In college I worked as a real, honest-to-goodness spy for ASCAP (American Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers). My partner and I were basically paid to shut down strip clubs that weren't paying their licensing fees. With hidden Dictaphones and a wad of singles, we'd spend a couple hours in a club, sometimes traveling across three state lines to get there, and notate every song that was played.
Recently there was a story in the Seattle Times about the kind of lawsuits we helped bring in. From the article:
ASCAP says that besides broadcasting songs over the radio, television and Internet, the definition of performing copyrighted music includes playing it "any place where people gather," with the exception of small private groups.
"As long as it's [played] outside a direct circle of friends and family, it is considered a public performance," [a spokesperson for ASCAP] said. "A musical composition is somebody's property."
Working as a spy, sticking up for the rights of other musicians was fun in a top-secret sorta way, but still, what 20-year-old aspiring classical composer wants to admit he earns his money in strip clubs?
What's your all-time worst job?
***EDITOR'S NOTE: This post has been changed from "Humiliating Jobs" to "Worst First Jobs" because some of the comments were coming across too harshly. I think David's post is genius (his posts generally are!), but because mental_floss is a happy place, we wanted to clarify that we want to keep the stories fun and about awful personal experiences, not being disparaging about any professions. OK, now go ahead and comment!