Odd jobs

Interesting — and unusual — jobs in New England.
  • Who: Donna Norris
  • Where: Newton-Wellesley Hospital and her own practice.
  • What are the most common breast-feeding issues? Flat or inverted nipples; a baby who won't latch on; incorrect positioning; a sleepy or reluctant nurser; and sore, cracked nipples.
Lactation consultant

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Thrift store owner

Thrift store owner

Who: Rhonda Baker Michaud
Where: Sister Thrift in Watertown and Burlington
What's the most common item that people donate to your thrift store? We get tons of George Foreman grills; half of them are brand new, still in the box.
Mosaic artist

Mosaic artist

Who: Mike Mandel
Where: Throughout the country
So, you have no regrets about being the starving artist anymore? I recognize the limitations I have to work with. It's not the ideal situation, but I'm not complaining because I could have a terrible cubicle job somewhere instead.
Solar energy consultant

Solar energy consultant

Who: Cara Morano
Where: Borrego Solar Systems Inc. in Lowell
Do you have solar in your own home? We just bought an additional 6 acres of land next to our house and are clearing the lot in preparation to put up solar arrays on our home. So, yes, I'm walking the talk.
Chocolatier

Chocolatier

Who: Santi Falcone
Where: Dante Confections in Billerica
What's your favorite kind of chocolate? I like a 98 percent cocoa bar that I've created that has no sugar in it, it's bittersweet and can better your health.
Typewriter repairman

Typewriter repairman

Who: Tom Furrier
Where: Cambridge Typewriters in Arlington
What's the oddest request you've ever gotten? One man used to come in every week and order a typewriter that could communicate with the dead.
Professional flutist

Professional flutist

Who: Alan Weiss
Where: William S. Haynes Co. in Boston
What do people say when you tell them what you do for a living? Here's what they say: "An employed musician? That's good."
Expert bonsai gardener

Expert bonsai gardener

Who: Michael Levin
Where: Bonsai West in Littleton
What is it about bonsai that fascinates you? When you start a tree, it will be with you the rest of your life, just like a child, growing and changing.
Girl Scout cookie manager

Girl Scout cookie manager

Who: Kace Wilson
Where:Eastern Massachusetts
What do you do with the cookies that you don't sell? At the end of the sale, we hope that there are very few cookies kicking around, but if there are extra boxes, we donate them to the military and food banks.
Pet spa owner

Pet spa owner

Who: Chris Callanan
Where: Toureen Pet Spa and Resort in Watertown
Your suites have the lavish amenities of a five-star hotel. What kind of services do you offer? Our luxury suites are like mini hotel rooms; they have a nice cushy bed, filtered air, spacious pen, and, of course, the evening biscuits.
Mobility specialist

Mobility specialist

Who: Barbara Nixon
Where: Perkins School for the Blind
Do you really know what it's like to be blind? As part of my training, I had to walk blindfolded, without assistance, all over the city of Boston.
Christmas tree farmer

Christmas tree farmer

Who: Crystal Card
Where: GreenWood Tree Farm, Billerica
Do you ever get tired of selling Christmas trees? I need a good recipe for all these pine needles. There are no recipes for balsam quiche.
Mall Santa

Mall Santa

Who: Jim Heichelbech
Where: Burlington Mall
Are traditional toys still popular? Oh, sure. Toys are still popular, though you never hear someone ask for a tricycle or a Hula Hoop anymore.
STRATUS medical director

STRATUS medical director

Who: Dr. Charles Pozner
Where: STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation
How much do these mannequins cost? Ten or 15 years ago, they would cost $30,000 to $250,000 depending on the level of sophistication, and now they are up to a half a million.
Bruins equipment manager

Bruins equipment manager

Who: Mark Dumas
Where: Everywhere the Boston Bruins practice and play
Do you play hockey yourself now? My brothers are always razzing me, they say, "Man, you've been an equipment manager for 25 years, and you don't even have a set of gear for yourself."
Astrologer

Astrologer

Who: Joyce Levin
Where: Cambridge
Do some people think you're a crackpot? Sure, of course. I had one man who wouldn't come near me, but then he read some things I wrote, based on the economy and long-term trends, and now he calls me all the time.
Video game developer

Video game developer

Who: Jeffrey Steefel
Where: Turbine Inc., Westwood
I have to ask, are you a geek? My wife says I am. I make games for a living and I have every gadget known to man. I have so many gadgets that I need a special bag just to carry all the adaptors. So, yes, I am a geek.

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E-mail: oddjobs@globe.com

Fax: 676-929-3183

Mail: Business News/Odd Jobs, The Boston Globe, P.O. Box 55819, Boston MA.

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