This is definitely not a position for the faint-hearted. Guillemots are seabirds that nest in dense colonies on the tops of sea stacks and on extremely high cliff ledges. Because of their conical shape, guillemot eggs spin on the spot rather than rolling over the edge. Their coating of guano makes them even more secure. These eggs are your quarry.
Collecting guillemot eggs --- a common practice in what is popularly known as the 'Dark Ages' --- involves climbing over the edge of a cliff and making your way down to the precarious ledges where the nests are found. To assist you in this task, you will be provided with a rope fashioned from seal skin and a bucket.
As well as the obvious danger of falling from a great height into a raging sea and being crushed against jagged rocks, you also run a high risk of being attacked by guillemots who quite naturally want to keep their eggs from your clutches. Such bird assaults may result in cuts and bruises or, more seriously, in loss of contact between you and the cliff face.
The rewards of success in this task are not many. However, the protein provided by regularly eating guillemot eggs may make the difference between life and death for you and your family. The position is therefore only open to the desperate.
The 13th century is boom time for the wool trade. With three sheep to every man, woman and child, wool is our biggest export. But nobody likes stiff and itchy cloth that falls to pieces, so we have several openings for fullers.
As a fuller, you are expected to walk up and down all day in huge vats of stinking stale urine. The ammonia produced by the rotten wee may make your eyes water, but it creates the softest cloth by drawing out the grease (lanolin) from the wool. If you can dance up to your knees in urine for around two hours per length of cloth, you'll succeed in closing the fibres of the wool and interlocking them to produce cloth that is kind to the skin. You will be doing your part, along with the weavers, dyers and merchants, in making it a world-beating export.
You may stink and regularly have to fight back the urge to throw up, but you are guaranteed very clean toenails.
Are you a woman thinking of getting into the commercial fish business? Which of the following sales techniques would suit you?
A 'Excuse me, madam, would you like to buy some fish? We've got a great offer on trout today.'
B 'I said would you like to buy some fish, you whoremongering stinking cutpurse, mother of an imbecile?'
If you choose technique B, we have just the job for you. Welcome to the world of fishwifery. Now you can verbally abuse your neighbours while making a good living at the fish markets.
However, although hours of pleasure can be obtained from expressing all those pent-up emotions, applicants should be advised that retribution can be severe. Neighbours are at liberty to teach you to hold your tongue by forcing you to wear the scold's bridle or brank --- a metal cage for the head with a built-in gag. Some models have spikes that pierce the tongue and some have bells to draw notice to the scold. You are paraded through the streets, which will echo with the sound of your neighbours' jeers and taunts.
Naturally the moment the bridle is taken off, the more spirited of you will let rip a stream of abuse. This, however, can lead to a session on the ducking stool. You are strapped into a seat that is hung from the end of a free-moving arm. At the whim of the operators, you are then dunked into a river or pond once or twice or all day, in front of yet another jeering crowd.
Fancy hanging about in an abattoir and pulling 9 metres (30 feet) of warm intestines from a barely expired sheep? Hard to resist, isn't it?
It gets better, though. How about separating the hot guts from the fat and then kneading the offal to milk out the stinking sheep excrement? I know, it's too good to be true. You will also have to soak the guts in cold water for a while, strip and crush them, fumigate them (with the added delight of the horrid stench of burning sulphur) and then twist them into strings. It's not all fun, however --- you only get to do it for 12 hours at a time!
Working at the lower end of the music industry, away from all the glitz and glamour of the composers and performers, you may think that you will be forgotten and your work will go unnoticed in the history books. And you would, of course, be right.
But then again, who needs fame and fortune when a fresh carcass is waiting for you on the work bench, full of hot and steamy guts? Surely job satisfaction is more important? Stradivarius may build a fine fiddle, but it wouldn't make a squeak without your gut-wrenching prowess.
A Manchester textile mill wants to buy children as young as six years old to work as scavengers. Representatives from the mill will be visiting workhouses in the area very soon to hunt out likely candidates.
Each child is required, under the direction of the older spinners and piecers, to brush and sweep the cotton that falls under the wheels of the weaving mules, for at least 12 hours a day.
The work is extremely dangerous: many children have already been maimed, some even killed, by the machinery. A meagre amount of food is supplied and a bed that must be shared. The children are frequently beaten to keep them at work during the long day.
This is a truly grim form of exploitation of the very young and vulnerable. Their undoubtedly miserable lives will be cut short by the effects of the terrible working conditions to which they are subjected.
Are you that special person we are looking for? Is your idea of a great day at work one that involves you standing all day in a barn full of rotting flesh, dog poo and chicken dung? Then tanning --- the conversion of cattle and sheep hides into leather --- is just the career for you.
You'll be getting your hands dirty from your very first moment at work, de-fleshing and de-hairing cow hides from dawn to dusk. The unique smell of rotting animal tissue will soon become a comforting backdrop to your working day, enlivened at times by the fascinating aroma of old, warmed-up dog and chicken faeces, which will be stored in a foetid pool to de-lime the hides. If you're really lucky, the foul pool won't be changed for months just to get that lovely bacteria-infused mixture going.
Strangely, the rest of the population doesn't seem to have the same affection for this environment, so you'll be forced to work some distance from them. In 1882, the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen writes a play --- An Enemy of the People --- in which a tannery has contaminated a local (and lucrative) spa. But the doctor who exposes this crime is vilified by the rest of the community!