People have to make a living, and answering help wanted ads just won't cut it. These people found the weirdest jobs that somehow became way more lucrative than anyone expected. It makes no sense, but it is very entertaining to read about. Content has been edited for clarity.
"This rich family paid me at least $500 a night to babysit their eight year old son. I was about 18, and i was certified for child cpr, first aid, and I grew up watching my nephews from a young age. I never set a price, I just told them to pay me what they thought was fair. The kid was very polite and was basically a young adult. I'm not sure if he took etiquette classes or something, but his face LIT UP when we played pretend ninjas for the first time. He slayed three of them in one slash. I was also there for his first skinned knee, and he took it like a champ. he just kept saying "Oh man, call the babysitter, it hurts a lot!'
But he wound up extremely proud of it. One night they called abruptly to have me come sit, paid me in advance, then left three hundred dollars 'for pizza or whatever, you can keep the change, too.' Then took off for three hours. They wanted him in bed an hour after they left, but I gave him two and a half to play video games. Overall I made some insanely good money for not very much work at all! 10/10 would babysit again. But male babysitters have it rough unfortunately! I would get a lot of weird looks in public form other people."
"I was driving for a ride share service. I picked up a bunch of wasted people at like two in the morning. They were like, 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy's!'
I go, 'I'm sorry this is my busy period.'
They reply, 'Can we bribe you?'
I go, 'Absolutely you can bribe me!'
One the guys said he would give me $100. I was shocked that it was that high. Another guy said $150, and finally his wife said, 'Forget it, I want Wendy's. $200 and we buy you Wendy's too!'
I finally said yes. To be honest, $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at a Wendy's, but I sort of wanted to see how much these people were willing to give me. So there I sat that night at Wendy's, while those three wasted people bought me food and paid me $200."
"I have lived in China for a while. Not long after I first arrived, a friend of my work colleague asked if they could hire me for their wedding. All I had to do was go there and pretend to know the bride and groom. I later learned from my Chinese wife that for some, it's seen as a weird sort of prestigious thing to be friends with a white American in China. In fact, that's what the lady who hired me basically said, but I thought there had been some sort of mistake in translation.
I mingled with the people at the wedding as best as I could, clinging on to the three people who spoke barely enough English. People took a lot of photos of me. I think I took more photos with the bride than her new husband did. I ate some new things. I danced badly. I sung karaoke worse. I maybe added fifty people to my social media page. That was a HUGE mistake, as now everyone wanted a white monkey friend. Basically, I either ruined those people's wedding, or I made it the most epic event in the history of their entire lineage.
I was paid $200 by the friend of the coworker, but I was given nearly $1,000 by the groom. They got way, way, way more than that from the gifts, so I sort of felt like it was the fee to get me to finally leave. It was pretty fun looking back on it now!"=
"I took a temporary position in the hospital I work at. The position was to be a nurse for patients who had to stay overnight after surgery, and to discharge them in the morning. This started because quarantine had recently increased our patient population, and the regular floor could not accommodate these types of patients. They closed the pre-op area and instead were putting these overnight patients there. Except, on some nights no patients stayed overnight. We (there were two of us) offered to be low censused, meaning they can send us home and we would either take PTO or not be paid. Instead, they insisted we stay in the unit, by ourselves, 'just in case'. For this special assignment, they were paying us $50 an hour bonus over our regular rate of pay. So I was getting paid $95/hour to literally sit and crochet, read, and listen to music!"
"I once got hired to babysit a babysitter. A local family had been using a babysitter who was too young to drive, probably fifteen years old or something. One night, they needed someone who could stay overnight if needed, and this girl's parents didn't want her to do that alone because in an emergency, she would have no way to evacuate with the kids. But the kids she was babysitting for already knew her, and their parents didn't want to try to introduce them to someone brand new. So the compromise was to hire someone with a driver's license (me) to 'help' the younger girl babysit. The kids were already asleep when I got there, so she and I just hung out all night."
"I made $10 an hour in 2006 to open soda cans, pour them out, and throw them away. Let me explain. I was working at a Pepsi plant through this temp agency. When the cans come out of the machine, all of the defected cans get kicked out into these side compartments. I had to keep the side compartments clear so that the defected cans wouldn't end up mixed in with the regular ones. I was instructed to open the cans, pour them on the floor, and throw them in the trash. OF COURSE I DRANK SOME! Sodas in this stage of production are super carbonated and pressurized. So what you learn to do is to lightly hit the can on the side of the machine, and it'll explode. That was much easier and more fun than opening the cans to pour them out. What was even more fun was launching these carbonated grenades towards your coworkers. Apparently starting soda can fights is frowned up. Naturally, I got fired after too many of these soda fights. But this was the easiest job ever, it was definitely worth the money!"
"I'm a therapist, and I often respond to the sites of things like bank robberies or accidents. When you see on the news that 'crisis counselors are on-site', that's me. Sometimes it can be intense psychological first-aid, but it's often sitting around waiting for someone who wants to come talk. Sometimes I'm just there so the PR people can say that services are available. This is especially true with industrial accidents and layoffs. I get paid significantly more for these types of assignments, sometimes as much as $70/hour and the clock starts when I leave my home to travel to the site. I've had multiple days spent riding my motorcycle to the site, reading a book for eight hours, and then riding home and never speaking to a single person. That was $500 in my pocket for the day.
I'm a marriage and family therapist, but I've done additional training for these types of events. I also have quite a bit of experience, and I've been specifically requested by various customer companies and the insurance company that coordinates the response. One of the clinics I work with for, these events comes to me before offering them to anyone else.
A lot of times I'm working with blue-collar workers in industrial settings. Showing up in a cardigan and wingtips isn't going to fly, and they don't want to talk about their feelings. But when a big bearded guy shows up in his own PPE and can cuss along with the best of them, these employees will open up and talk a little more to me. I can go from that to being in a meeting a group of doctors and nurses and be clinical and professional. I just seem to put more effort into meeting clients where they are, rather than showing up with the 'do therapy the way I want you to' attitude. I try to meet a client on their terms and on their turf."
"I worked as a part time gopher for this wildly rich artist for about a year, around 2017. I id all sorts of random, and I mean completely random, jobs for the guy. By far my favorite encounter was when he once paid me $350 in cash to drive to Downtown L.A. to find him 'the perfect piñata'. He specifically told me that he wanted a 'donkey that looks like a, ugly unicorn'. He was also VERY color specific. There had to be a specific mix of every color, but absolutely no red. I'm expecting an all day hunt. But, if you haven't been to Downtown Los Angeles, let me tell you that it must be the Piñata Mecca. Massive warehouses back-to-back are taking up whole blocks where you can browse any possible variant of piñata. Buzz Lightyear piñata? Got it. Adult doll style piñata? Got it. Giant snow globe piñata? Got it. Celebrity head piñata? Got so many of them. I found the piñata I was looking for within ten minutes, browsed some more for my own curiosity, then brought the piñata back to this guy's house. The whole thing took maybe an hour and a half. I got paid in cash. Then I had the pleasure of watching this guy hang the piñata in his living room, where he wanted to wack the heck out of it alone. His reasoning? Absolutely no clue. But I got paid, baby!"
"I was a pizza driver for a summer. One time, I made a delivery to a rich area. The customer said his big bottle of Mountain Dew or whatever was missing from his receipt, because the dummy who took his phone order messed something up, and I should go back to the store to get it. And he tipped me $5 for doing so! So I drove back to the store to get his drink, and then back to his house to drop it off. He met me at the door and said his pizza was wrong, because the same dummy made another mistake, so I should back to the store to fix it. And he tipped me $5 more. So, I drove back to the store to get the correct pizza and then back to his house to drop it off. He met me at the door and said he just realized his side item is wrong too. The dummy put him down for breadsticks instead of the cheese-covered kind, so I should go back to the store to fix it. And he tipped me another $5.
Once again, I drove back to the store to get the correct side item, and then back to his house to drop it off. He met me at the door, thanking me profusely. And he tipped me yet another $5. I got $20 in tips for a massively messed up order, and all it took was some extra driving!"
"I got paid to google stuff for people! I sued to work for KGBKGB, which was this text messaging service where you could text a number, ask any question, and get an answer. This was before smartphones became super huge, so it was a bit of a helpful gimmick back then. However, for everyone that we got asking normal questions like movie times, or what restaurants were open near them, or stuff like that, we got A LOT more people asking very stupid things that I would have to Google. I had to look up so many bizarre facts on the internet for people. It was an interesting job that helped cover some things when I was in college, but it had me using Google for a lot of dumb stuff and paid terribly. We would get five cents for using a recycled answer and ten cents for using one we researched and typed out ourselves. The pay was so terrible that they got investigated by the Department of Labor and were forced to pay back wages to former employees. It was a nice surprise waking up to an extra $1,000 in my bank account after that, because I wasn't even aware that was going on!"
"So I used to work for a PR agency. Every month, one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website. It was nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager. It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day. And this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month for this one task! I showed the client how to do it several times, and I even explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind paying so much for it though! In the end, I made sure I got it in writing that I had informed them of their options and let them get on with it, in case they decided to change their minds."
"I was flown into Paris to do this compliance audit. The systems weren't set up for the audit, and I couldn't actually get access to the computer system to work on it. So I spent the week being taken to various restaurants and shopping malls while I waited. On one of those days, at the very last minute, the company decided to send me over to London for a meeting, literally just to network with some other employees. TO be honest, absolutely nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit ever got completed. Nothing ever came out of that meting. It cost my company over $25,000 for me to do nothing but sightsee and be a tourist for a week. Corporations have ridiculous amounts of money to blow on the stupidest reasons!"
"I was asked to complete two hours of barrier watch, which meant that I was guarding a barrier ribbon, while this crew completed various x-rays inside of a power plant. I was asked to do this very last minute, after I had completed a twelve hour shift, and this extra time would be taking place on a Sunday. I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure nobody tried to pass any of the 'DO NOT ENTER! DANGER! DANGER!' signs, during a time of day where barely anybody would be around the premises anyway!"
"I had this work from home gig as a sort of personal assistant to a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all sorts of wacky stuff for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend, because he was simply too wimpy to do it himself. Bizarre stuff like that was literally all I did for this job. One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. That meant that I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I would say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal. Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck, and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he would pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, with the same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply. It took ten minutes to make the phone call, and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work'.
Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. And he also wanted me to buy it for hi! I told him that the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I was paid $2,000. That friend of my boss decided to pay me $3,000 just to get it for him, and then he emailed me some specifications he wanted for the SUV. That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks. I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
"For my work, I got this all expenses paid trip to Florida, just to plug in an HDMI into a computer for a conference booth. After I plugged it in, I was still technically on call in case I needed to unplug and replug the HDMI cable. I never did. I went to Walt Disney World and got to expense all of my meals there! But that wasn't quite as impressive as my cousin's husband. He did a lot of engineering work over in China. He came back to north America. Not twenty minutes after landing while still in the terminal, his client from China called him, saying one part of the machine wasn't starting. My cousin's husband told him to just try resetting this switch on the diagram. They said no, we want you to come and do it. So he hopped back on the next plane to China. He reset the one switch he told them to, and the machine turned on. They were extremely grateful. He sent them a bill of $10,000 plus expenses, and they didn't care. I was astonished."
"I had a union gig years ago that had very strict rules about never farming out any work to another shop, unless there were no one else available on call. The union also had some very strict and worker-beneficial overtime rules. This lead me to getting paid for eight hours of work for spending fifteen minutes watching a piece of gear being loaded on a flatbed trailer, in order to make sure that the forklift driver cleared all potential obstacles. Anyone who was called in outside of their normal work hours automatically was paid for four hours of work, and because this was a Sunday, I then also got double time. So I was paid for eight hours at the then very decent rate of $26/hour (keep in mind, this was around 1998).
The union rules aren’t the dumb part, the dumb part was that there were several other people on hand, including union members who were qualified for the simple safety task, but they worked in other shops, so they were not allowed to help. I didn’t complain about the easy gig and got it again a few more times later!"
"Twenty five years ago, and in Indiana, the law was that in order to operate nail salon, someone there must hold a full cosmetology license, not just a nail technician license. A nail salon opened next to the hair salon I worked at, and they all held nail technician licenses. The one person who held a cosmetology license would be delayed in Korea for a week for whatever reason. At 18 years old, I was paid $25 an hour to merely to sit in the nail salon as the 'holder of the license'. I answered no phones, tended to no clients, did nothing but paint my own nails repeatedly, and watch TV for an entire week. It was such a sweet, sweet gig. I was making $4.25 an hour, plus tips on the haircuts I would work on. In 2006, to receive this felt like winning the lottery."
"This guy commissioned me to draw his pony doing it with a bunch of balloons shaped like various cartoon characters in a massive collage. My rate was based on the amount of characters and the amount of fetishes, and this man came fully prepared to dump $1500 for me to draw the entire commission, after he even added up the total himself! I gave him a discount since even I felt like it was insanity. I probably should have charged the full amount, since it did end up taking me two weeks to do on and off, just from burnout at drawing the same style of balloon over and over just in different shapes, but that was definitely the most bizarre commission I've ever had, or at least the most I've been commissioned for something so weird."
"I got paid $40,000 to not show up at work. It was the financial crisis, and there was a hiring freeze right before I was due to start work. The company I was to work for couldn't honor the employment contract we signed, but it was all very sudden, and my would-be bosses felt bad enough about the situation. They decided to offer me half a year's salary as a gesture of goodwill. There was definitely this effort not to tick me off through this whole process. I specialize in a very niche sector, so I was less replaceable than the average worker at that company. The main guy that I was originally supposed to report to reached out to me some years later out of the blue about a job opportunity, but I was already quite satisfied with a different job I had already found at that point. We still keep in touch after all these years. I was a new college graduate at that time, and it would have been pretty stupid of me to start a lawsuit against such a massive firm. Even if I had won, the amount I would have received would be peanuts compared to the opportunity cost for the rest of your life. If I made a huge stink of the issue and built up a bad reputation for myself in the industry, then I would have had a much less successful career than the one I have ended up having."