Employee outsources his own job to China

by Rose Sneyd18 Jan 2013

Ever wished that you could pay someone else to do your job? One US worker thought he had come up with the perfect plan. He was the top performing software developer on his team and never had to do a day’s work. Paying his Chinese counterpart a fraction of his six-figure salary, ‘Bob’ could spend his work days surfing the net.

The former developer’s perfect plan came undone when routine checks by the US critical infrastructure company Verizon, noticed anomalous activity on one of its client's virtual private network (VPN) logs. In simple terms, the VPN log showed that the developer was logging in from Shenyang, China, despite the fact that he was sitting in front of his computer in the American office day in, day out.

On further investigation, Verizon discovered a shameful web browsing history and pdf invoices (saved to his desktop!) from the Chinese consulting firm that was doing his work for him.

The developer reportedly spent a typical work day browsing Reddit (approximately two hours), shopping on eBay (approximately one hour), and updating his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts (around two and a half hours). What’s more, the company also uncovered his favourite past-time of all: watching cat videos on YouTube.

Despite this abysmal lack of productivity, Bob had apparently received excellent performance reviews in the past few years, but thanks to the work of his Chinese counterpart. He was considered to be an expert in various computer languages, including C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python, and his code was reportedly clean, well-written and on time.

One almost feels sorry for him for being fired.



  • by Eleanor Shakiba 18/01/2013 2:27:14 PM

    Interestingly, Bob was using a strategy suggested in the book The Four Hour Work Week. This is a book which HR practitioners should be aware of, given that it promotes the idea of outsourcing your job tasks to overseas workers. It also provides tips for creating the 'illusion' that you are at work when you are not.

  • by Megan Scott 18/01/2013 2:38:08 PM

    How nice would it be if Bob's 'Chinese counterpart' was employed direct by Verizon on Bob's former salary. Based on the feedback regarding work previously submitted via Bob this person in China is clearly a quality candidate.

  • by Clara Pound 18/01/2013 3:00:42 PM

    Clever, perhaps Bob would be a good investment in the recruitment of suitable staffing. I am not sure the Four Hour Work Week ideas were intended for employees to employ as a scam, though I do understand what Eleanor is saying.