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Poem: "Odd Jobs for Odd People" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Odd Jobs for Odd People"
This poem is spillover from the November 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] mashfanficchick, [personal profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] acelightning, [personal profile] corvi, [personal profile] callibr8, and [personal profile] lone_cat. It also fills the "Kraken" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo.  This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"Odd Jobs for Odd People"

One thing that Vagary loved
about working for Kraken was
that they excelled at finding
odd jobs for odd people.

Now he stood in front of
the big gray bulletin board
that held colorful pages full of
opportunities and information for
members, looking for something
that would appeal to his skills

and, preferably, not drive Calliope
up a wall because she was a superhera
and they were stuck with each other.

He didn't talk to her about work,
but that didn't necessarily mean
she couldn't find out somehow.

Vagary gazed over the head of
the short, balding man in a suit who
stood in front of him, and considered
his options in the section of legal jobs.

Sadly, there was nothing in the way
of spyjinks, but it was fun just reading
the descriptions of different jobs.

Live mannequin
Numerous positions in
Milan, Paris, Eastbord, Mumbai,
Melbourne, Vancouver, and more.
Visible manifestation required.


That one might have been fun --
Vagary loved to travel -- but he
looked entirely human and
he doubted that his Phasing
would meet the requirement.

Monkey-fur dye specialist
Do you love animals and chemicals?
Come assist us with our project to invent
dyes to mimic chromatic superpowers!


Two positions to fill:
* Corn maze architect
* Corn maze maintenance technician

Applicants must be fluent in
topology and algorithms.


Vagary shook his head.
He wasn't good at any of that.

IMAX screen cleaner
We know, you hate people.
This job involves no people,
just washing big viewscreens.


Gentle bug relocator
Buddhist monastery seeks
someone to take pests outside.
(Any/no religion welcome.)
Insect Control preferred.
Vegetarian diet provided.
Your choice of free training
in meditation and/or martial arts!


Boring. Possible death by boredom.
He would be out painting the town red in
no time, which was the opposite of helpful.

(+++++ hazard pay)


A great big fuck no to that.

Design puzzles for brains.
Super-Intellect and/or
Super-Gizmology required.

Lighthouse keeper
This position is not on Earth.
Serious inquiries only.


Two positions to fill:
* Orgy planner
* Brothel receptionist

Must speak fluent Italian
and be sex-positive.


Vagary was completely unqualified
for any of those positions.

As he watched, the balding man
took down the Enigmatologist number.

Professional internet troll
Are you an asshole?
Make money by writing
obnoxious messages to
people on our shit list!


That one made him hesitate.
He'd done it before, but right now,
he didn't need to be working on
the rough side of his people skills.

Vagary jotted down the contact info
in case he couldn't find anything better.

Personal shopper
(Also available in Illegal Jobs
at premium rates + hazard pay.)
Buy supplies for people
who can't visit stores.


Another one Vagary had done
on occasion, but the legal version
didn't pay as much as he was used to.

Professional Troubleshooter
2+ years of experience required.
Character assassination detail on
a highly placed soup-hostile "doctor."
Come solve a problem the cops can't.


Vagary took down the vdress
for that one too. It wasn't quite
his usual beat, but he thought
that he could make it work.

Besides, his Phasing would
allow him to get into places
that most people just couldn't.
That had to count for something.

Telepathic counselor
Become the first telepath
to counsel people who
hear delusional voices.
Prove nary scientists wrong!


Vagary was almost tempted
by that one, but he knew nothing
about how to counsel people.
Maybe someday, though.

Reality tester
(+++ hazard pay)
One illusionist, one sorcerer
and three super-gizmologists
seek hardy participants to test
subjective and objective efficacy
of various emanations and devices.
Are you ready to disbelieve us?


That sounded like enormous fun.
Vagary punched the vdress into
his vidwatch and sent them a copy
of his standard resume, highlighting
the origin of his superpowers from
taking a potent metagen.

He loved odd-jobbing
as a career, even if
his choice of jobs was
even odder than usual.

A gaggle of teenagers,
each showing a different kind
of animal features, came up
to browse the job board.

"Hey kids, check this out,"
Vagary said, tapping the ad
for the live mannequins.

They leaned forward to look.

"Omigod, omigod, I always wanted
to be a model!" one girl shrieked,
grabbing Vagary around the neck.

Just because he was a supervillain
didn't mean that he couldn't
make dreams come true
once in a while.

* * *


This is one of the Kraken job boards. They have online versions, of course, but plenty of folks just like the feel of a community bulletin board -- and a few aren't compatible with computers.

"Odd jobs" may refer to a wide variety of temporary work, handywork, or unusual professions. Here is a list of odd jobs that people often hire out. You can do it with writing too -- which is honestly what I'm doing here. Terramagne-America has much higher respect for and frequency of oddjobbing as a career choice; it helps that the government provides benefits such as the employer's half of social security for self-employed people. Many supervillains amount to oddjobbers, and Kraken has a fantastic benefits package. Learn how to work odd jobs.

Not every relationship has job harmony.  If your spouse or other partner hates your job for whatever reason and/or you have a very stressful job, it can cause a lot of tension.  Neither Calliope nor Vagary want to give up their current work, but they are subtly starting to look for ways to reduce the friction it causes between them.  In this case, Vagary checks the legal job board first, rather than the illegal one.

Live mannequins may work at fashion shows, store windows, and other locations. This is another job more common in T-America than in L-America, due to their higher appreciation of the need for mannequins that look like real people. In this regard, mannequins may represent diverse skin tones, sizes, and abilities. In Terramagne fashion, show soups are suddenly all the rage as models -- mostly crayon soups and others with visible manifestations that don't affect how they wear clothes. So Kraken is planning to troll the holy living hell out of them with soups who have wings, tails, extra limbs, and other major differences. Won't this be fun? I couldn't find instructions for being a live mannequin, but here are tips for a living statue, a similar gig generally done as street performance.

A fashion capital is a city with lots of involvement and influence in clothing design. Kraken is pretty much just going down the list of them.

Mazes rely on an understanding of topology. A corn maze uses field corn to create its walls, among the most popular of annual mazes. You can make a new pattern with it every year, and it's a lot easier than hauling around haybales.

Buddhism relies on the principle of nonkilling.

Beekeeping can be a fun hobby or a lucrative profession. Except in Easy City, where almost nobody wants anything to do with stinging insects right now, which means that they have millions of honeybees in need of rescue -- and of course, Kraken has its own interests in entomological research right now. Learn how to care for bees.

Puzzles are made by enigmatologists. When I say that T-America has a lot more puzzles available, across the full spectrum of abilities, this is an example of the high end for Super-Intellects. Read about making and solving puzzles.

A lighthouse keeper lives in a remote location to maintain a beacon or similar facility. There still programs teaching people how to do this today.

(These links are harsh.)
Internet trolls are obnoxious people who stir trouble for fun or profit. Various countries hire them to cause problems, including Russia and America. Kraken has its own army of trolls, generally deployed against forks, spies, soup-hostile countries, and other legitimate targets. And then there's this waste of carbon, who demonstrates that Mortimer Smee is not an implausible exaggeration. This article talks about becoming a professional troll.

A personal shopper may accompany their employer or go out alone. This can greatly enable people with disabilities to obtain things they need. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of working as a personal shopper.

Soups with animal traits may have just a few, a moderate amount, or a lot. Animal soups may be almost human in personality, somewhat human, or not at all. Catgirls and playbunnies are widely considered to be sex maniacs. This is a serious problem, considering that most of them did not choose those traits and some feel horrified by their own bodies. It contributes to one of the more common categories of soup also being among the most determined to stay in the fuse box. Unsurprisingly, some of them wind up with Kraken.

Modeling is widely considered a dream job. Find out how to become a model.

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