In today’s Shenzhen Daily there were two stories about truly shitty jobs. The first was a piece about the recently launched SpaceX rocket. It was an unmanned mission that was designed to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). A secondary function was to return things from the space station to earth.

Among other things, the SpaceX capsule returned blood and urine samples from the astronauts to earth. One of the scientists who was to study the human excrement and blood is named Scott Smith. He called the year old urine samples “pure gold” from a scientific standpoint. He hopes studying them will lead to improvements in astronauts diets.

While shit was not specifically mentioned in the article, I am 100% sure that someone who found “pure gold” (pun?) in urine from space would like to get his hands on some well aged shit for the same reasons. I wonder if, when he was a child, he envisioned himself as an important studier of human excrement when he grew up? I wonder if his parents and family are proud of him?

The second story was about two foreigners who were caught trying to smuggle heroin into China. The smugglers had stashed their drugs in capsules then swallowed them. The men were caught when they passed through a scanner. Presumably, once in custody, the men were given laxatives to help relieve them of their illegal cargo.

As of today, some 60 capsules of drugs had been expelled by the men. Authorities said they were not yet clean.

Talk about a shitty job. Who was assigned the duty of fishing through the men’s shit to find the capsules? What tools did they use, if any? Maybe they used their hands or even their fingers. Was this prestige duty, or was it considered punishment? A couple of years ago I can remember seeing a CCTV news broadcast of another man filmed sitting on steel toilet while several police watched him. Were these police specially trained?

I’m sure there are many other shitty jobs in the world, none of which I would ever consider. I would rather sleep under a bridge than handle other people’s shit, but each to his own.