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Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations Hardcover – October 28, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580084575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580084574
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,218,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The perfect coffee-table book . . . photographs will have party guests gabbing. . . . these portraits create an eccentric picture of the most creative of America's working class.” — The Boston Phoenix“ODD JOBS is a captivating photo essay on the people who make America tick.” —New York Post“Whatever you do for a living, it's got to be better than that [the job of the Diener] . . . a nifty book filled with striking portraits.” —Honolulu AdvertiservA terrific job of capturing the workers and their sometimes surreal environment . . . the punfully bad text is contagious. . . . a smiley little book.”—Entertainment Weekly“‘How'd You Like to Smell Armpits For a Living' was the headline, and they called the book ‘an entertaining description of wacky work assignments that make most folks' careers seem downright boring.'”—National Enquirer“You won't find these [excerpts] in the classifieds.” —Reader's Digest

From the Publisher

•Profiles 65 of the most unique jobs in America. •Jobs include duck walker, coin polisher, doll doctor, and artificial inseminator.

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Customer Reviews

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It's hard to imagine some of these jobs much less read that they exist.
mark hepburn
I bought this book with the sole intention of making it a coffee table photography book/conversation starter.
Elizabeth L
When I spotted this book on the shelf, I immediately knew that I had to buy it.
Charles Ashbacher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While waiting for my wife to browse quilting books at Powell's book store, I wandered down an aisle and breezed through an entertaining book that caught my eye... Odd Jobs: Portraits Of Unusual Occupations by Nancy Rica Schiff.

Schiff came across a person with an unusual job one day... the official timekeeper at a horse race track. She then started wondering about other "unusual" jobs that people have, and set out to find those jobs and photograph the people who do them. The result is this book. It's not large, only 152 pages. The format is a set of opposite pages for each job. The description of the job and person is on the left, along with a picture of the job and person on the right. And we're talking some really unusual jobs... How about a condom tester held by a lady who is definitely old enough to be your grandmother? A person who milks venom from snakes. A mortuary beautician who prepares bodies for their "final viewing". Dog walker, bull inseminator, tampon tester... all things that need to be done, but you probably don't really think about (or *want* to think about) the people or skills it takes to do them.

So if you're feeling that your job is horrible and you'd like to do something different, take 15 minutes or so and glance through this book. You'll either come back with some new employment possibilities or figure out that your job isn't so bad after all!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By joy nagy on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I think this excellent book is appropriate for any reader teenager or beyond. At a time when jobs are scarce and people are searching for new employment, 'Odd Jobs' allows the reader, whether young or old, to become aware of a vast array of jobs that are inventive and alternative.
One must be resourcful during this ecomony. Odd Jobs is done with a sense of humor and captured the teenage market by having been selected by a panel of young librarians at the New York Public Library for their Teenage List 2003.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Funny and fascinating stuff. I bought four copies and two of them are intended for my twin teen granddaughters with the idea that it is funny and serious all at the same time. It will certainly open their career choices to "outside the box" occupations.
Yes, these are really funny things to read about. The sweetly proud faces tell of the pride of these holders of unusual jobs. I actually visited a packaging operation where ladies were testing condoms on steel "devices" and I was delighted to see a similar job shown in Ms. Schiff's hilarious book.
One reviewer myopically advised school librarians to not buy this book because it was for adults. That's pretty strange advice to this reader who was exposed to the French Impressionists and the wonders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other highly "adult" topics when I was a boy. This early appreciation for the unusual things in our world provided me with the freedom to choose from a bigger buffet of options. I used to sample a number of unusual occupations with pride instead of embarrassment. The beauty of Ms. Schiff's book is that it's both really funny and eye-opening at the same time. What could be a better occupation carousel of the unusual for a students wondering what they might want to be in life?
Buy it for your teenagers. It's a perfectly charming and meaty gift for all ages.
C. H.
Current author and former Ford plant 2nd shift "emblem slammer." (My job was to just snap the Ford Emblem under the hood ornament of every car leaving the Edgewater Assembly Plant.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By shoutgrace on June 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This funny little ditty will make you feel better about your current job. If you collect the unusual books add this to your collection. You'll be chuckling to at least some of the outrageous and for real really odd jobs that exist, like-armpit sniffer, duck walker and doggy breath wiffer. It comes with humorous photos and delirious profiles. This would be a guaranteed conversation piece on any occasion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I spotted this book on the shelf, I immediately knew that I had to buy it. It contains a series of photographs of people performing unusual jobs along with a brief description of the job and the person. The cover photo is of odor judge Betty Lyons sniffing the armpit of a man. That photo definitely qualifies as an attention grabber. Her job is to test the efficacy of deodorant.

Other jobs depicted in the book are:

*) Dinosaur duster, he dusts the dinosaur bones in a museum.

*) Mohel, a man who circumcises male Jewish babies.

*) Barbie's dress designer.

*) Solfeggist, a person who writes down the notes of a musical composition while listening to it.

*) Diener, a person who prepares bodies for autopsies.

*) Duckmaster, a man who walks a small flock of ducks from their home on the roof of a hotel to the fountain where they spend their day.

*) The headmistress of a school for men who want to cross-dress.

*) The keeper of professional hockey's Stanley Cup.

I strongly recommend this book for light reading. I started it and couldn't put it down until I finished it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gayle Vivid on December 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Odd jobs--portraits of unusual occupations is the perfect gift! It's a little jewel of a book, filled with wonderful photos and amusing profiles. Everything in this book about work--works!
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