Let’s just say that these jobs will certainly make you appreciate your legal job in London that’s for sure.
1. Whipping Boy
During the medieval period, if the prince was ever a naughty so-and-so, he would never be punished. Instead, his ‘whipping boy’ would be punished. This little boy’s job was to be thrashed, beaten and scolded for everything the prince did wrong. Princes were perceived as God’s chosen and therefore were not allowed to be mistreated by common hands – so his friend, the poor Whipping Boy, just got beaten up instead.
In Colonial India, it was very a la mode to have a ceiling fan to keep you and your guests cool from the Indian heat. However, in those days ceiling fans needed to be man-powered… and here’s where the Punkawallah comes in. This person’s job was to stand in the corner of the room for hours and hours on end constantly pulling a mechanism to make the ceiling fan turn. This job sounds like the epitome of sheer, mind-numbing boredom. We bet you appreciate your accounting job right now.
3. Snake Milker
A snake milker’s job is to hand-extract venom from poisonous snakes. Who on earth would want to do that? Isn’t venom deadly? Well, the only anti-dote for venom known to science actually has venom in it as it’s primary ingredient, meaning that someone needs to get out there and collect it. Top marks for bravery to all snake milkers out there! Being a tax advisor may be a bit less exciting, but its a hell of a lot safer that’s for sure!
4. Groom of the Stool
The Groom of the Stool was one of the most intimate of the King’s courtiers. What did the Groom of the Stool do? Right, now, how should we word this… basically, this royal servant was in charge of helping the King on the loo. Although the position sounds rather repulsive, the perks of the job were tremendous. Not only were you one of the closest figures to the King himself, but you were seen as one of the top dogs in court. You would have more social standing as Groom of the Stool than if you had any legal job. Hmmm, would it be worth it?
Pet Food Taster
Yes, there are people out there to evaluate the nutritional value and taste of your pet’s food by eating it for themselves. To ensure that the quality of pet food is at a high enough standard, this pet food taster does thorough examinations on all the tastes, flavours, textures and health benefits of every tin of dog food on the market. The idea of chowing down on doggy chow is a bit of a reality stretch, but there’s no denying that Pet Food Taster is certainly an important job.
Sin Eaters were Medieval social outcasts whose job was to ‘devour’ the sins of the dying so that they would be saved as the Sin Eater would absorb them. This is how it would work, the Sin Eater would visit the dying person. A doctor of sorts would extract the dying person’s sins and put them into some symbolic bread and wine. After this, the Sin Eater would feast on the bread and wine, which sounds quite fun really, but the stigma of being a Sin Eater would cast you out of normal life forever. No one wanted to associate themselves with someone full of men’s sins.