Column: The New Job

This column first appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post…

It is Friday and I am having my hair cut.

Friday is my day off. Or, it was. Now Monday is my day off too. And Thursday. And Tuesday. And all the other days in-between. A recent departure from my evening radio show has granted me the gift of time. Now my days are filled with great adventure. Like flicking through the high numbered TV channels and getting my hair cut.

“Unemployed, then?” says my hairdresser with a smirk.

“No. In-between jobs. And I’ve been extremely busy, thanks.” Which is true. Freeview have just added 10 new channels. It’s been a hectic few weeks.

“Frank was in earlier and he…”

“Frank?” I say, cutting him off.

“Yeah, Frank. He’s our scissors sharpener, and…”

“Hang on,” cutting him off again, “somebody comes in and sharpens your scissors?”

“Yes. And … “

“That’s a man’s job? He wakes up every morning, has a cup of coffee and checks news, then sets out for a day of sharpening your scissors?”

“Not just mine,” he says, wearily, “he does it for a few different hairdressers. He’s a freelance scissor sharpener.”

I am stunned. A freelance scissor sharpener. Imagine explaining that to a mortgage provider. As much as stunned, though, I am inspired. I won’t lie to you. Freeview have actually added 5 new channels and there are only so many reruns of Judge Judy you can stomach before wanting to smash yourself over the head with her gavel. In waiting for my next radio adventure to begin, I have been missing a passion. Something to get me out of bed in the morning. Frank, though, has found his purpose. He probably flings himself out of bed after a tormented night of thinking about blunt scissors, before setting to pursue his noble cause.

Unfortunately, I cannot muster an enthusiasm for scissors. And God knows I have tried.

Despite that, I can’t help feeling that I’m onto something. Surely, there is a new pastime-cum-profession, perfect for passing these radio-free months. The internet agrees, and here is what I find…

  • Professional Cuddler: people are making £40-£60 an hour from cuddling. A fine line of work for the winter, but passing sweat with a stranger on a hot summer’s day sounds pretty horrific. Pass.
  • Queue Stander: this role is such a commitment to British values that queue standers should really be knighted. Earning up to £20 an hour, people are hired to literally hold a place in a line. Problematic, though, as a queue without an end result would feel like a hollow victory. Pass.
  • Raven Watcher: The Tower of London has six resident ravens and legend has it, if they leave the tower, the Kingdom of England will fall – so guards are hired to keep an eye on them. Far too much responsibly. Pass.
  • Cool Hunter: big companies are hiring people to advise them on what is and isn’t cool. Sounds appealing, but the backlash of requesting Gangnamstyle at a recent family wedding probably rules me out. Pass
  • Parachute Tester: somebody has to go first. It won’t be me. Pass.

“Anything take your fancy?” asks my hairdresser as I pull my head out of my phone.

“Afraid not,” I admit with a sigh, “And can we hurry this up? Judge Judy is on at 3.”


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By Darryl Morris

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