Following on from her previous (rather serious) column on South Africa’s alarming unemployment figures, Caryn Gootkin scours the net and picks her friends’ brains to come up with some unusual ways to make money.
Unemployment is a serious issue. But I am not a serious writer. Internal dilemma: how do I write about a serious topic in my irreverent and flippant manner without offending millions in my country? My gut tells me I can’t, but my head wants to try, so here goes…
I am not qualified to propose solutions to the massive economic and social problems our (no longer really) new democracy faces. I have nothing fresh to add to the debate on the subject. I suspect that very few people do and I wish that those who don’t would stop whingeing and criticising and subjecting the rest of us to their hackneyed thoughts.
The one thing I do know, however, is that sitting around waiting for government, academia and big business to solve these problems is not helping those are currently destitute. So, perhaps it is time we became creative. Perhaps we should think of innovative ways to make money rather than sending CVs out to all the major corporates hoping that a vacancy will one day exists.
Full of enthusiasm I asked my tweeps (those peeps who follow me on Twitter, of course) and Facebook “friends” for examples of the weird and wonderful things they have done for money.
@MingBean did many strange things as a student. For our purposes, however, dancing on bars and getting badly sunburnt as part of a word made from human bodies that was visible from the air are of particular relevance in our quest to find jobs for the masses. They no doubt have very low barriers to entry.
Regrettably she assured me that the bodies were all alive, which detracts slightly from the potential entrepreneurial application of her experience. How many of you were thinking of striking a deal with the local undertaker?
SC, who is both a friend and a “friend” and is a truly lovely person, was totally broke in Cairo at 18. In desperation she convinced the editor of the local expat magazine that she could read the stars; that his publication really needed a horoscope section; and that she, Madame Isis, was the one for the job. After giving him a detailed personality profile based on his horoscope, she spent many smug moments hoodwinking the Brits in Cairo. So, about that tall, dark stranger….
Those who prefer to make money without actually working (or conning anyone) should consider undergoing drug tests or donating bodily fluids.
Aside: Do you agree that it is strange to refer to something as a donation when the donor is being paid for it? From what I can recall from my legal days, providing something in return for money is called selling. But maybe that would make the whole thing seem crass.
Pharmaceutical giants are compelled to perform controlled drug tests before pushing their potentially harmful pills down consumers’ throats.
If this revenue stream appeals to you, I urge you to visit gpgp.net for some tips. These range from the very useful (be polite and don’t eat poppy seeds before you arrive) to the downright scary (be sure to rebuild your blood and flush your kidneys after the trials).
If, despite this, you would like to volunteer (incorrect nomenclature, once again), I am concerned that you may find yourself in less than savoury company. The following is quoted verbatim from gpgp.net:
“The Jerry Springer crowd.
In some American clinics, you may encounter a few of the low-life element taking part in trials. These include homeless alcoholics who managed to stop drinking long enough to pass the screening, gangsters who carry attitudes when they can\’t carry weapons, hotheaded rednecks whose volatile behaviour is exhibited daily on the Jerry Springer Show, and hard-core prison types who try to intimidate others by threatening violence. Try to avoid these losers, without making it obvious you are trying to avoid them. The reason is that if they provoke a confrontation with you, then you risk being thrown out without pay if a physical altercation occurs. Many clinics will not bother to investigate who hit who, or who was at fault, but simply get rid of you both. “
An eager South African (known only as Pitstop36) who read about this online posted the following question: “Is (sic) there any drug test facillties (sic) in South Africa?” Well, Pitstop36, as it happens there is one in Bloemfontein.
But don’t say I didn’t warn you.