Part-time job would require nit-picky skillset

My daughter and I were recently talking about her potential career choices. In researching one of them, I went to the website for an idea of the pay range. For some reason, perhaps because the career was in the medical field, the following position posting with the word “doctor” in it popped up: Head Lice Technician.

I stared in wonder at my computer screen. This job has never been featured at any of the job fairs I have attended. If it had been, what would the head lice technician recruiter have used for giveaways? Sample bottles of special shampoo or mini-egg removal combs? A stress ball in the shape of a nit? Or maybe keychains featuring “before” and “after” photos of scalps and hair strands? Hmm.

I have never heard of a vocational school offering a head lice technician certificate program. Further, I have never seen a school career day panel discussion featuring a head lice technician seated between a firefighter and a nurse. No, the profession seems to be a well-kept, dirty little secret.

Back on, it appeared LiceDoctors Lice Removal Service in Detroit is looking for more workers. I was invited to the LiceDoctors website for additional information. The position announcement was so descriptive and colorful, I didn’t feel the need. It read, “LiceDoctors is in need of part time head lice professionals in your area.”

That suggests there is a whole, organized industry of head lice professionals, perhaps complete with multi-tiered licensure, continuing education and annual conferences in Vegas. Not simply rank amateurs, such as the school nurse, social worker, secretary and some teachers who deal with head lice by default, but actual card-carrying, highly-trained head lice mercenaries who earn a living by going all medieval on the migratory cooties. Wow! Impressive.

And the job paid $25 per hour. That could add up to $200 per day, depending on one’s level of ambition (average removal takes 2.5-5 hours per head).Wow, again! I should consider trading my college education for this highly-profitable gig. But what would working conditions would be like?

Not to worry, “This opportunity is part time, on an on-call basis; the frequency of calls varies from week to week. Full availability is good, but hoping you, at least, have solid blocks of time and a willingness to prioritize this work in your schedule.”

Absolutely. Lice removal is a head above all other priorities. Anyone who’s been afflicted knows this to be fact. You cannot rest until the pesky things are eliminated from one’s person, as well as the surrounding surfaces and living areas. Our family’s two rounds with the critters when my children were elementary-aged taught me everything was fair game in the cootie game.

Who should sign on to become a head lice technician? “Great for a homemaker re-entering the workforce, those with a self-paced, flexible schedule and have an interest in the healthcare or hair industry,” the posting read. I couldn’t argue with that. Head lice removal is probably one of the few areas where it would be very easy for stay-at-home parents to bridge their experience back into the paid workforce.

What are the job qualifications? Experience removing head lice; ability to find small nits in the hair; current valid driver’s license and proof of auto insurance; have olive oil available for the job (which costs an average of $3 per head of hair); and, get this, “have a metal lice comb that you will sell to the client – (will need 1 metal comb per job which you can purchase through our vendor for $8.95 and sell to the client for $20. Client will need the comb to follow up with our treatment program.).”

There it was, the pyramid scheme within the theme: forcing desperate housewives who are turning into head lice removal professionals to have to purchase from “our vendor” combs (that were probably purchased in bulk for only 50 cents apiece) to in turn sell to desperate families whose lives are turning into creepy critter Hell.

This is true American capitalism: turning on need and greed. With less job hassling than de-tasseling – and better hours! Sign up soon, folks, before this limited career offer ends!



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