What if you could just go to the office, look at cat videos all day, pay a fraction of your salary to someone else to do your work, and get excellent performance reviews? Although it may sound impractical and even impossible, one anonymous software developer did exactly that.
According to Verizon Enterprise Solutions, they were called in to help with investigations on what a local company deemed anomalous activity on their servers. Apparently, someone from China was regularly logging in using an employee’s credentials, while the employee was present on site from 9 to 5. At first, the company suspected this was a result of some kind of malware, but later investigations proved otherwise.
The employee was a quiet, inoffensive person with excellent performance reviews. He is in his mid 40s and is a family man, and had been with the company for a long time. In other words, no one would have ever suspected him of foul play. However, investigation into his hard drive revealed he had been receiving invoices from an IT consultancy in China, and spent most of his day surfing the web while the consultancy did all his work.
Interestingly, he received excellent performance reviews consistently for several years. His code was neat, his work was always according to specifications, and he never missed a deadline.
He had sent his keycard to the Chinese firm through FedEx, and paid them 50,000 dollars a year out of his annual income of several hundred thousand dollars. It took two days of thorough investigation and deleted data recovery for Verizon Enterprise Solutions to figure out what he was doing. The company has fired the employee for violation of rules.
While back office jobs, and several IT projects are increasingly being outsourced to emerging economies, this is the first case of its kind. Given that the company was more than happy with the quality of work, we would not be surprised if they cut the middle man and simply hire the Chinese consultancy firm to do the employee’s job. Just in case you are wondering, here is a list of the employee’s daily online activity:
- 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.
Some people are viewing the employee (now being dubbed as ‘Bob’ on different online platforms) as a hero who beat the system. Companies outsource work to other companies and individuals all the time, and get to keep a neat profit due to outsourcing, so why is it wrong for Bob to do it?
A strong case can be made in the employee’s favor, and even the Verizon representatives who investigated the matter are calling him clever. He found a way to assure high quality and timely work done for his company, without doing any actual work himself. For some of us out there, Bob is a hero. However, what he did was illegal and we are in no way encouraging you to do the same.