With the economy still showing no signs of sustainable improvement—at least from the perspective of those on fixed incomes—more and more retirees are looking for jobs. I’ve collected some suggestions from my usual sources (and some not so usual ones). The good news is that, for some of these, you can work part time and work from home.
The bad news is that if you’d planned on that retiree standby, Walmart greeter, it’s been eliminated at many supercenters. Likewise, if you’d hoped to help your local high school grade essays, you can cross that off your list. There’s now computer software capable of doing this faster than we humans can. A recent study shows that these “robo-graders” are as accurate as we are, too.
Take heart. Here are some jobs that computers can’t do—at least not yet.
1. Inventory Clerk
The need is mounting for recording the tsunami debris washing up on America’s Pacific coast. Some items found thus far: a huge piece of a dock, fishing boats, volley balls and (be still my heart) a Harley. It’s a plus if you can read Japanese, since many items have writing on them. Important: you won’t be required to inventory radioactive tuna, and volunteers will remove the debris, not you.
2. Reporter on Obama and Romney Sightings
There’s a catch to this job. We’re not talking about in-person appearances of the Presidential candidates. This is akin to Jesus sightings wherein His face is seen on potato chips, slices of toast, and water stains on cement walls. Candidates for this position should be comfortable using Facebook, YouTube and EBay to find weird stuff. Bonus paid if you find something showing one of the candidates with Jesus.
3. Property Valuator
A recent Time blurb valued Barbie’s Malibu Dream House at $18,000, were the 21 sq. ft. property to actually exist in Malibu Beach. Barbie lovers worldwide are now clamoring to know the value of all her belongings, from her Cadillac hybrid Escalade to her Jammin’ Jeep to her water park. Good luck putting a price on Ken’s head.
4. Rat Catcher
Hameln, the German town that made the Pied Piper famous, has again been forced to hire an official rat catcher. The pesky critters have been enjoying a population explosion. A number of smaller American cities are following Gunter Loschner’s performance closely. Take a look around the dumpster in back of your local greasy spoon and you’ll know why. If Gunter is successful, expect a burst of postings for rat catchers in the U.S. If this tickles your fancy, pipe up!
5. Text Message Editor
With 20 years of messaging behind us, texting has become more popular than email. It’s killing family budgets in households with teenagers. It’s also a major source of teen driving accidents. This is creating demand for text message editors to reduce the time spent texting. If you can say things in 140 characters, this job could be yours. It’s clearly not an option for me.
6. Golf Ball Retriever
As Baby Boomers explode into retirement, they have more time for playing golf, but their drives are increasingly errant. Since golf balls are expensive, many clubs have openings for golf ball retrievers. You get an hourly wage, and the clubs sell your balls to other retirees at a discount. You’ll need waders, snorkeling equipment and a waterproof tote for this job.
7. Social Deviants Police Aides (SDPAs)
Many municipalities are putting into effect ordinances that prohibit a variety of behaviors. The offenses are more social than criminal. As a result, there’s a need for civilians to aid police in identifying antisocial behavior that violates the new codes. Here’s a few locations that will be hiring SDPAs and what you’ll be looking for.
· Hi-Fructose Over-Dosers (drinking sugary beverages larger than 16 oz.)—apply in New York City; bring a 16 oz. travel mug so you can check sizes.
· Plastic Bag Violators (now banned in supermarkets)—apply in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and no doubt other cities in the near future.
· Dragging and Sagging Pants (pants hanging so low that teens’ undies are on display)—apply in Chicago; it’s unclear whether plumber’s butt is also covered by this law.
· Marijuana Gardeners (even where medical Mary Jane is legal, you can’t grow your own)—apply in Pasco, WA. Warning: you may have to test the stuff to be sure it’s really marijuana before you can make the collar.
As you can see, there are lots of great jobs out there for retirees. As usual, I’m here to serve.