Chance of a lifetime - for the marketing team: First Choice advertises for water slide tester


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The Independent Online

It is the dream job, particularly for the marketing department. A holiday company is advertising a £20,000-a-year job as a water slide tester. The company said that its previous incumbent Tommy Lynch, decided to “hang up his trunks” after four years in the post, leaving the way open for a newcomer – and a PR stunt.

The ad joins a list of almost too-good-to-be-true gigs which just happen to be accompanied by a detailed press release. In the past, jobs for beer tasters and one as the “caretaker” of one of the world’s most beautiful island paradises have also made the news.

The Queensland Tourism board scored a PR win when it made 34-year-old Hampshire charity worker Ben Southall caretaker of Hamilton Island. He reportedly beat 35,000 applicants and, even before Mr Southall was announced as the winner, Anthony Hayes - the head of Tourism Queensland – clamied the stunt had been worth £55m to the organisation.

One airline passenger who complained about the quality of the in-flight food was also given a job as a taster by Virgin Airlines, although it is perhaps a matter of opinion whether or not that qualifies as a “dream job”.

The latest to uphold the PR tradition is all-inclusive holiday firm First Choice, which said this week it is “searching the nation for a fun-loving waterpark enthusiast to take on the challenge of becoming its Slide Tester”.

The successful applicant will be both “passionate and enthusiastic” - presumably about water slides. They will also have uploaded a 30-second video pitch online - presumably of them being passionate and enthusiastic about water slides. According to the terms and conditions, the video can then, of course, be used as promotional material by First Choice.

Five shortlisted applicants will be taken to a water park in April to determine who gets the job. “The successful candidate will get to ride and rate the slides based on the ‘biggest splash’ and ‘adrenalin factor’ as part of the role, as well as share their experiences with First Choice holidaymakers via Twitter and Facebook”, said the company.

First Choice said its previous slide tester held the position for four years but the current job is only a six-month post. It will involve travelling to water parks in Majorca, Turkey and Egypt.

The pro-rata salary, which works out at £10,000 for the life of the contract, will be supplemented by overseas travel expenses and a free seven-night stay at a First Choice resort at the end of the six months.

Luke Gaskins, First Choice Head of Holiday Innovation, said: “This is an amazing job for one lucky person who’ll get to escape the 9-5 and instead spend their days rating slides and pools in the sun this summer.

“The new Slide Tester will be a key part of the First Choice team responsible for ensuring that we give our SplashWorld customers the best All Inclusive water park experience we can. We can’t wait to welcome our new team member so that they can get sliding and give our holidaymakers all the information they need to have the best holiday this summer.”