Man Reportedly Outsources His Own Job To China -- Then Spends His Time Watching Cat Videos
U.S. corporations moved millions of jobs overseas in the last decade. But maybe it isn't just executives who can play this game. In the search for cheaper labor and greater profits, one employee at a critical infrastructure firm purportedly outsourced his own job to China.
The star software developer at a U.S. infrastructure firm decided to hire a Chinese programmer to do his job for a fifth of his salary, according to the Verizon RISK Team security blog. The post doesn't disclose the name of the company or the employee, and curiously similar stories have popped up over the last 10 years, so it's very possible that this belongs in the domain of urban legend. But it's a good one anyway.
The employee allegedly spent the rest of the day watching cat videos and bidding on eBay auctions -- possibly even pulling the same trick at other companies, and piling up hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
The company assumed it was some kind of bug, but the Verizon investigators noticed that someone in Shenyang had been signing in pretty much everyday, and often for the entire workday. So they checked out the computer of the employee who's credentials had been seemingly poached and found hundreds of invoices from a contractor -- in Shenyang, China.
Turns out, this employee -- who the investigators call a "family man" and "inoffensive and quiet" -- had been surrendering only a fifth of his six-figure salary, and freed up his day to play on the internet.
Good news for American workers: You too can benefit from low-cost labor abroad! Bad news for American workers: The work of that Chinese contractor was better than that of any of the company's actually employed programmers.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin. Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.more...