A software developer in the US has joined the millions of people in the dole queue. But I wouldn’t feel too sorry for him; he had been outsourcing his work to a firm in Asia so that he could spend all day at work watching cat videos.
Now, we love a good cat video as much as the next person but hiring someone else to do your job while you mess about on Facebook and Reddit is probably a step too far. But this developer, known only as ‘Bob’, seemed to think it was acceptable to get a company in China to complete his daily tasks so he could browse the internet.
However, it all came unstuck when a security audit discovered that his account on the company systems was being accessed from a server in Shenyang, China. Verizon, who carried out the audit, said that the company’s IT personnel were sure the issue was to do with some kind of malware that meant there was a connection to Bob’s desktop being routed to China and back again. But, they were wrong.
The resourceful employee had in fact been spending a fifth of his six-figure salary on getting someone else to do his work for him. And he had been named the best developer at the company, for the work that the Chinese company were carrying out for him.
Now, obviously Bob took delegating his tasks a little too far. And we know you’d never take advantage of someone else like that, but you might find yourself working for someone who does. Here’s five ways to tell if your boss is taking advantage:
1. You’re the first one in the office of a morning and the last one to leave at night – you have working hours for a reason, you shouldn’t be getting to work before the sun rises and going home long after it’s set. In fact, employers aren’t legally allowed to force you to work more than 48 hours a week.
2. You’re constantly completing other people’s work – ‘Bill hasn’t done this right, could you just fix it?’ says your boss. Well, no actually you can’t because it’s not your work; Bill needs to correct his own mistakes.
3. You’re always asked to run errands for them – picking up their dry cleaning, always making them coffee, getting their lunch, these are all things that you shouldn’t be expected to do. Unless you’re their personal assistant and then, well, that’s kind of your job.
4. You’re asked to complete things to an unreasonable deadline – that 7,000 word report on the boss’ desk in an hour’s time is not just unreasonable but it’s probably impossible too.
5. You’re made to feel guilty if you take time off – you’re legally entitled to take holiday, you shouldn’t feel bad about making the most of that and jetting off for a week of sunshine.