The Inventor

Name

Richard Palmer

What

d3o lab founder

Age

40

Where

Brighton

How much do you get paid?

£50,000 a year. I’m optimistic I’ll become a millionaire.

How did you get into it?

I started an innovation consultancy and focused on developing d3o, a flexible material that contains ‘intelligent molecules’.

What are the hours like?

Horrendous. A typical working day starts at 6.30am and ends around 8.30pm – and I don’t take a lunch-break.

Describe your average working day

I start on the laptop for an hour, checking e-mails from the States. Then I walk to work, always thinking, arriving at 8.30 for around eight scheduled meetings. There’s travelling, lots of meetings, and I answer about 100 e-mails a day.

What are your co-workers like?

Fabulous – picking and inspiring the right team is a significant element of making a success of something.

What’s the best perk?

Coming up with an idea for something and taking that to a point where the product exists. That’s an amazing feeling.

What causes you the most hassle?

Investors, because until you’re self-sufficient you have to spend time raising money and reporting back to people.

What was your worst experience?

We’d moved premises, I’d had a meeting with the team, and I remember thinking, “Fuck, we’re never going to succeed.” It was a combination of people, lack of money – everything.

Is your job good for meeting women?

Absolutely. You meet lots of people, and anyone who does something unusual is interesting. People love an adventurer.

What was your dream job?

I was a punk. I was expelled for being a trouble-maker. See Richard’s innovative material at www.d3o.com

The Rat Catcher

Name

Nigel Moore

What

NSM Pest Control

Age

37

Where

Exeter

How much do you get paid?

Between about £18,000 and £20,000 a year.

How did you get into it?

I was working as a gardener and kept coming across rats. They’re a big problem so I thought I’d try pest control.

What are the hours like?

They can be quite long and there’s a lot of weekend work, but I don’t have to work nights.

Describe your average working day

I’ll do a bit of detective work to find out if it’s mice or rats, and then it’s a question of putting down traps. I use humane traps. They’re like a cage that you bait and as the rat steps into it a door pops up, trapping them in.

What are your co-workers like?

I work with my brother and he’s ready to tackle anything. He knows no fear.

What’s the best perk?

Customer satisfaction – you should see the relief on people’s faces when we walk off with traps full of rats.

What causes you the most hassle?

Red tape. If I’m on a big job I have to do risk assessment, involving all sorts of paperwork, and that can be a drag.

What was your worst experience?

This rat had chewed though a chap’s washing machine pipes. I laid some traps, the guy had his pipe fixed, then two hours later… same again. It went on and on, that one.

Is your job good for meeting women?

Sadly not. Most of the time it’s elderly clients who can’t really solve the problem for themselves.

What was your dream job?

I wanted to be a gardener. I did that, but this is better money and it’s not as knackering.