Funny Money: Strange Professions and Careers

Not worth it.

so not worth it.

Most little kids grow up wanting to be doctors, firemen, policemen (or women) and such. As time goes on, we figure out what we like and what we don’t like, and as we change our college majors and do a few internships and trial jobs, ideally each of us will discover where our talents and interests lie and eventually settle into the right career path for ourselves.

But what about jobs that are off the beaten path? There are so many random and unconventional jobs out there that I didn’t even know existed until I decided to look them up. For instance, have you heard of a professional mattress jumper? Or a professional poison taster for the president? Who knows, if you’re going through a period of uncertainty or questioning your purpose in life, this guide to unusual and weird professions just might give you a new vote of confidence and motivation.

Professional Mattress Jumper – Remember the resentment you had growing up as a kid when your parents wouldn’t let you jump on the bed? With this profession, you can jump all you want and get paid for it! These people are employed by mattress companies and their job is to jump and compress multiple layers while seeking out lumps and other imperfections that could cause sleep problems. But don’t think it’s all fun and games either: if you’re looking to do somersaults and other tricks, you’re better off buying a trampoline. In this profession, it’s a technical process that you have to be trained in so that you know how hard to jump and where. These are high-end mattresses that cost upwards of several thousands of dollars, so they have to be fine-tuned to perfection so that buyers get their money’s worth (along with a good night’s sleep).

Professional Poison Taster – While this sounds like a role that a character from Game of Thrones would have (the recently deceased King Joffrey could certainly have used one of these), believe it or not, the job of poison taster also has its place in modern-day society. Typically, the types of individuals who would hire poison tasters include major political figures, certain celebrities and royalty who would likely be targets of an assassination or attempted murder. Yes, it sounds creepy, but better safe than sorry, right?

Apparently President Bush always had his FBI agents taste his dishes when he traveled or had meals prepared by an unfamiliar chef, and Russian president Vladimir Putin has his dishes routinely checked by a medically-qualified professional sampler, who ensures that the food is free of poison and other toxic substances. After looking up various prominent historical figures who were poisoned, I actually found an extensive list, including a former emperor who consumed poisoned figs at the hands of his own wife, no less. Now I’m just wondering how one goes about becoming a poison taster… definitely sounds like the ideal job for someone who has a slight death wish… or simply can’t pass up a game of Russian Roulette.

Professional Golf Ball Diver – You didn’t really think that those stray golf balls just vanished into thin air, did you? According to Alert Diver Online, golf ball divers make around $100k a year, work about four days per week and collect around 4,000 golf balls on a single day’s work. They earn based on how many golf balls they bring and what types. In order to become a professional golf ball diver, one must obtain entry-level certification from an agency and possess active liability insurance.

But before you rush out and start trying to collect golf balls for a living, it’s time to examine the details. Golf ball divers have to dive blind, which means that you will be spending a majority of your time submerged in dark water while feeling around for golf balls. Due to murky conditions in most ponds and lakes, devices like lights won’t help you out much, so you just have to develop a knack for reaching for golf balls. And as you collect them, your load gets heavier as well – plus you have to be aware of other dangers that could possibly await you in the water, like gators and other marine life. Check out for more information about this potential career opportunity.

Sorority Rushing Coach – These days, you’re just not up to LA standards if you don’t have at least a manager, an agent and a personal life coach. For the overly-involved mom who wants to live vicariously through her college daughter’s experiences, this would be the perfect job for you: a professional sorority rushing coach. These women serve as coaches and mentors to young ladies who are in the rushing phase of joining a sorority (which is basically recruitment, where potential sorority members go around and meet with all the houses to see if they would be a good fit).

Several women joined together to create an organization known as the Rushbiddies, and they offer a two-day workshop for $100 that consists of a mock rush party, style tips and paperwork preparation. So if your main goal in life is to get your daughter into the Delta Gamma sorority at the University of Southern California, then your prayers have officially been answered.

Professional Cat Catcher – Okay, so this actually sounds like a service that I could use. My cat is extremely difficult to get into her carrier just for a simple vet’s office visit, and I almost always end up with some new scratch or scar at the hands (or should I say paws) of my fierce kitty. Professional cat catchers literally come to your home and somehow manage to capture your cat and put them into their designated carrier. In a New York Times article, Catch Your Cat is a New York-based cat-catching service and charges around $80 for a quick visit. This news legitimately made me happy, and I’d gladly cough up eighty bucks as opposed to having to nurse another painful cat scratch. Do you even have any idea how badly those can hurt?

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