Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Japanese Railway Workers Are Getting "Smile Scans"

Now this lends new meaning to the phrase "service with a smile."

Railway employees in Japan are getting "smile scans" every day where an image is taken of each employee's face to rate smile quality.

Employees with sub-par smiles are told how to improve their grins. Employees receive a daily printout of their smile to carry with them, just in case.

I'm not kidding.

According to an article in Britain's The Daily Telegraph:

After scanning a face, the device produces a rating between zero to 100 depending on the estimated value of the fulfilled potential of a person's biggest smile.

For those with a below-par grin, one of an array of smile-boosting messages will op up on the computer screen ranging from "you still look too serious" to "lift up your mouth corners", according to the Mainichi Daily News.


Somehow, I can't see U.S. workers putting up with this tactic for very long. Some employee somewhere would be calling the EEOC to complain about the "smile police" by the time his smile is rated, debated and printed out for future reference. Cable news would be all over it by week's end.

Why am I all of the sudden thinking of the song "Smile" by the late, great Nat King Cole?

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