Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Hero: The Guy Who Secretly Outsourced His Own Job To China So He Could Watch Cat Videos

Our Hero: The Guy Who Secretly Outsourced His Own Job To China So He Could Watch Cat Videos

In a daring act which would make the Lazy Primary School Student proud, a man described in a recent case study outsourced the tasks of his programming job to China and paid his contractors 20% of his paycheck. He then started taking freelance jobs at other companies, secretly outsourcing them as well. The man, nicknamed “Bob,”  was pocketing the other 80% of his paychecks while goofing off on the internet.
He was earning about $200,000 per year (after outsourcing expenses) at his primary job, and we don’t know what he made on the side. The Next Web summarized his typical day based on the case study details. This is not a joke or an exaggeration.

  • 9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos.
  • 11:30 a.m. – Take lunch.
  • 1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.
  • 2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn.
  • 4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.
  • 5:00 p.m. – Go home.

Here’s to you, guy who outsourced his entire job and pocketed 80% of the money. You’ve obviously read The Four Hour Workweek and thought, “I can do better than that.”
The case study described Bob as a “mid-40′s software developer versed in C, C++, perl, java, Ruby, php, python, etc. Relatively long tenure with the company, family man, inoffensive and quiet. Someone you wouldn’t look at twice in an elevator.” He was also a star employee.
[He was] earning “several hundred thousand dollars a year,” and only paying the Chinese consulting firm “about fifty grand annually.” At the unnamed company, he apparently received excellent performance reviews for the last several years in a row, even being hailed the best developer in the building: his code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion. [The Next Web]
Unfortunately, he was working for a critical infrastructure company, a job you shouldn’t trust to someone who hasn’t been vetted by security, so he was understandably fired for the security breach. His arrangement was accidentally discovered when his company noticed an open and active connection from China in its VPN logs. The VPN connections required both a log-in and a key fob with a rotating token RSA. They feared some kind of unknown malware had somehow logged into Bob’s computer, but the log-ins were happening every day, all day, for as far back as their logs went (six months). It turns out Bob had FedExed his employee key fob to China.
I understand why he was fired. On the other hand, someone should hire this guy to manage outsourcing. He succeeded in consistently getting high-quality, timely work out of outsourced employees without having to spend the same amount of money or more to get it done right. Do you know how freaking hard it is to get work out of an outsourced freelancer which doesn’t require extensive revisions? Back in a past life when I was editing transcripts of audio clips, multiple newly-hired outsourced employees would turn in transcripts that were obviously just the clip played for speech recognition software, without any corrections. I’m talking about transcripts like this:

Someone hire Bob to manage an outsourcing department. He’s a damn miracle worker with excellent taste in videos.

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