Odd Jobs #9: Lego Model-Maker to Oshiya (passenger shovers)

Once again, this odd job lineup has some gems!  Would you rather be paid to stand perfectly still for hours on end, or literally shove other people around all day, every day?  Some of these might not be so bad, such as a master distiller, or someone paid to come up with catchy nail polish names, while other jobs might have a certain prejudice or stigma attached to them – after all, how many of us haven’t had luggage damaged in transit at airports, and chosen a few special words, at least in our minds, for the people paid good money to do so?  I was once treated like a piece of luggage, and I wouldn’t wish it on my favourite enemy; however, it did give me a personal taste of just how luggage frequently comes out missing wheels, handles, or zippers.


Odd Job - Oshiya - Train Passenger Stuffers

Credit:  YouTube


  • Lego Model-Maker
  • Live Mannequin / Human Statue
  • London Dungeon Actor
  • Luggage Handler
  • Mascot
  • Master Distiller (This link also includes the job descriptions of several other jobs involved in the distilling process.)
  • Nail Polish Namer: Sometimes it’s a person, such as Essie Weingarten, and other times it’s a marketing department, or a freelance writer.
  • Nude Model
  • Ocularist: In short, they paint artificial eyes. It sounds easier than it is, since as with real eyes, no two are exactly the same.
  • Oil & Gas Diver
  • Online Book Seller
  • Online Reviewer: Often hired by a company to review a product; but, I then wonder how they could be unbiased in that review.  Such services are also offered for sale on sites such as Fiver.com.  Finding an actual, legitimate, detailed job description for this one is nigh on impossible, as most jobs are offered online now, and the term “review” can be used by anyone with an opinion…
  • Orchestra Manager: While this link is for an orchestra managing director’s job description, an even more specialized niche within the “genre” is that of the orchestra event manager:  They are responsible for booking airline tickets, arranging luggage transport for all shapes and sizes of instruments, booking hotel rooms, organizing and the overseeing of the setting up of venues, and making certain that the even runs smoothly from venue to venue.  That may also include hiring the local sound, light, and stage hands, though these tasks may be handed on to someone else in the managing office.  A friend recently flew in the seat next to such a manager, and passed on the details to me for this odd list… it just proves that you never know where you’ll meet interesting people!
  • Oshiya (Japan): Paid to push people onto trains.


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On Summer Holidays

Have you ever felt that you needed a holiday from holidays?  We’ve crammed more activities into one week that we’d previously done all year!  Gondolas (cable cars), waterfalls, mountains, waterfalls inside mountains, overnight in a hotel at the top of a mountain, international guests for a few days in between (take a deep breath), scenery galore, giant outdoor museums, a glass-blowing facility & its hands-on museum, a Benedictine abbey with a cheese factory, medieval castles, restaurants, a mammoth museum, more gondolas, late nights to stay up with the telescope to see Mars, Saturn and the Moon, and to watch for the Perseid meteor showers, and a car that decided it needed to go overnight for repairs (so we travelled partly in an uncomfortable replacement car) – this also included passengers getting out and pushing the car to jump-start it while up in the mountains, and delays waiting for the touring club mechanic twice… and that’s not including the plans for the coming week (fortunately the car’s problem was easily repaired, and we’re all happy again now).  Even though we thoroughly enjoyed the time our international guest was here for a visit, and are enjoying more quality time with our exchange student, my body is tired and my mind is full; I need time to process all of the impressions and experiences.  I don’t know about you, but this introvert needs a break… as in, “Don’t talk to me for a week…”  Later on I’ll say it was worth it, but right now, all I can say, “Stop the holidays, I want to get off!”

Here’s some photographic evidence:

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Odd Jobs #8: Hippotherapists to Spatial Designers

The next line-up of odd jobs begins with one that can lead to all kinds of interpretations; no, it’s not therapy for hippos, nor is it accusing hippos of being convicted criminals (break it down…)!  It is in fact a specialised form of therapy for humans involving horses.

There are a few on this list that sound on the surface like cushy jobs; but as with all careers, they have their downsides too, I’m sure:  It’s just creepy to hire someone else to lie down in your hotel bed to warm it up for you, but someone’s got to earn money; and how’d you like to live in a spotless mansion as a living mannequin… never to feel at home, and forced to leave at the drop of a hat?  Being an ice cream taster doesn’t sound bad on a hot day, but 60 kinds a day, every day, without swallowing?  No, thanks!  I’d rather enjoy mine one flavour at a time, or three.

Odd Job - Iceberg Mover

Iceberg Mover.  Original photo source, unknown (if known, please let me know!)

  • Hippotherapist
  • Horse Rider / Exerciser
  • Horticultural Therapist
  • Hot Dog Vendor
  • Human Bed-Warmer (UK): Some hotels offer a service to clients, in which a willing staffer dresses in an all-in-one fleece jumpsuit, and lays in the bed to warm it before the guest arrives.
  • Human Bullet Impact Tester
  • Human Prop: Hired to live in for-sale luxury homes at dirt cheap prices; but of course, there’s a catch – the house must always be in squeaky clean, in case it gets purchased, and they have to be ready to move out immediately. According to real estate companies, houses sell better when they’re being lived in; the props lend an unmistakable energy to an otherwise empty home.
  • Human Scarecrow (UK) – A variation is that of a human scarecrow for airports – Officially, you’d be called a “specialist for biological aviation safety.”
  • Iceberg Mover: Became a profession after the disastrous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. The International Ice Patrol (IIP), which was founded a year later, is operated by the US Coast Guard and tracks the location of icebergs and provides safe routes around them. If necessary, the iceberg will be towed out of the area.
  • Ice Cream Taster (Food Scientist)
  • IMAX Screen Cleaner
  • Interior / Spatial Designer


Filed under Lists, Mistranslations, Research

Share your blog!

This is a great way to explore other blogs, and get the word out about your own! Let’s have some fun!  Put your blog’s URL in a comment below, and then check out each other’s home bases!🙂

Featured Image -- 2013

Roberta Pimentel

First of all If you reblog this post you help me, I help you and you help your readers, so everyone wins..

There are thousands of good blogs out there and think of all of that we are missing just because they are not visible to us. That’s why I want to encourage you to share your blog with me so that I can read and hopefully many of my other readers as well. This is also a good opportunity for you to get some new readers and I believe in helping one another since we all want to spread our message to the world.

Leave your blog page link as a comment and I will definitely read it. Please be patient because I have some hectic days in front of me. I encourage everyone to read one another blogs to get motivation and thereby also motivate one another.


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Musings on the A-Z Challenge

After a month of daily posts, A to Z plus weekend excursions into “Odd Jobs”, I can say that it was worth it; I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing to a word limit, which meant that I could really only focus on one aspect of any given topic… that’s not something my brain does by nature, as it’s usually deep into networking ideas and possibilities long before I’ve finished typing the first sentence.  Along the way I’ve enjoyed spending more time surfing around cyberspace, discovering other WordPress blogs, reading into what makes others tick.  At the same time, I’ve felt the detour of time usually spent in writing manuscripts, editing, researching, and even housework and administration bits and bobs.

Would I do it again?  Probably.  When?  After my next novel is published, and I have more time again!  The feedback from my beta readers is starting to come in, and my own read-through has begun with the fresher eye of passed time and distance, so some other things in life will slide onto the back burner once more.  Through the challenge, I’ve been reminded of why I only post 1 or 2 blogs per week:  Real life is busy!

I hope you enjoyed the challenges along with me, and the breathing room once again afforded by my resumed “schedule”!



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Musings A to Z Challenge: Z

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.


Astronomical zeniths are easy enough to calculate; it’s the metaphorical ones that get tricky.  How do you know when someone is at the pinnacle of their career, or their success?  If someone could precisely know the zenith of stock prices and when to buy and sell, they’d make a handsome fortune.  The thing about zeniths, on a personal level, is that the word implies an end to growth or progress, and as such, is not something to be desired.  When we stop growing, learning, and maturing, we die.  Seen in that light, I suppose you could classify know-it-alls as zombies.


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Musings A to Z Challenge: Y

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.


To spin a yarn, in the meaning the quote implies, comes from the literal act of spinning a yarn; first recorded in the early 1800’s, sailors would tell tales as they worked on sedentary tasks such as spinning yarns for ropes, or strands of oakum to ram into the cracks between deck boards.  Sailors could tell tall tales, and as they were generally superstitious, those tales could grow; most firmly believed in mermaids and sirens and Davy Jones’ locker, and the old sailors would spin yarns to strike terror (or at least respect) into the hearts of the Johnny Newcomes.




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Musings A to Z Challenge: X

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.


It’s interesting that no other letter in the English alphabet has so many meanings attached to it than the simple X:  It marked buried treasure on pirates’ maps (that’s debatable, but it’s one of those urban myths, like horned Viking helmets, that everyone “knows” is true); it provided a legal signature for an illiterate; it’s the symbol of a kiss; it denotes strongest quality, whether on liquor or films; it’s the unknown quantity in algebra, and from there became the symbol for any unknown value or thing (as “A,B,C” represent known, “X,Y,Z” represent unknown); and the list goes on.

X 2


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Musings A to Z Challenge: W

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.


Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”  Life is usually smoother than its fictional counterpart; true stories made into film, such as It Could Happen to You (Nicholas Cage, 1994) would be “too boring” if they only told the truth.  But wires need to be crossed… relationships gone stale must be electrocuted back to life, communication hampered by misunderstandings, and obstacles placed in the path of the hero/heroine to make it more interesting.  Crossed wires are the bedrock of most tales, no matter the genre.


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Musings A to Z Challenge: V

Challenge:  Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.


Ashton Kutcher hits the nail on the head:  Vulnerability is the essence of romance.  No one wants a perfect, untouchable hero, heroine, or partner:  Iron Man has his shrapnel; Superman has his kryptonite; Bella Swan has her clumsiness; Peter Parker has a past that haunts him; Darcy and Lizzie have their pride and prejudice.  How the character deals with that vulnerability is what makes them relatable, and even what makes them the hero/heroine or the villain – for even villains have their flaws; it’s vulnerability in some shape that gives them enough depth to be loathed or sympathised with.


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