US programmer outsources job to China behind company's back for a fraction of his salary

In possibly the most amusing and supremely ironic story of the week, a programmer working for an American company outsourced his job to a Chinese contractor for a fraction of his six-figure salary.

Sending his login details to his stunt double in China, he kicked back and relaxed in gloriously geeky fashion. Freed from the strictures of actually having to do anything, he surfed the net for all he was worth and developed a connoisseur’s eye for quality cat videos.

The digital reprobate was rumbled when an external audit traced his login back through a phalanx of VPN servers to its origin in China, rather than down the road as the false ip address suggested.

"Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area,” Andrew Valentine of Verizon said, adding that “he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about $50,000 annually."

Verizon uncovered hundreds of PDF files and invoices exchanged between the Shenyang contractor and our man.

"Authentication was no problem. He physically FedExed his RSA [security] token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average nine-to-five work day,” Valentine said.

Official performance figures for the company where ‘Bob’ worked showed that he was the most productive developer in the building.

He instantly became something of a folk hero in the West as people chained to their desk tipped their hats to the inventiveness of this professional slacker. The sting in that tail is that if companies realise that even specialist services like programming can be performed for far less money – will not the outsourcing accelerate across all spectrums. And the Chinese weren’t impressed. Why should someone else rake in the profits on their work?

Outsourcing production to China has become a huge economic issue in the West as more and more manufacturers build factories in the far East to benefit from the cheap labour. The resulting unemployment and loss of manufacturing have only been offset by cheap goods flooding back into retail markets, but the distortions of globalisation have far from run their course.

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