As far back as I remember, I was never really interested in going to work or keeping a steady job. At the age of 20, I had graduated from University with a degree in Bugger All, and I had planned to be a dog walker for the wealthy – preferably for randy lonely old women living in the Eastern Suburbs and who didn’t have time to walk their terriers between yoga and brunch.

When you work in elevators as the author does, life has its ups and downs. There is also the slight chance of intimate encounters. Well, in the author's wildest dreams…

When I ended up in the hospital after one day of walking ‘Max’, I came to two conclusions: First, never interrupt a dog mating; Second, I needed a new job.

All this got me thinking about what my perfect job would be. Unlike all my other friends with a BA, I had no interest in working at a bank. So instead, I decided I would help save the planet.

In December of 1992 my mother got me a job where she worked, at Greenpeace. I dressed up as a whale, collecting money in a bucket and mostly from Japanese tourists.

I was also required to do some public speaking and various presentations to school groups. On one occasion, the talk was supposed to start at 10am but I overslept and so I had to make it up as I went. I explained to the smelly little brats that the miracle of whales was that they were able to communicate with each other.

Of course, it was only the male whales out on bucks’ nights that were found stranded on beaches, and usually because they had too much to drink and had refused to stop to ask for directions. I was later officially stripped of my whale costume and mercilessly thrown overboard.

With very little ambition, no idea how to fish, but a strong desire not to starve to death, I decided to try something completely different. Knowing someone who knew someone, I was told about a job as a masseuse. The ad read something like this: “Masseuse needed for exclusive celebrity resort, no experience necessary, will train right person”. I had a vision of supermodels with barely covered bottoms.

The first day went well until my first ‘client’ arrived. I opened the door and there, naked, was the largest woman I had ever seen – well, okay, except perhaps for my mother pretending to be a whale at a Greenpeace Christmas party.

I introduced myself and asked her to take off her leg warmers. At this point the woman assured me that she was not wearing any. I knew right then that this profession was not for me.

The next 15 years were very trying on me. I had to change jobs hundreds of times because of one silly mistake after another. Nowadays, to make ends meet I write guff for whoever will publish it, but that doesn’t give a regular income. So now I work in a new job. It has turned out to be my favourite. I am Head of Lift Operations in a snazzy boutique hotel in the city.

Coincidentally, its full of randy older women who want a little company during their holiday stay. You could say it has its ups and downs.

Most commented


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    • Fireman says:

      05:32am | 28/01/11

      “I used to work read crystal balls for a living but stopped because I couldent see any future in it.”

      Well done Rich, another good start to the weekend.

    • acotrel says:

      07:33am | 28/01/11

      Getting around wearing a whale suit to make a living must be better than trying to progress a career in science in Australia? We are now living in a technology hinterland!

    • Gregg says:

      05:07pm | 29/01/11

      Just as well you didn’t find that whale suit Aco for someone technologically advanced would have had his portable harpoon loaded in no time at all as soon as you opened your mouth

    • Ray says:

      07:40am | 28/01/11


      Level G. Ladies underwear!

    • Retired Soldier says:

      08:30am | 28/01/11

      I wanted to be a Locomotive Driver when I was a boy but no one would Train me !

    • TChong says:

      09:15am | 28/01/11

      Boom Tish !!  Very good RS.
      Its like when people asked me old dad what he did for a crust ?
      Went to the breadbox.
      Old uns, but good uns

    • stephen says:

      12:12am | 29/01/11

      Funny, but I’d like to be.
      At the Pilbara, (nice name, heh ?) the train driver pulls a 4 km train with a diesel loco, ( and I know heaps about diesel locos and they, from the website, wouldn’t tell me anything about them. Capitalism is Democratic ? In Australia ? Pigs Arse.)
      But the Americans did. Two big manufactures. Check it out, even if you are not interested.

    • Ziggy says:

      08:37am | 28/01/11

      Not much time in the lift - you must be good! Keep writing!

    • Huey says:

      09:29am | 28/01/11

      Keep it up Richard.

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:41am | 28/01/11

      Hang on…you can get paid for writing guff???

      ...outside of Liberal Party campaign policies and advertorials that is….

    • Denny Crane says:

      10:47am | 28/01/11

      Wanted to be a funeral director, turned up for the job, told the boss, i want to put the FUN back into Funeral i was gone.

      I did start my kob many years ago, as small time lawyer, became captain of a ship, from thier was a police office and ended up being a great lawyer who never lost a case lol

    • Thommo says:

      11:09am | 28/01/11

      I was going to be an executioner but I couldn’t get the hang of it.
      The I worked for the Jindalee over the horizon radar, but that was beyond me.
      Then I got a job as Dr Frankensteins assistant, but that was no way to make a living…..and so on and so forth…groan, yawn, chuck

    • TChong says:

      11:26am | 28/01/11

      Set ‘em up, set ém up, knock em down. - just like the Unknown Comic from The Gong Show.

    • Michael says:

      01:40pm | 28/01/11

      I was a circumcisionist, til I got the sack!

    • stephen says:

      10:50pm | 28/01/11

      Bag it, mate.
      Tools in the Hubbard
      should stay in the scabbard.
      Let it out ? The boils of hate then inflate.

    • steph says:

      03:47pm | 28/01/11

      cute quirky piece. nice pic too : )

    • Helen says:

      04:02pm | 28/01/11

      Chuckle! chuckle!.... We all have our ups & downs but as long as you can keep smiling :=)

    • Drew says:

      04:41pm | 28/01/11

      Very droll, but I did enjoy this: “I dressed up as a whale, collecting money in a bucket [...] mostly from Japanese tourists. ”

    • penriff panfa says:

      09:05am | 02/02/11

      my fave bit also…

    • Kaz says:

      05:12pm | 28/01/11

      LOL!  Very ‘up-lifting’ article!  Well done!

    • Laurel says:

      05:16pm | 28/01/11

      Do enjoy your guff - keep ‘em coming. wink

    • stephen says:

      10:43pm | 28/01/11

      Lucky devil.
      And, last time you wrote here, there was a very randy poem written from another for your staidness, ( I assume the writer thought that seude collars and cigars was for your staidness).
      Lifts are like old people : gravity, eventually, takes hold.
      But good luck ; I may see you soon, and then you can tell me how to make money from photos.

    • Gregg says:

      05:31pm | 29/01/11

      For some real stuff had some interesting bar jobs at times and not removing them from a cell window either!
      Sammy our pub owner would always sit down for six bangers for Sat. tea and say religiously, never had a tough sausage and he was Jewish too.
      And then dude trying to impress a damsel one time at the half a boat hull bar at the Reef restaurant back of the Southern Cross Hotel when it was there had me mixing Harvey Wallbangers and the more she just didn’t fancy them, the more I had to down.
      Don’t quite remember how I got home that night but it was a long long time ago.

      Then there was the first time out in the tow truck when I was an on call RACV guy and barely a couple of blocks from the depot I spun a guy around with a clip on his fender as he was running a back street intersection.
      He did need a tow but boss was not too impressed as tow truck front end needed alignment work.

      Most fun though was fitting lightweight annexes to caravans back about forty years ago when they were all the rage and we were so flat out I had to even go out both Xmas and Boxing day to customers with their van all but hitched up to head off on their hols.
      Boxing day was blustery and I said to this impatient guy, how about I just set up the frame for the annexe will take off in this wind - couldn’t convince him and it did with frame attached doing a backflip up onto the roof of the van!
      - see you later!
      And then there was the one that had been made for a twenty five footer van when it was only twenty two feet! - legs aleaving was I again!

      But my best ever was actually with loaves of bread Richo for Noble Rise it was had this $3 voucher on some new bread varieties just coming out a few years ago and seeing as supermarkets had the bread ranging in price from about $1.81 to $2.01, with not much else on that week, I knew there was money to be made and there was with 555 loaves bought in one week.
      Biggest problem was how to get all that bread to good use but I’ll not bore you with that.


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