careers The Weirdest Jobs in the White House  

Kellen Perry
1.6k votes 807 voters 293.1k views 14 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the strangest jobs you had no idea the White House had a need for.

The people who work at the White House work simultaneously at a museum, a fortress, an office, and a residence. This leads to plenty of weird White House jobs being available for those who don't mind the security and scrutiny that comes with the job. Some people even choose to work at the White House for free as a service to their country (and maybe a bit of free publicity).

Some weird jobs in the White House are just like regular jobs, but the President is there (barber, portrait artist, chimney sweep) and some are unlike anything else out there ("Body Man," social aide, Vice President). Strange jobs in the White House can also be strange just because of the sheer enormity of the task at hand (Executive Chef, Engineer, Calligrapher). Read on for a detailed look at weird jobs at the White House.

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Chimney Sweep


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Video: YouTube

Current White House Chimney Sweep Jeff Schmittinger is a character, for sure. He refuses to be paid for the gig, for a start: he volunteered during the Clinton administration, they took him up on the offer, and he's been at it ever since. He also keeps an old-fashioned chimney sweep costume (think Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins) in his vehicle at all times, just in case a customer wants that "experience." Wearing the costume, he's also the official mascot of the annual German Fest in Milwaukee. The website for his full-time gig ("Wisconsin Chimney Technicians") is super-charming, too, featuring Jeff in his full regalia on the White House roof, holding an American flag.

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The Uniformed Division


The Uniformed Division is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Weirdest Jobs in the White House
Photo: mrgarethm/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Everyone knows about the Secret Service, but a lesser-known group inside the Secret Service is the Uniformed Division, a team of more than 1,300 officers and technicians who often have an even more dangerous job than other agents. The so-called "U.D." screen White House visitors and patrol the outer perimeter, meaning they are the ones in direct contact with the sometimes gun and knife-wielding public. If someone jumps the fence, for example, it's the U.D. - not the guys in suits with the earpieces - that have to tackle and restrain them. They deal with the weirdos trying to drive through checkpoints, the drones crashing on the White House lawn, and basically any other direct, frontline threat to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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Social Aide


Social Aide is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest Jobs in the White House
Photo:  Pete Souza/WikiMedia Commons/Public Domain

White House social aides are typically volunteers from the military that attend social functions (in their finest military attire) and help make guests feel comfortable. They receive no extra pay for this task, but they get to dance and mingle with actors and actresses, literal princesses, and other esteemed guests. The best part about being a social aide, besides marrying the president's daughter, has to be the celebrity stories. Ginger Rogers admitted to one aide that she used to tape her butt cheeks together to make her dresses look better. Jamie Lee Curtis required two aides to fix her broken strapless dress. Chevy Chase told one aide to introduce him as "Clark W. Griswold."

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Usher


Usher is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest Jobs in the White House
Photo:  Pete Souza/WikiMedia Commons/Public Domain

A White House usher is a member of the household staff at the Executive Residence, which means they're bound to sometimes accidentally see the president nude. That's what happened to Skip Allen when he caught "The Gipper" naked in his private residence. He was delivering a top secret document, the story goes, when President Reagan allowed Allen to enter the residence... even though he was totally naked and dripping wet, having just stepped out of the shower. Reagan was allegedly "unfazed" and later teased Allen about the encounter... when he saw the President in his underwear later that night!