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).
NOT ONE OF THE DREAM JOBS
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.
FINDING THE GOOD IN THE BAD
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.
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.
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