Thanks to Val Boyko for planting the seed for this blog post. Val’s wonderful website, Find Your Middle Ground, is where she explores, reflects, asks deep questions, shares insights, and connects with other bloggers. Her post today, Bring Peace to The World, included a poem that was written by Chade-Meng Tan formerly Google’s Jolly Good Fellow and founder of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute.
While the poem was quite thoughtful, what struck me was that Google had someone with the title of Jolly Good Fellow.
Chade-Meng Tan was Google employee number 107, joining Google in 2000 working for eight years in Engineering, on projects such as mobile search and leading search quality. Tan earned his Jolly Good Fellow title after starting “mindfulness training” courses at the company — a groundbreaking mindfulness-based emotional intelligence course called Search Inside Yourself, which was featured on the front page of the Sunday Business section of The New York Times in April 2014. Search Inside Yourself is also the title of Meng’s The New York Times bestseller, which has been endorsed by world leaders such as President Carter of the United States; business leaders such as Eric Schmidt of Google and John Mackey of Whole Foods Markets; and spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Lama.
After reading about such a job title, my initial thought was to write a post about the Jolly Good Fellow, but then a few hours later I read that the city of Christchurch in New Zealand has announced that it will stop paying its official wizard $16,000 ($10,400 USD) a year in December.
Ian Brackenbury Channell (aka the Wizard) has been serving as the city’s appointed necromancer since the olden days of 1998. Over the past few decades he has made a total of $368,000 (roughly $258,825 USD) “to provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services — as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch.”
Channell told CNN that he views himself less as Gandalf and more as a goofball or a showman who brings joy to the city. “Every day the world gets more serious, so fun is the most powerful thing in the world right now,” he said.
What are the odds of that, learning about two unique jobs in one day?
So it seemed like that this blog was meant to be about unique jobs, and with a little bit of research, I came up with a few more:
- Full-time Netflix Viewer: watches all of the Netflix content and tags it with the appropriate genre before it is released to the public.
- Dog Food Taster: taste new dog food products, including bones, tinned meat, and biscuits. They do this to test for flavor and texture in comparison to rival dog food brands and human food.
- Odor Tester: smells people’s breath, feet, and sometimes even armpits to assess the effect of odor-giving products
- Professional Sleeper: A hotel in Finland hired a member of staff as a ‘professional sleeper’ to test the comfort of their beds. The individual sleeps in a different one of the hotel beds each night and writes a review about her satisfaction with each one.
- Scuba Diving Pizza Delivery Man: There’s an underwater hotel in Florida that has a scuba diving pizza delivery man who supplies them with pizza by carrying them through the sea in a watertight case.
- Professional Cuddler: helping people who are struggling with loneliness, depression, past trauma, medical problems, or who are simply in need of an extra cuddle …. from a stranger.
- Water Slide Tester: check to see if the water slides in resorts, theme parks and hotels are both fun and safe.
- Accounting Professor: drones on endlessly about debits and credits and straight-line depreciation and FIFO vs LIFO, ultimately putting everyone to sleep
Maybe I could pair up with the Professional Sleeper, helping them to fall asleep more quickly…
*image from PADI