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The Best Job in the World
January 12, 2009 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The Best Job in the World. Would you like to be paid AUD$150,0000 to live for free in a three-bedroom villa on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months, simply in exchange for blogging about your experience? Yeah, so would I. Submit your application before February 22nd, and see if you make it through the other millions of people who are sure to apply. And no--it's not a joke.
posted by schroedinger (70 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
No, actually I wouldn't. I'm far more interested in braving the London bus network and peak time tubes as a test of my mettle. And working 8-7pm each day keeps me vital and engaged. Yeah baby. And that job sounds like a recipe for skin cancer and high call roaming charges and all sorts of Johnny Foreigner tropical diseases. And besides, if you drink more than two lots of coconut milk in one sitting you get the shits. And nobody on Hamilton Island delivers that really nice, Italian style thin base pizza that the wife and I like so much.

And did I mention the jellyfish?
posted by MuffinMan at 6:42 AM on January 12, 2009


I wonder if Tourism Australia have got their $150,0000 worth of free advertising yet?
posted by verisimilitude at 6:50 AM on January 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


The deadline was January 9 . . . unless I am misreading.
posted by emhutchinson at 6:56 AM on January 12, 2009


I like the Rate My Application element of the site. I really wonder how many people will rank highly?

While I, a lover of sun and photography, would love this, my wife doesn't understand the draw to the tropics. To be honest, I'm not overly swayed by tropical settings either, but being paid to be an observer sounds pleasant. With that much money, I could buy suitable clothing and skincare products. Heck, I could get creative and make an umbrella from natural elements.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:59 AM on January 12, 2009


They close Feb. 22. The, er, position lasts until Jan. 1 2010.
posted by nosila at 7:00 AM on January 12, 2009


A mere AUD$150,000 not AUD$1,500,000.
posted by knile at 7:00 AM on January 12, 2009


close applications, that is
posted by nosila at 7:00 AM on January 12, 2009


If I only ask for half that salary, could I convince them to make it a permanent position?
posted by JaredSeth at 7:03 AM on January 12, 2009


And, emhutchinson, "Applications close 22 February 2009" according to the Key Dates page
posted by knile at 7:04 AM on January 12, 2009


dear gr8 breer reef

i should be the guy that blag that stuffs b/c i no hte internet inside and sout

pick me or die
posted by DU at 7:15 AM on January 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's all fun and games until the snapping turtles attack.

Also, is it just me or does this whole thing sound like the set-up for an old Scooby Doo episode?

"Gee, Daphne, we sure are lucky your dear Uncle Walter invited us to stay on his island resort for six months. If it weren't for all the rumors about that spooky Witch Doctor, this would be just perfect!"

"Rooky ritch roctor?" *whimper*

"Like, don't worry, Scoob, there's nothing to those silly old stories."

"Right! They're just a load of superstitious island mumbo-jumbo. Now let's to take a look at that abandoned fishing village!"

Little do they know that someone is watching them through the eyeholes of a nearby portrait! *SCARY STOCK MUSIC*
posted by Rhaomi at 7:17 AM on January 12, 2009 [49 favorites]


Yeah, but does that include weed?
posted by The Straightener at 7:23 AM on January 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Application:
I think I would be a perfect for this job, what with my background in photojournalism and harry potter slash fanfiction. If I have one fault, I think it's that I'm too dedicated to work.

Three months later:
We must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army. And they call me an assasin. What do you call it when the assasins accuse the assasin? They lie. They lie and we have to be merciful for those who lie. Those nabobs. I hate them. How I hate them.
posted by stavrogin at 7:28 AM on January 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


Does this job involve smiting your enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women? Then frankly, it can't be all that great.
posted by delmoi at 7:35 AM on January 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Ummm... do you know how well Metafilter mods are paid?
posted by gman at 7:39 AM on January 12, 2009


cruisy
posted by mary8nne at 7:40 AM on January 12, 2009


all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boyall work and no play makes jack a dull boy all work and no play makes jack a dull boy
posted by inigo2 at 7:45 AM on January 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


And did I mention the jellyfish?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:42 AM on January 12 [+] [!]


sonuvaBITCH
posted by schroedinger at 7:46 AM on January 12, 2009


But will I have to bring my mopey wife and creepy kid?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:47 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Want. Really, really want.

I'd go there for free. Just room and board would be fine and be delighted to feed the fish, caretake and communicate.
posted by nickyskye at 7:52 AM on January 12, 2009


Sailing along great until I got to the part about good swimming skills. I float OK, and I love snorkeling, but not what anyone would call a good swimmer.

And I imagine they're looking for someone who enjoys sea food.

Nope. Not me.

But hey, if YOU win, and want somebody to spell you for a week or two, gimme a call.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:53 AM on January 12, 2009


I wonder if Tourism Australia have got their $150,0000 worth of free advertising yet?

Easily.
posted by atrazine at 8:02 AM on January 12, 2009


If I win, do I get to take Amanda Donohoe?
posted by mandal at 8:03 AM on January 12, 2009


Applicants are already applying for the job on YouTube.
posted by terranova at 8:05 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'll cast my vote for any Mefi'er who applies.

I'd love this job, but you have to not only be available to work the six months there, but for a personal interview on-site during the interview process (at your own expense, looks like).
posted by misha at 8:09 AM on January 12, 2009


I'm not a tremendous fan of the tropics, but I definitely excel at slacking about for a six-figure income. This is just the kind of nouveau-aristocratic position I've been looking for!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:21 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eff dat.
posted by cashman at 8:27 AM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd love this job, but you have to not only be available to work the six months there, but for a personal interview on-site during the interview process (at your own expense, looks like).

"Travel costs and accommodation for candidates selected for an interview will be covered by Tourism Queensland. However, personal and incidental expenses will be the responsibility of the candidate."
posted by chococat at 8:39 AM on January 12, 2009


Aussie Blue.
posted by phylum sinter at 8:47 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


an email from a friend of mine insists they're luring people there to kill them.
posted by MildlyDisturbed at 8:49 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


an email from a friend of mine insists they're luring people there to kill them.

Bloggers: The Most Dangerous Game

If anyone FTFY, I will hunt you down with an elephant gun. Not a gun designed for shooting at elephants, mind you, but a GUN THAT SHOOTS ELEPHANTS AS ITS MAIN AMMUNITION.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:11 AM on January 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


If anyone FTFY, I will hunt you down with an elephant gun. Not a gun designed for shooting at elephants, mind you, but a GUN THAT SHOOTS ELEPHANTS AS ITS MAIN AMMUNITION.

It's main ammunition? Does that implies there is a secondary (or perhaps even tertiary) ammunition as well. What would that be? Rhinos?
posted by delmoi at 9:20 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bloggers: The Most Dangerous Game

I'm calling dibbs on anyone who works for Gawker.
posted by mandal at 9:20 AM on January 12, 2009


The distance from Jacksonville, FL to Hamilton Island, Queensland Australia is 9,224 miles.

I believe that is sufficiently far away enough from my problems...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does that implies there is a secondary (or perhaps even tertiary) ammunition ...

The elephant gun's secondary ammunition is laser cats. It doesn't shoot lasers, it launches cats that shoot lasers.
posted by zippy at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


metafilter: it launches cats that shoot lasers
posted by ornate insect at 9:40 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isn't this the sort of thing that ends up with people from all over the world on an island run by some seemingly benevolent but shadowy organization that has to be investigated by U.N.C.L.E or something?
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The only drawback is you have to live within 100 kilometers of the gigantic frat house that is Australia.
posted by cloeburner at 9:46 AM on January 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Your chances might be better at Disney.
posted by swift at 9:47 AM on January 12, 2009


And I would have gotten away with it if not for you meddling kids and your Internets!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2009


The elephant gun's secondary ammunition is laser cats. It doesn't shoot lasers, it launches cats that shoot lasers.

The cats are also dressed like Neo from The Matrix.

There is an optional bayonet attachment. It is made out of the color yellow and reeks of sunshine.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:06 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


This job belongs to me and I will elbow all other applicants in the throat.
posted by rmless at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2009


Rhaomi: "Also, is it just me or does this whole thing sound like the set-up for an old Scooby Doo episode?"

Oh, wait, it's been done. Spooky abandoned village and all!
posted by Rhaomi at 10:23 AM on January 12, 2009


I would've just loved to see David Foster Wallace land this gig.
posted by Flashman at 10:24 AM on January 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


See, all this tells me is that the reality show producers are getting clever. Mark my words, the fine print on the contract will have plenty of curious stuff about rights to your likeness and personality. Also, every week will have a whole bunch of manufactured "problems" that you'll have to deal with. And the entire world will see you naked on TV. NOT WORTH IT FOLKS.
posted by naju at 10:35 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


$102,000 US and a chance for the whole world to be scared by my nakedess on TV? Totally worth it.
posted by robtf3 at 10:38 AM on January 12, 2009


The only drawback is you have to live within 100 kilometers of the gigantic frat house that is Australia.

Actually, you'd be living in a kind of annex of it. Hamilton Island's far, far, far from some quiet, sea-breezy tropical idyll - it's easily the most heavily developed island in the Whitsunday chain, which is to say it's pretty much the most heavily touristed island on the Great Barrier Reef. Also, it's about an hour minimum by high-speed catamaran from the nearest world-class diving spot.

Hamilton Island has its own marina stuffed with fifty-foot pleasure cruisers and an airport served by multiple daily flights from Brisbane and Sydney, high-rise package tourist hotels, a theme-parkish strip of restaurants and cafes, and a road system dense with golf-cart traffic (hence the "golf buggy" mentioned in the "Office" part of the job description). As I recall there's even a shooting range, and when I was there back in June they were busily bulldozing the island directly across from the marina to turn it into an 18-hole golf course. Plus one end of the island is a no-go zone unless you're a resident or guest of the gated resort/condo community of qualia (invariably rendered without caps to underscore its low-key uniqueness). The qualia people navigate the isle in special sleek black golf carts to further distinguish themselves from the great unwashed.

The whole schmeer is owned by the Oatley clan, who built their fortune on Rosemount wines before converting it into a yachting fetish. It's got the general feel of one man's (or family's) private passions and quirks (driving big boats, firing guns, a koala petting zoo) writ large.

All that said, I generally love the hell out of the Aussie "frat house" (a bullshit designation I'd have agreed with back before I'd actually spent any time there, when I could carelessly generalize based on the behaviour of the young Aussies I'd met traveling), and in any case I'm pretty sure I'd set up house in the laundry room of a genuine frat house if it meant I could live on the Barrier Reef free of cost for six months. (And in the interest of full disclosure, here's the style of whoring I did to earn my free week's stay.)
posted by gompa at 10:57 AM on January 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Sure, there's jellyfish, but there's lots of cuddly stuff too.
posted by The Bellman at 10:58 AM on January 12, 2009


The Beeb has 10 tips for this application, and they seem to think you should be knowledgeable about the local wildlife. The job is to "help Tourism Queensland promote the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef," and I think it'd be a lot more fun to see a daily vlog of "holy shit, look what I found! It's huge and gooey!"

Also, why would they only allow you to bring a friend or relative, yet provide you a 3 bedroom house? I smell a hidden camera show in the making. Drop in wacky celebrity visitors when the blogging becomes boring.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2009


Please note: If you do happen to get stung by one of these "stingers", do not by any means rub the sting area.

Aw, hell. While reading the page on jellyfish I imagined being stung on my leg, and immediately went to scratch the phantom pain before reading the disclaimer.

I'm out!
posted by Spatch at 11:41 AM on January 12, 2009


A mere AUD$150,000 not AUD$1,500,000.
thanks, I was about to ask.

the site seems down from where I am but the compensation at least seems somewhat fair. I wonder what the limitations will be - paid writing gigs do tend to come with strings attached - as I think this could be far more interesting if executed properly.

here is one improved proposition:

you pay me upfront and I will arrive with equipment and a technical crew. we will set up sixteen live-streaming high-def cameras assembled around a glass cube. I will move into that glass cube for a week. I will be completely naked and without any food or water, toilet paper or a bucket. users will get to decide via online polling whether I get blinds drawn to shade me from the sun or slowly cooked to a boil, whether I deserve aircon, food, drink or whether bright lights and loud music go on or off. there will be absolutely no privacy. I'll call it a comment on the ever-increasing magnification glass humans live under in modern society. food and water may serve as symbols for my credit worthiness, clothes to symbolize the thousands of security cameras that monitor my every movement on a daily basis, etc.

if the tourism authority or any other sponsoring or governing body pulls the plug before the week is over they'll owe me another 150k. if I give up before my time is up I'll give any funds left to the most immoral cause I can find. I'll gladly write about rehab until the full six months are over.

see? this could be so much more interesting.
posted by krautland at 11:48 AM on January 12, 2009


I shouldn't be allowed to post here, let alone be paid to write, let alone be paid better than Salman Rushdie to write stupid shit.

See the last part of that sentence above, I know what I meant to say but on preview it could be read a couple of different ways. Unintentional ambiguity isn't much of a writing style. Maybe someone will higher me to watch their cats while they're away.
posted by nola at 12:34 PM on January 12, 2009


see? this could be so much more interesting.

David Blaine? Is that you?!
posted by Spatch at 1:31 PM on January 12, 2009


I'm a vegetarian misanthrope, I hate parties and socializing, I get migraines too often, I break out in a horrible weeping rash if I'm in strong sunlight, and it's not that I can swim, I just drown a little more slowly. So how much will they pay me to stay away and not ever, ever write about their islands?
posted by dilettante at 2:17 PM on January 12, 2009


David Blaine? Is that you?!
blaine ain't gots no shits on mah ash.
posted by krautland at 2:29 PM on January 12, 2009


I wonder if Tourism Australia have got their $150,000 worth of free advertising yet?

Is advertising free if it costs $150,000?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:29 PM on January 12, 2009


Yeah, this is clearly not a job, it's a paid vacation with the only real work you'll be expected to do being to act as a shill for Queensland as a vacation spot via the intertubes. And it's only open to Brits, from what I can tell, which makes sense as no doubt they want to attract more British tourists, but it has ruffled the feathers of a few Australian bloggers on the major news websites here, I can tell you.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:01 PM on January 12, 2009


My mom and aunt always go to this crazy tea leaf reading fortune teller lady, who insisted to my mother that I'll be making my way to Australia sometime soon. Given that I'm a poor student who is just about to graduate, it's not gonna happen by the power of my own bank account.

I'm totally whoring myself out to this thing, just as soon as I can come up with a good video idea. Hidden cameras, celebrity drop-ins, giant jellyfish, whatevs.
posted by riane at 3:05 PM on January 12, 2009


People interested in this ought to read Andrew McGahan's excellent book 1988, which details a similar situation. Islands, isolation, and lots and lots of drugs.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:56 PM on January 12, 2009


but it has ruffled the feathers of a few Australian bloggers on the major news websites here, I can tell you.

Why? I make it a point never to read Australian bloggers on the major news websites. Do they want a job shilling for Queensland?
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 PM on January 12, 2009


And it's only open to Brits, from what I can tell,

What makes you think that? Not from what I've seen - it simply says that if you are not an Australian citizen, you must be eligible for a visa. I tried to convince my little brother to appy, but he has commitments in July. Pity, I think he'd be great.
posted by jacalata at 5:22 PM on January 12, 2009


robocop is bleeding writes "a GUN THAT SHOOTS ELEPHANTS AS ITS MAIN AMMUNITION"

Sounds like an ork weapon from 2e 40K.
posted by Mitheral at 5:33 PM on January 12, 2009


It's definitely open to other nationalities. There was an ad in Japanese in the Japan Times this morning.

I think this is one of those "wacky college essay" type of applications. There's simply no way a well written, earnest application would fly. You'd need to write something about how you've been kidnapped by pirates, and forced to do unspeakable things, but yet were able to convince the pirates of the error of their ways, and they became anti-pirates/force for good types, and you and your anti-pirate brigade wander the world, like Cane in Kung-fu.

That's not such a bad idea...
posted by Ghidorah at 7:31 PM on January 12, 2009


what you mean, you gonna walk the earth?
posted by CitizenD at 8:45 PM on January 12, 2009


You have to be media-friendly? I was a freakin' shoe-in for this gig, but now: well, that's me out.

I HAET TEH MEDIAS.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:05 PM on January 12, 2009


Yeah, that looks like a great job, but fuck the application process.
posted by sycophant at 11:55 PM on January 13, 2009


I hope they're not paying for bandwidth.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:08 AM on January 14, 2009


Local media said technicians had to restore the website (www.islandreefjob.com) after it could not cope with the volume of interest and crashed for several hours. Some sections are still not up and running.

Thanks. I'd been wondering where the JournalSpace admins were working these days.
posted by terranova at 9:27 AM on January 14, 2009


I wonder what they're gonna do with all that information about where people have worked, and what their hobbies are, and how to contact them via all sorts of ways...? Probably gonna just throw all that data away, but you never know...they might use it for something.
posted by Chuffy at 11:48 AM on January 14, 2009


In a staggering display of ham-fistedness (How Not to do Viral Marketing 101) it has been revealed that a video of a woman who supposedly tattoed herself to win the job was a fake produced by the advertising agency.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:24 PM on January 18, 2009


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