Crazy jobs going for best of the bunch

By Nikki Preston

Fancy a change? Banana ripener and chicken catcher among more unusual jobs on Trade Me.

Jeff Olsen is a dog wash/car wash attendant. Photo / Christine Cornege
Jeff Olsen is a dog wash/car wash attendant. Photo / Christine Cornege

A banana ripener, chicken catcher, luge manager and dog wash attendant are some of the most weird and wonderful jobs on Trade Me.

From 15,000 jobs advertised on the site, among the most eyebrow-raising was MG Marketing's call for a banana ripener to work in its South Island operations to ensure the consistency and quality of its Dole bananas.

The ad said the right candidate must have experience in banana-ripening and understand how this is done through the application of heat and ethylene, as well as team leadership, a forklift licence, positive attitude and attention to detail and accuracy.

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A chicken catcher in West Auckland was also needed. Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand executive director Michael Brooks said the role was specialised and involved catching chickens from farms to transport them to the plants.

Other unusual jobs included a car and dog wash attendant in Hamilton, luge manager in Queenstown and funeral director and embalmer in Horowhenua.

While some jobs were enviable for their location such as a golf course superintendent at 90 Mile Beach Golf Links in Kaitaia or assistant manager at Matavai Resort on Niue Island, others were more attractive because of the product - icecream company Tip Top and beer company Tuatara Brewing also had jobs going.

Trade Me head of jobs Peter Osborne said they were occasionally contacted by advertisers who had unusual jobs and were baffled as to what category it should be listed under.

"In my wildest dreams I would never have imagined there would be such a thing as a banana ripener," Mr Osborne said. "It just goes to show there's a job for everything."

AUT Future of Work Programme director Professor Tim Bentley said the jobs showed people's skills needed to be flexible.

"For instance, would you rather be a golf course superintendent and get to play golf everyday or would you rather do an equivalent job in a school of something like that," he said. "Although a lot of these jobs are very different a lot of them require communication skills, some involve cross-cultural skills and they all involve needing to be flexible and adaptive."

'Must love dogs, cars and water'

It's not unusual for a day's work for Jeff Olsen to include being showered with water, washing an unruly dog, or repairing a hose pipe.

Mr Olsen manages Wash World in Te Rapa in Hamilton and is often the sole car and dog wash attendant. So work can mean everything from tidying up the forecourt and demonstrating how to use the car wash equipment or automatic pay machines, to chatting to customers about their cars.

Wash World offers self-service cleaning for dogs and cars, but Mr Olsen said that at least once a day he had to roll up his sleeves and help a customer with the washing.

Only yesterday morning he took over cleaning a car from a heavily pregnant woman and said it was all part of the customer service.

The company is in the process of offering to wash cars and dogs for people so he will be getting wet more often.

- NZ Herald

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