Photograph by DreamPictures/Getty Images

Odd Jobs: From Space Travel Agents to Professional Mermaids

  1. Doctors and Lawyers Need Not Apply
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    Doctors and Lawyers Need Not Apply

    To provide inspiration to those dissatisfied with their conventional, nine-to-five desk jobs, Bloomberg Businessweek profiles hard-working professionals who earn livings in the most unusual ways.

    Photograph by DreamPictures/Getty Images
  2. Odd Jobs: Sky Writing
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    Odd Jobs: Sky Writing

    Suzanne Asbury-Oliver and Steve Oliver, a husband-and-wife team of scribbling pilots, recount their adventures working for clients from PepsiCo (PEP) to Cindy Sheehan.
  3. Odd Jobs: Beverage Flavor Scientist
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    Odd Jobs: Beverage Flavor Scientist

    You may not enjoy Flavorman’s Fish Taco and Canned Ham sodas, but you can’t say flavor scientist David Dafoe didn’t get it exactly right.

  4. Odd Jobs: Professional Balloon Twister
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    Odd Jobs: Professional Balloon Twister

    Todd Neufeld is America’s most popular artist of latex and helium.
  5. Odd Jobs: Private Monkey Trainer
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    Odd Jobs: Private Monkey Trainer

    Lisa Whiteaker has risked life and limb to train 6,700 privately owned monkeys.
  6. Odd Jobs: Car Cup-Holder Designer
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    Odd Jobs: Car Cup-Holder Designer

    For the past 12 years, Chris Shinouskis’s job has been to make sure your beverage doesn’t spill.

  7. Odd Jobs: Luxury Porta Potty Attendant
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    Odd Jobs: Luxury Porta Potty Attendant

    Marvin Hyer Jr. has one of the worst jobs on the planet. But he’s not complaining.
  8. Odd Jobs: Turning Your Ashes Into a Vinyl Record
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    Odd Jobs: Turning Your Ashes Into a Vinyl Record

    And Vinyly (rhymes with “And Finally”) brings new meaning to the phrase “spinning in your grave.”

  9. Odd Jobs: Space Travel Agent
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    Odd Jobs: Space Travel Agent

    After booking flights for 30 years as a successful travel agent, Craig Curran turned to the stars.

  10. Odd Jobs: This Clown Will Make You Pregnant
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    Odd Jobs: This Clown Will Make You Pregnant

    Medical clowns—think Patch Adams without a doctorate—seem to be especially useful during the in vitro fertilization process.
  11. Odd Jobs: White House Chimney Sweep
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    Odd Jobs: White House Chimney Sweep

    Jeff Schmittinger has been at it for 19 years and hasn’t been paid a dime.
  12. Odd Jobs: Prosthetic Dog-Testicle Maker
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    Odd Jobs: Prosthetic Dog-Testicle Maker

    Gregg Miller’s implants offer neutered dogs an emotional Band-Aid for a procedure that “adds insult to injury.”

  13. Odd Jobs: Burlesque Danger Artist
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    Odd Jobs: Burlesque Danger Artist

    Tonya Kay routinely puts her life and limbs on the line in the name of entertainment.
  14. Odd Jobs: Professional Dog-Poop Remover
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    Odd Jobs: Professional Dog-Poop Remover

    As it becomes accepted to bring your pets to work—or unacceptable to clean up after them at home—DoodyCalls provides an ever-more-essential service.

  15. Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid
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    Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid

    It might seem easy to glide around underwater, smiling at tourists. It can be arduous, chilly work.

  16. Odd Jobs: Convention Masseuse
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    Odd Jobs: Convention Masseuse

    Tucked away at trade shows, the convention masseuse tries to create calm in an environment that’s anything but relaxing.

  17. Odd Jobs: Animal Colorist
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    Odd Jobs: Animal Colorist

    Where did the movie zebra get its stripes? There’s a good chance Rose Ordile painted them on.