As a State Fair building superintendent, my job during “fair season” is tons of fun with lots of great perks. I consider myself quite lucky since there are hundreds of fair jobs that aren’t so fun. If you are interested in applying for a job at a county or state fair, here are five State Fair jobs which in my opinion are the absolute worse jobs a fair has to offer.
1. Gravel shoveler. Life size diorama exhibits (such as Dinosaur!) are arranged on gravel beds representing hundreds of tons of gravel. Ever wonder what happens to that gravel after the fair is over? Half a dozen poor schmucks have to separate that gravel by color and then shovel the rocks into large plastic bags so it can be reused at the next fair. Unless you enjoy getting backaches, a job as a gravel shoveler is definitely one to avoid.
2. The “singing plush” fair vendor. We’ve all seen them, those singing or talking plush animals that say something like “I LOVE you”, or “Please give me some food.” Now just imagine millions of little kids activating the buttons of everything in your inventory all… day…. long for ten…. days…. straight. Would that incessant sing-song whining drive you insane or what?
3. Animal barn scooper-upper. To keep smells and flies at bay in the large animal barns, maintenance crews layer the floors with fresh straw every morning. By the end of the fair, there’s about 18 inches of straw and manure to be cleared away. Although I grew up on a dairy farm, the stench of composting straw and manure is even more than this farm gal can stand. For those with a sensitive schnoz, it’s best to give this State Fair job a pass.
4. Extreme carnival ride operator. Think it might be fun to be the guy to operate the tilt-a-whirl, zipper, century wheel and other extreme rides? Think again! The operator is also the guy who gets to clean up the barf and other bodily fluids generated when people get scared out of their minds. A big NO THANK YOU to this State Fair job.
5. The bathroom clean-upper most proximal to the beer gardens. Need I say more?
In all fairness, most State Fair employment opportunities really are a lot of fun and a great way to earn a bit of extra summer cash. However, if you have a sensitive nose or stomach, a bad back, or don’t cope well with stress, then these five State Fair jobs will definitely not work for you.