Jobbed: Tales from the help-wanted ads

The economy is down and unemployment is high. Thankfully, there are tons of coffee shops and other spots around town with free WiFi access where you can sit for hours, unkempt or unshaven, and troll the Internet for jobs. But if you're like my unemployed friends, you've come across some real head-scratchers: jobs you can't imagine doing, at least not for long, and positions that simply make you wonder -- and drink more coffee.

In Jobbed, we'll take a look at one of these Help Wanted ads each week, and then check tentatively for a pink slip in our own mailboxes. Click the Continue Reading link below to see our first entry.

Having trouble finding work? You're not alone. Follow Westword as we troll for the weird, the wacky and the worst of what the recession-era world of online job ads has to offer.

The job: Wildlife Technician for A All Animal Control of Denver Pay: $15-$20 per hour Qualifications: 2-5 years sales and repair-work experience; an associates degree Responsibilities: Capturing nuisance wildlife in an urban and suburban setting. This position involves working on roofs and ladders and in attic and crawl spaces. You will be required to work in all types of weather at all times of the year. You will perform repair work on areas that animals have damaged using hand tools, sheet metal and screenings. Applicant must be organized, articulate and knowledge of wildlife is important. Our company pays for your gas to and from work.

What it doesn't say: A knowledge of wildlife is important, indeed. You need to know that you will be sprayed by skunks, punched by raccoons, stung by wasps, bitten by black widows, shat on by pigeons and mocked by squirrels. If you are lucky, no one will ask you to shoot a coyote with a paintball gun (although you might enjoy this), remove a wayward bear from a shopping center or trap a caiman in Washington Park. Make sure you get your rabies shots, not just for unfortunate encounters with wildlife, but in case you meet up with rabid animal-rights activists.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes