For many of us, the first forays into the working world started with a humble paper round, pot washing at a run-down restaurant or a spell pulling pints at the local. We’re curious to learn if this is true of the UK accounting profession, or if you have some more grisly vocational skeletons in your cupboard.
A quick poll of the AccountingWEB.co.uk office team uncovered a Pandora’s box of rubbish factory jobs we’d rather keep a memory lid on. From cleaning turkey carcasses to working in a tampon factory and risking ‘cheese nail’, a condition afflicting the digits of those brave enough to work in cheese processing plants, everyone’s cupboard contains a veritable bone-yard of dubious jobs.
What was your worst ever job, before you took the plunge into the world of finance and figures? Tell us your tale below this article. We appreciate the memories may be painful to relive, but if it makes you feel any better, here is a run-down of some undesirable vocations we’ve found around the world.
Crime scene cleaner
CSI fan? Like working with hazardous substances? Seeking non-pukers with no sense of smell who don’t fear the reaper and enjoy industrial cleaning. Tasks include scraping brain matter off walls and removing blood stains, as well as disposing of maggots, the liquefied remains of long-deceased residents and other toxic or infected items such as the upholstery. Must be professional and like long-hours. Competitive salary, ‘gross test’ training and protective clothing supplied. Depressives and voyeurs need not apply.
Cat food quality controller
Fetish for felines? Love food? Why not combine the two and become a quality controller in the pet food industry. Must have a good nose for blocking out the already rank smell to sniff out rancid meat, long arms to retrieve any bones that may have accidentally contaminated the sludge of blended animal parts and the ability to identify and physically remove those lumps of gristle that are even unappetising to little Tiddles. Eight out of 10 humans probably won’t prefer it.
King crab fisherman
Always wanted to work on a boat? Passion for seafood? Why not stare death in the face on a daily basis by becoming a king crab fisherman in the treacherous winter waters of Alaska. A job for experienced fisherman only, tasks include baiting large steel pots with chopped up fish and operating heavy hydraulic machinery to catch these desirable crustaceans Those who can avoid drowning, hypothermia or crippling machine injuries can expect a high salary. With the fatality rate around 90 times that of the average worker, life insurance is recommended.
Mosquito researcher, Brazil
Always wanted to travel? Attractive to mozzies? Seeking insect-lovers prepared to turn themselves into an all-you-can-eat buffet for the Malaria-carrying Anopheles darlingi species. Adverse to traditional traps, these mosquitoes prefer live pray so be prepared to sit bare-legged in a tent and collect them in a jar as they chow down, all in the name of Malaria research. Perks include the chance to take your lump-infested limbs around scenic Brazilian sights on your days off – unless you’re unfortunate enough to catch Malaria, which could take up to two years to recover from.
Hate daylight? Fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? If you’ve always dreamt of working under the nation’s streets then brace yourself for wading through faeces, toilet paper, nappies, sanitary pads, cooking fat and whatever else disappears down our U-bends to keep the “nation’s arteries” in check. Potential health hazards include gastroenteritis, Weil's disease, hepatitis, occupational asthma, and skin, eye or lung infections. But a wide-variety of wildlife can be observed from rats and goldfish to the odd python. Waders, breathing apparatus and harness included.
Flatulence odour expert
Bit gassy? Can you smell what it is yet? If you’re bored sniffing breath at a mouthwash company, you might not want to turn your nose up as a research volunteer for gastroenterologists. Michael Levitt hired judges to sniff the rear emissions from 16 pinto bean-guzzling volunteers to try to identify how the smelliness of farts relates to gastrointestinal health. In case you’re wondering, the pungent aroma of human flatulence is predominantly caused by hydrogen sulphide. Only those who prefer close relationships with colleagues should submit a CV for future trials.
Road kill collector [Please don't click on this if you're of a squeamish disposition]
Love animals? Want to make our roads a safer place? If you’ve never shed a tear while watching Watership Down and would cherish the prospect of working alone in the great outdoors, a career as a deceased animal removal expert could be for you. Ideal candidates will be able to dodge traffic and keep down breakfast as they scrape up the remains of various creatures to take them for burial at the local landfill. Job perks include a free meal for those who aren’t too who aren’t too fussy about their meat cuts.
Stool/sputum sample analyser
Fascinated by bodily functions? Eye for detail? Only candidates with a strong stomach need apply to inspect faecal matter or vomit for the causes of gastric disorders, such as dysentery, E.coli, parasites, or other infections and diseases. After the patient’s stool has been spooned into a container or they have spewed into the vessel, your job is to run in-depth, laboratory diagnostics on the samples. After a few years in service at least you’ll be able to spot unhealthy poo like a Dulex colour chart. Scientific qualifications a must.
Refuse loader and operative
Enjoy the aroma of rotting fish? Like sifting through other peoples’ mess? Agile bin men wanted who can dodge needles and broken glass, outrun irate customers who have forgotten to put their rubbish out and avoid breaking their backs whilst heaving waste into the back of a putrid smelling lorry. Promotional opportunities include raking through recycling, sweeping the streets free of fag butts and litter, or even branching out into showbusiness. Get a few star pointers from X Factor semi-finalist and Eurovision flop Andy Abrahams or just laugh at ‘Ziggy Dust’ busting some moves.
Like fishing? Can’t afford bait? You won’t need a rod and line to become a hand fisherman or catfish noodler. Seeking people to spend the summer wading through the rivers and lakes of the southern and mid-western US states to poke around inside catfish lairs during spawning season. Experienced arm wrestlers will have an advantage once the now irate species, weighing anything up to around 50lbs, have latched onto your arms. No equipment supplied. Comes with free snapper turtles and snakes to avoid; severe maiming optional.
So what was your worst ever job? Tell us below.