January 17, 2013

Man Pays $50K A Year To Sit On His Ass

These days, many Americans curse when they hear the word “outsourced,” worried that their company might one day decide to pay someone from another country less to do the same job.

One bold and genius man, called “Bob,” looked this fear straight in the eye and said, “bring it on.”

It sounds like a concept for an “Office Space” sequel, but according to several news sites this story is the real deal.

According to a case study from the Verizon security team, (did you know such a team existed?) Bob had worked up a clever little scheme to effectively outsource his own job to China, leaving him with plenty of time to do all the things he always wanted to, like surf the Internet and watch all those cat videos the kids are raving about these days. Bob even worked for several companies, earning him several hundred thousand dollars a year. Yet, no matter how high his salary climbed, he only paid his Chinese laborers a modest $50,000, or lavish 310,800 yuan.

(It’s worth noting that in 2011, the average salary of urban, non-private employees was 42,452 yuan. In other words, Bob paid good money to ensure he could do nothing all day.)

It’s likely Bob would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for his meddling company. As the story goes, his company, an unnamed, US-based “critical infrastructure company” noticed something fishy in their VPN logs. The company had recently allowed their developers to work from home a few days a week, logging in via a VPN connection. Each of the employees was given a rotating token RSA key that would give them the password to the VPN. Looking through their VPN logs, the company noticed a daily active connection between the network and a computer in Shenyang, China. This VPN connection was specific to the token key of one employee, Bob.

Expecting the worst, like a zero-day exploit, the company called in Verizon to investigate. Once they started to look into this case, the Verizon security team noticed that Bob wasn’t actually doing any work while he was at his office. Instead, the Verizon case study reports that Bob’s average workday went as follows:

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.

Apparently 310,000 yuan will buy you some damn good code. Bob’s company considered him one of their best programmers, saying his code was always “clean and submitted on time.”

Verizon noticed he was paying for his work when they noticed several invoice PDFs on his desktop.

And therein lies the one crucial flaw to his perfect plan for getting paid to do literally nothing all day: Whereas Bob took great pains to find someone to do his work for him, come up with a way to pay them, and even ship his RSA key fob via FedEx all the way to China, he didn’t think about maybe moving these telling invoices to a private computer.

Verizon claims this story played out sometime last year, noting they only bring it up because it was so unique.

It just goes to show you, kiddos, that there’s no such thing as an easy way out of doing your job…even if you’re willing to pay $50K a year to do so.

Image Credit: Michael D Brown / Shutterstock

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