If you are a non-smoker aged between 18 and 45, and it is determined that your nose is up to snuff, you could very well get a job with the Environment Inspection Center of Shanghai as a human sniffer. Once you’re recruited, you will receive training that brings you to a level where you can identify the smells of five items: flowers, sweat, sweet crispy rice (a local snack), ripe fruit and excrement. Yep, we think we can smell all of those right now. Sign us up!
According to this report in the Shanghai Morning Post (website in Chinese), so far Shanghai has more than 20 professional human sniffers whose job is determine whether odors in the city exceed a standard index. Sniffers detect smells in working environments such as factories, as well as in public locations like restaurants. Based on this no doubt inscrutable evidence, local authorities will punish the companies and institutions which are found responsible for reeking things out. (Prediction for 2006: The Environment Inspection Center will strike it rich — this city stinks.)
Although the sniffer job has only been open to professional environment inspectors to this point, the city obviously feels it needs more notable noses to keep a check on odors. The Environment Inspection Center is now calling for volunteers to join the team.
Alas, Shanghaiist is prone to the occasional bout of smoking and therefore doesn’t qualify, but if you’re interested in helping improve the city’s air quality, or simply want some recognition for smelling the smelly smells you smell every day, call the Shanghai Environment Inspection Center on 6439 5930 or find more information here (website in Chinese).