Unfortunately, we all need money to survive.
This means rain or shine, we've got to find ways to make ends meet and keep the lights.
In some cases, this can lead to some very strange work situations. Besides the paycheck, the best thing you can take away from a weird job is the story. And sometimes, reading about other people's weird gigs can make you feel less alone in the hustle.
I participated in some market research for a new beer. Sounded great at the time, ‘I get paid to drink beer?’ Anyway, it was a bunch of different beers in small plastic cups all of which started out tasting like the strainings of the devil’s underpants and progressively got worse.
They kept bringing more out until one guy cracked, swiped all his beers off the table, and stormed out yelling 'I wouldn’t even give this s**t to my dog!' I still don’t know if it was market research or some bizarre psychological experiment.
Participated in a sleep study where they had us wired up to electrodes to monitor our responses at periodic intervals across 3 days without sleep. It was brutal. I learned I cannot go without sleep for 2 days in a row.
Held a sign for people to see at an intersection. Normally this isn't bad. However, it is a local thing to bully those that do by throwing food items like milkshakes and slushies at them. Which is why I was hesitant to do so.
While I never sold blood to buy alcohol, there was a time when I'd donate blood every Friday night in order to require less alcohol.
Drove around nice apartment complexes and dig through their garbage like a raccoon for stuff I could pawn.
Once found a s**tload of amps that were some sort of antique and worth a lot of $$$. I don’t know anything about music equipment but my friend who’s a musician let me know they were worth big money before I went to pawn them.
You know you have reached rock bottom when you start working in Life Insurance. On my last leg I got my insurance license and then learned the job was purely commission and you make more money if you are a 'manager.'
Only to find out that as a manager you have operational costs. So you actually end up spending more money just to get through the month. Then you find out it's a pyramid scheme.
This is not an insurance company it is a hiring company that had a revolving door that never stopped spinning.
I made $50 when I was randomly approached in a bar to be on a foot fetish site. There was no nudity or actual sexiness involved. Just a lot of pictures of women's feet on my face, chest, etc.
It was way more uncomfortable than it should have been.
A few years after high school, one of my HS crushes messaged me on Facebook. I was in between jobs and still living at home. She said she was coming back into town and wanted to hang out. I didn't have any money for a 'date.'
I took some rifles that were handed down to me by family to the pawn shop to sell. They offered me a ridiculously low amount. I felt embarrassed and put on the spot. I wanted the 'date' to happen. Sold the rifles.
Next day we got to talking and she apologized and told me we would not be hanging out and that she was going on a date with one of her crushes from high school.
I participated in a food study where I couldn’t eat for a day before, arrived at the lab crazy early in the morning, had a tube put down my throat, and lay there for six hours as they pumped liquids into and out of my stomach.
After the first two hours, I begged them to at least turn on the TV, but they would only let me watch PBS so I couldn’t accidentally see any commercials about food. It wasn’t fun but the pay was decent and they served me a steak dinner afterward.
I worked at a little Hampton Inn. My sister and I had a small apartment, so roof over our heads, but very little food. We would take naps so we didn’t have to think about being hungry. I started lifting food from work.
A few small danishes, some single-serve cups of peanut butter and jam, the commercial packs of coffee for her (and she would use just one for days) We’d buy bread and eggs mainly. I’m pretty sure the owner was on to me though.
He left at 5, either went to dinner or home, then would end up back when I was on shift bc he ‘accidentally’ ordered an extra dinner, or his wife made too much again of chicken and rice or spaghetti. I’d take it home and share.
It was just a rough year. My Mom visited and was shocked, immediately took us to Costco to stock up. We were still eating that food a year later, she bought us so much. Nothing fancy, but we felt like royalty with all that food.
My definition of success is being able to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I want, without counting cost as I shop. Happy to say, I am a total success!
Many years ago, when I was a child and my mother and I were facing homelessness, we'd spend the nights at various places, like laundromats or hospitals.
One night when we were really hungry, she had me dive into the wishing well to collect quarters to use for the vending machine. It's one of those surreal memories that's stuck with me.
I am, thankfully and fortunately, in a much better place in my life now. My mother, bless her heart, passed away a few years after the event in question; we had a complicated relationship because of how young I was.
But I don't hold anything against her as an adult. Life just deals people a rough hand sometimes. I certainly don't know what I would have done better if I were in her shoes.
I met a complete stranger from the internet to sell him some used underwear. If it were a send-it-in-the-mail thing, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But part of it was that he wanted me to meet him to give them to him.
And then he would pay me in cash. It was a pretty good amount so, I went for it. We talked for a while beforehand and he was really nice. I didn't get the vibe that I was gonna get killed, and I needed the money. It was a quick meet in a Walmart parking lot. Nothing really bad happened.
I was newly broke as a joke and had a date in hours. She wanted to go to Red Lobster. I went through my car, parents’ cars, sisters’ cars, couches, everything - looking for coins. I had a partially used gift card to somewhere as well.
I took it all to the grocery store, cashed in the change, sold the gift card for practically nothing. I had just enough to cover myself. If she expected me to get the bill, I was finished. I’d have to own up to having like $31.25 to my name. Luckily, she didn’t. She piped up and split the bill. So now we’re married.
Dug under a Chinese Restaurant without shoring or permits to get to a clogged grease trap.Pulled and replaced hundreds of fluorescent ballasts (old school ones loaded with PCB’s) without safety gear.
I slept with my 64-year-old landlady. In my defense, it was either that or sleep on the streets.