A high-paid programmer was recently revealed to have been outsourcing all of his job duties to a firm in China. The tale of “Bob” is making the rounds after being posted on telecom firm Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ website. From a technical standpoint, it’s not overly surprising that an esteemed developer can so easily scam his employer. He should know how to clean up his tracks, right?
But the fact that no coworker raised an eyebrow about Bob’s abilities – even though he was regarded as his company’s best developer, was praised left and right, and raked in a very high income – that’s odd. Where were all of the catty, jealous trolls that exist in so many of our workplaces? I’d like to think that somebody in my office would notice if I sat at my desk watching cat videos all day. That’s what Bob did.
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Bob was making over $250,000 a year to do his job, but covertly paying a Chinese firm $50,000 to perform all of his tasks for him. His employers had no idea until they started cracking down on security breaches. Over a two-year period, the company had seen an increase in telecommuting. To log onto the system from home, employees needed a PIN that was regularly changing. Bob simply mailed his off to China.
No one noticed until the IT department started closely monitoring remote access, and found that someone was logging in from China. Not having any employees in the city of Shenyang, they obviously had a problem. Luckily, they could see that this person was using Bob’s login information.
But here’s where it gets even funnier (to me, at least!). Bob was sitting at his desk the entire time watching cat videos and using Facebook, Reddit, eBay, and LinkedIn all day long. He wasn’t even working remotely. He even sent five o’clock e-mails to management every night to update them on his work. It all seems like a lot of effort to put in to avoid working. The money was good, sure, but maybe Bob should have found something he liked doing more, like producing videos of cats yawning.
Bob got stellar performance reviews because, obviously, someone was paying close attention to his work. And despite what I said above about a computer guy being able to hide his digital tracks, Bob didn’t even do a good job of clearing the trail. When Verizon investigators searched his workstation, they found hundreds of invoices from the developer in Shenyang.
What do you think of Bob’s story? Could something like this happen at your workplace?