cup of tea.

    • Thank you for the compliment re my imagination, Rachel. I’d love to credit it with the jobs mentioned but I did my research and each one is, in fact, the real deal. Customer service can be quite challenging but also hugely rewarding, depending on the customer.

  • I want to be an elephant dresser! I’m going to use that in a novel somewhere.
    I have a good friend (also an author–we take odd jobs during our lives 🙂 who did the grocery-samples job. She too has some stories . . .
    Thankfully, I do have my dream job. At least part of the time. Nothing causes me to feel more alive than writing fiction . . .
    Great post, Tamuria!

    • I’m with you on that Susan – would love to be an elephant dresser. I love my job teaching art to such a wonderful group of people but I also get so much out of writing (in all its forms).

  • Or post reminds of a couple of shows here in the states. One was “Dirty Jobs” with the very charming Mike Rowe in all kinds of off-beat situations. Another current one is “Filthy Riches.” Indeed, one job is collecting earth worms for bait – yuck! I actually wrote a children’s book called “The Compost Heroes” and I sometimes do readings at schools and bring along a box of re wrigglers. I love the kids’ excitement and I try to act brave in handling the worms. But between you, me and the lamppost, I’d really rather not!

    • I love worms, Reba and don’t even mind touching them. They truly are compost heroes (I love that you wrote a book on this) and I love showing them to the Goddesses. When we used to take our sons fishing I was OK with threading frozen prawns on the hooks, but couldn’t bring myself to use worms as bait.

  • Each week I look forward to your topic. Something causes you to think of the most unusual & unique ideas & I love it. I had a 30 year career but my worst job was doing door to door surveys. With baby in tow I rang doorbells hoping someone would answer my survey. I only got paid for completed ones. The odd job I had that I enjoyed was being a mystery shopper. Getting free gas helped.

  • This is such a fun post. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  • I think I should seriously consider getting my Miss Coco a business of her own as a professional happiness bringer, Tamuria. 🙂 The housing complex that I live in was founded by my late father and his colleagues from the Indian Foreign Service and many of them are now retired, senior citizens who can no longer keep a pet because of their age and the commitment required for keeping a pet (at least 15 years). So my little girl plays with them and they enjoy patting her as part of her routine.

    In fact one person said Miss Coco deserved a badge with the title Community Pup. 🙂

    I’m delighted to see you know about the professional ear cleaners in India. I think they might still exist in the Indian villages but not in the cities. These guys from what my Dad told me were actually barbers who also did the ear cleaning and had another role in society as those of matchmakers.

    Just like we often talk to our stylist, these guys, called Nai’s would share information about eligible girls and boys for marriage. It worked out well because they traveled to different villages.

    • Miss Coco’s talent for spreading happiness knows no boundaries, Vatsala, as her cute face makes me smile all the way over here in Australia when you post pictures of her. I had no idea that ear cleaners were also matchmakers. Makes their job sound so much more interesting now.

  • 14th guest at a restaurant and professional cuddler. My two favorite! So much fun to read about all the crazy jobs that exist. Snake milker did NOT make my bucket list. Thanks for a fun post!

  • Ah Tamuria another awesome and thought-provoking post 🙂 As I was reading about all of these very interesting “dream” jobs, I was actually thinking about what mine would be and you know, I am with you on the being a person that just loves to give out hugs to anyone who may need them 😉 Thanks for the great share!

  • What a fun and profoundly interesting description of all the various jobs, both good and bad. Makes me grateful for the job I have which I enjoy more of the time than not, and gives an eye-opening perspective on some of the dream jobs it might be fun to consider – both those on the list and some not. Another wonderful thing would be to get paid for going to beautiful locations and writing about them, photographing them or presenting them on some kind of travel program with a focus on exploring nature and cultural heritage.

    • Oh yes, Julia, writing and photographing as you travel around the world, focusing on the wonders of nature – I can’t think of a better way to spend time. It would be so awesome to be paid doing that.

  • Haha! Loved it. My dream job is helping women succeed and getting paid for it. The worst job? Hmm…I don’t think I’ve ever had a horrible job. I always find something new and exciting in each job I have. Although I would hate to be a house-cleaner. Hell, I hate cleaning my own house. But maybe if I paid myself…will have to think about that one. Although I don’t think I can afford me. 🙂

    • Your job is such a worthwhile one, Jackie. It’s great you’ve always been able to find the good in the jobs you’ve had. I used to clean houses at one point as it fit in with Hubby’s shifts so one of us could be with the kids when they were little. It was mostly OK. I used to zone out and think wonderful thoughts while cleaning. There were a few houses, though….

  • There use to be an old TV program called I believe The Millionaire. Each week the character gave away a million dollars and the story was about why he gave them the money and what they did with it. That’s a job that interests me. A wonderful collection of jobs I had never heard of before. As always, a delightful read.

  • What a fun post. I don’t think I want to do any of them though. My dream job is to own a Catholic bookstore. There is something so calming about being in one.

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