It’s a topic that comes up all the time -- companies outsource jobs to other countries hurting our workforce. Something most of us have never heard of is an employee outsourcing his own job to another country. A software developer, being called ‘Bob,’ in reports, did just that and was eventually caught and fired.

The company, we’ll call them ‘Soft Co.,’ had set up a VPN concentrator two years prior in order to move to a more telecommuting workforce. Soft Co. began actively monitoring their system when they noticed an open and active VPN connection from Shenyang, China. Essentially, the VPN logs showed Bob logged in from China, yet he was at his desk in the US.

Soft Co. contacted Verizon to look into what was happening, fearing a security breach. Verizon investigators were able to uncover hundreds of .pdf invoices from a third party/developer in Shenyang, China. In other words, Bob outsourced his own job to a Chinese consulting firm. Bob, described as a family man in his 40’s, with a long tenure at Soft Co., made well over six-figures. He reportedly spent about $50,000 annually paying the Chinese firm to do the work for him.

According to Verizon investigators, Bob spent most of his days surfing Reddit, watching cat videos, taking lunch, going on Ebay, updating his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and then finally getting around to checking his E-mails.

Bob was fired for his conduct, but while Bob was employed at Soft Co., “quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.”

Do you think Bob should have been fired?