Nominee: Guy who dives into pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings.
Where to find him: At Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Aquatics Stadium, in the pool, decked out in gear, retrievin’ stuff.*
Job requirements: Be good at diving. Fit into a scuba suit. Be able to both search and retrieve.
Why this might be the best job at the Olympics: You have a very important role. If a swimmer loses an earring during a race or practice session, it’s up to you, the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings, to help make that swimmer whole again. All other aquatic action will cease when you enter the pool. The lifeguards will clear the entire pool so that you, the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings, can do your thing. If Nancy Drew and Jacques Cousteau had a baby, that baby would grow up to be you. The case: The Mystery of the Pearl Earring at the Bottom of the Pool. The guy who solved it: you, the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings.
You perform a valuable service! You bring hope and good luck to swimmers who may or may not be distraught over losing a pearl earring in the pool. American swimmer Kathleen Baker—who lost her earring at the bottom of the pool during the preliminaries of the women’s 100-meter backstroke—ought to have invited you up to the podium, so vital were your services to her silver-medal-winning performance. They should inaugurate a new Olympic tradition of silver medalists giving lengthy thank-you speeches just so you, the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings, can get your due.
In this job you will wear cool gear and get a lot of exercise. You will soon find yourself in excellent shape. At the bar, after work, attractive singles may well admire your physique. “You’ve got to stay fit in my line of work,” you will say. “I’m the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings.”
You can probably bring your own flippers.
Why this might not be the best job at the Olympics: Diving into the pool to retrieve swimmers’ lost earrings is a lonely job. You will spend a lot of time by yourself, underwater, probably brooding over the fact that you are basically just a human metal detector. You will toil in anonymity. “Prove it,” people will say when you tell them what you do for work, and you will be hard-pressed to do so, because your face is hidden behind your scuba gear when you appear on NBC.
Swimmers rarely lose earrings. Sometimes, an entire Summer Olympics will go by without you getting the chance to put on your earring-retrieving outfit.
Silver medalists do not, as of yet, give lengthy thank-you speeches.
Unlike the guy who waves the red flag at the trap-shooting competition, you do not get to wear a hat.
How this could be a better job at the Olympics: The diver could get to keep half of the earrings he retrieves.
Verdict: 1 out of 3 points for exposure, because while the guy who retrieves swimmers’ lost earrings gets to be on television, nobody has any idea who he actually is. 3 out of 3 for enjoyment, because nothing beats a good swim. 1.5 out of 3 for enviability, because he gets to ply his trade in a chlorinated swimming pool instead of the filth-ridden Guanabara Bay. And 0 out of 1 in the category of “do you get to wear a cool hat,” because while a scuba suit is cool, it definitely isn’t a hat. 5.5 out of 10 for the guy who dives into the pool to retrieve a swimmer’s lost earrings. This is not the best job at the Olympics.
Previously in Best Jobs at the Olympics:
Guy With Red Flag at Trap-Shooting Competition (this is currently the best job at the Olympics)
*Correction, Aug. 12, 2016: This post originally misstated the location of the swimming competitions at the Rio Olympics. They are at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium, not the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.