In the Marks and Spencer’s customer service department this is a well known phrase. Infamous you might say.

According to their returns policy, staff must accept any garment that the customer doesn’t like for whatever reason. It is a brilliant policy that has made them one of the biggest stores in the world.

The problem with this are knickers. The famous returns policy only extends to underwear if it hasn’t been worn. Therefore someone has the job on each shift to smell the crotch of all returned underpants, lingerie Y-fronts and boxers to ensure that they haven’t been near peoples privates.

That person is the nominated Crotch Sniffer.

Yep, you've just found the lowest point in an already sh*tty job.

When a friend of mine told me that she used to do this I couldn’t believe it. Of course I became interested and this is what I found out:

Apparently being the Crotch Sniffer doesn’t make you any more money, it’s just part of the job and they assign it on rotation. Therefore you can’t do it professionally. (Sorry about that, I know that some of you desperately wanted to put “professional crotch sniffer” on your CV.)

The actual act of sniffing the underwear must be done in private, usually by surreptitiously going beneath the counter, this is presumably to prevent the customer from thinking that the staff of Marks and Spencer are a bunch of perverts.

There is no formal training as to what worn underpants should or shouldn’t smell like, however it is stipulated that the Crotch Sniffer's nose should be “right in there”.
The oldest pair of underpants my friend ever processed was brought back six years after purchase… thankfully they hadn’t been worn and so the money was returned.

I couldn’t bring myself to ask her anything ruder, and frankly you wouldn’t want to read it. But you can be safe in the knowledge that any underwear that you buy from marks and sparks will be lovely and clean.

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