Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fired for What!? - Outsourcing His Own Job to China

He had it all figured out - his employer paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a software developer. Meanwhile, someone in China was capable of performing the work and willing to do the work for only $50,000 per year. Yup, Man Reportedly Outsources his Own Job to China, Watches Cat Videos.

Unbeknownst to his employer, someone in China did all the work while the employee spent most of his time checking out cat videos, Facebooking, and surfing eBay. He pulled in a few hundred thousand dollars for his effort (somehow "effort" seems like a strong word here). The employer eventually caught on when they noticed that someone from Shenyang, China was logging into their network every day. Then they found the invoices from China on the employee's computer and terminated him.

While the employee took slacking to brave new heights, he left a lot of room for improvement. For example, he could have negotiated the opportunity to "work from home" (I mean, if his work can be done from China then surely he could telecommute, right?). And then, he could do anything he wanted - presumably, something cooler than watching cat videos. If he really wanted to raise the bar, then why stop at one job? With somebody else doing all the work, he could easily hold down five or six jobs and make a killing!

HT: Derek Bottcher (.vcf), my Mason Law classmate and currently an employment lawyer at Cooley.
UPDATE (1/23/2013): It turns out the employee was a little smarter than I gave him credit for! From a different article:
[H]e also padded his income as a contract worker for other local firms, for which he also relied on his Chinese outsourcing arrangement.
So, he did pick up some extra income! (HT - Greg Mankiw via email from my father)