Unemployed? Or just bored at work? Consider getting a job in the hotel industry, where quirky career paths abound.
The Economist reports that the Tides Riviera Maya Hotel in Mexico, for instance, employs someone with the job title “Soap Concierge.”
After greeting the luxury resort’s guests at their villas, he is tasked with cutting personalized slices of soap for the new arrivals. But these are no ordinary cleansers: created with organic ingredients from the Yucatan Peninsula, the artisanal soaps are made by neighboring communities following ancient Mayan traditions. Clearly this hotel takes to heart the idiom “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
Since the main goal of the service industry is to create memorable experiences, this kind of unique differentiation is perhaps more common than one might think. A few online round-ups reveal many such strange hotel jobs—like the “Monkey Men” of India's Amanbagh Resort, who patrol the resort grounds with slingshots to keep the animals from stealing patrons’ food.
At the Peabody Memphis, on the other hand, local animals are not pests but prized performers: “Duck Master” Jason Sensat
is employed to care for the hotel’s five famous mallard ducks. A presence at the hotel since 1933, the ducks march on a red carpet through the lobby twice every day, entertaining both staying guests and tourists visiting the area. (Indeed many hotels are destinations in their own right: The Hoshi Ryokan in Japan, dating back to the year 718, is the oldest operating hotel according to the Guinness World Records.)
But these sorts of odd positions are not limited to uber-luxury establishments. Take Natalie Thomas, “Director of Bed Bouncing” for the British budget hotel chain Premier Inn. Appointed for her “unique ability” to feel even the smallest lumps in mattresses, her sole role is to test how comfortable each of the chain’s 46,000 beds is every six months.
Bouncing her bum up to eight hours a day, Thomas has to take extra special care of it—moisturizing regularly and avoiding abrasive fabrics like denim. In fact, following in the footsteps of J-Lo, who famously insured her bottom for £18 million, the company is in talks to insure the bed-bouncing director’s for up to £4m. “I absolutely love my job and really can’t imagine doing anything else now!” says Thomas. Who said work had to be boring?
Image (cc) courtesy of Flickr user iMorpheus