Odd Jobs #13: Sommeliers to Video Game Testers

Here’s our next lineup of odd jobs. While each job is on the list for a reason, the most humorous is probably the traffic zebra of Bolivia – there are dozens of them, and they direct traffic, help people cross safely, and undoubtedly keep drivers more alert.  The job most teenagers would kill for is that of the video game tester; imagine getting paid to play computer games all day!  For me it would very much depend on the game – I love games like the Riven series, but games that have free-roaming views (smoothly following the mouse movements) give me a migraine after an hour…

Of all the jobs in this list, I think the one that captures my imagination the most is the Sommelier; not as a job, but because I like wine!  Recently my husband and I drank a bottle together, and we decided that it wasn’t complete without watching one of our favourite films, “A Good Year” – it did make it taste better.  I also like tea, but I would prefer to stick to Earl Grey, curl up in my favourite chair and read a good book – what I’ll be doing next.  So enjoy the lineup, and then go and read a good book with your favourite cuppa!

  • Sommelier (Wine Steward)
  • Swan Uppers (England) This ceremony dates back to the 12th
  • Tampon Tester: Check all sizes of tampons for absorbency and cord strength in accordance with FDA standards. Most testers check up to 125 pieces per day.
  • Tea Taster
  • Teddy Bear Repair Technician
  • Traffic Zebras (Bolivia)
  • Trend Hunter: Closely related to marketing, it’s a profession to find out what’s going to be cool next, and predicting it accurately for fashion and tech companies as well as manufacturing businesses.
  • Veterinary Acupuncturist
  • Vibration Consultant: Works with architects and engineers to advise and correct noise and vibration issues in construction projects and in the manufacturing of products.
  • Video Game Tester: For eight hours a day, five days a week, a group of males and females of all ages play video games. They repeat levels, games and characters, looking for any bugs and/or glitches in the software.



Filed under Articles, Lists, Research

18 responses to “Odd Jobs #13: Sommeliers to Video Game Testers

  1. I’ve worked as a catsup maker, served hotdogs and rootbeer while wearing skates and fastening a tray to a car window, not so good with sports cars, cleaned dorms, buck-and-winged in a pizza joint- most musicians have done all of the above and worse. Of course it’s not nearly as glamorous as a swan-upper. Love your blog.

  2. Thank you for the kudos! I like your résumé – musicians and other artists tend to go for the creative jobs (and not just any job) to make money; I know I have, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

  3. Some very bizarre jobs out there!

  4. Yep! I’m sure there are dozens more than I’ve found… that’s what makes the world interesting. 😉

  5. I’d train for the job of teddy bear technician. I’d learn how to use the tools, even needle and thread (which I use now in a laughably bad way).

    Repairing teddy bears would be like repairing dreams.

  6. I agree! I remember when I was very small, my parents took me to a “doll hospital” to choose a head, hands and legs; we went back a week or two later to get my “baby” – they’d hand-sewn them to a body. It was my only doll as I was growing up – others were “just fake”. 😉 I can imagine a teddy bear repair technician would be held in high honour by anyone they helped!

  7. Wow, a doll hospital? Where might I apply? I’d donate blood–well, thread.

  8. Interesting jobs. Some of those sound rather fun. Some not so much!

  9. Of the 13 articles so far on the topic, some of them are real doozies!

  10. It was a relief to learn that Swan Upping is a venerable urban wildlife management tradition. The name sounds like a kinky kind of sex.

  11. Traffic zebra of Bolivia. Does this thing really happen ? Would it not be good if all cities had these Good Deeds Jobs ?

  12. I think it would be a great idea to spread! It would create jobs, and bring smiles to people’s faces.

  13. You should have written more on that “Special Service”.

  14. If you click on the link in the article, there’s quite a good write-up about it there; it has spread a bit, but I’m sure could always spread further! 🙂

  15. Zebras kind of look like they’re hauling the lady off to jail. I think video game testers also hate video games by the end of the day

  16. LOL! I think people who test games need to be obsessed by them; it would get annoying having to play a boring game over and over, but you’re there to help them improve it, so it might be worth it in the end…

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