Huh?



  • I have a story to relate. Let me know what you think.

    There's this guy I work with who is not quite "all there" if you know what I mean. The elevator really doesn't go to the top floor, if you get my jist. Not that I'm criticizing him for this, I'm just letting you know the type of personality we're dealing with here. Anyways, he just happens to be a Level III programmer in our company and from what I understand he makes good $$$. During our programming meetings he acts very strange. He never ever participates, and most of the time it looks like he has a headache because he puts his head down slightly as if the discussion is causing him distress. I've always had my suspicions about the guy, because I never actually saw any of his code. A couple weeks ago, I decided to test one of my suspicions by going up to him and asking him for some help with a project I was working on. I showed him some of my code and started to explain about how a certain method was called. He sat upright and said, "Huh?"

    He quickly corrected himself and said "Oh yeah, the method. Right." I just raised an eyebrow at that. I figured, ok, that really didn't mean anything so I decided to ask him a specific OOP question. I asked him something super simple, "How do you instantiate such-and-such object? I forget the syntax." He froze and looked petrified. Finally he responded with, "I've never worked with such a system and I need to get back to my project. Sorry I can't help."

    Well, my first thoughts were that he knows absolutely nothing about OOP. But how can that be? He's a Level III programmer. There's no possible way he could have advanced to that level (and make the money he makes) without a solid understanding of OOP. There's just no way.

    I was confused about this guy until early this morning. Then it all made sense.

    I got to the job a little early and no one seemed to be around yet. I was walking to my cube when I heard the Level III guy around the corner talking on the phone with a friend. He must have thought no one was listening, because he revealed it all.

    The basic coversation went something like this. "Man, if anyone were to find out that I've been sub-contracting out my work for all these years, I'd be dead meat! Nobody here even has a clue that HTML is the only language I know...yeah, I'm due for a review and a raise this month...I might make Level IV if I'm lucky..."

    At that point, I turned right around and went to the men's bathroom. I didn't even want to hear the rest of the conversation. I spent the next 5-10 minutes swinging my fists in the air in anger. You see, I've been in the industry well over 10 years and my current title is Programmer. Not Programmer Level III or Level II or even Level I. Just Programmer. And here's this guy who is basically an HTML guru holding a grand title and salary. No one else knows the truth but me. What would you do in this situation?!?



  • I'd tell him to go open his own bussiness, since he's so good at getting other people do his job.



  • A tape recorder and a bottle of tequila.

     

    'nuff said.



  • Be nice to him. He's definitely a manager type, could be your next boss. ;-)

    Really, don't be jealous about other people who make more money with less work. Jealousy gets you nowhere.
    In every organisation, there are people who obviously does not deserver title and salary. This one is at least clever enough to get the work done by external means. Fighting them doesn't help you.



  • On one hand, I agree.  Every company has at least one total slacker who somehow gets glorified in the eyes of management and is rewarded way beyond their actual performance.  Most of the time (IME) they are excellent salesmen; they know how to present a polished and professional appearance and managers eat it up like candy.  It doesn't sound like this guy is quite like that, though.

    I think you need to find some way to expose him and get him out of there.  Not because of the unfairness, but because he's "oursourced" his work without management's knowledge.  That means he's handing the company's proprietary and intellectual property over to some outsider.  If his sub-contractor is testing the code, it's possible that some of the company's data is being leaked out to him also.  Depending on your company, this could be a HUGE legal nightmare for your company. 

    If you have a manager who you're good buddies with, you can do the "liquor and tape recorder" trick and give you manager the tape.  But if you've been heard or seen to be slightly envious of the slacker then anything you do will just be seen as jealousy, so you'll be discounted.  Perhaps you can clip the next newspaper article about a company losing their databases full of names and ssn's, and give it to management and suggest that they implement a data lockdown so it doesn't happen to them.   That would be extremely inconvenient for all of the employees, but it would really crimp Mr. Slacker also.  I don't care for that idea, so maybe someone else has a better one?



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    On one hand, I agree.  Every company has at least one total slacker who somehow gets glorified in the eyes of management and is rewarded way beyond their actual performance.  Most of the time (IME) they are excellent salesmen; they know how to present a polished and professional appearance and managers eat it up like candy.  It doesn't sound like this guy is quite like that, though.

    I think you need to find some way to expose him and get him out of there.  Not because of the unfairness, but because he's "oursourced" his work without management's knowledge.  That means he's handing the company's proprietary and intellectual property over to some outsider.  If his sub-contractor is testing the code, it's possible that some of the company's data is being leaked out to him also.  Depending on your company, this could be a HUGE legal nightmare for your company. 

    If you have a manager who you're good buddies with, you can do the "liquor and tape recorder" trick and give you manager the tape.  But if you've been heard or seen to be slightly envious of the slacker then anything you do will just be seen as jealousy, so you'll be discounted.  Perhaps you can clip the next newspaper article about a company losing their databases full of names and ssn's, and give it to management and suggest that they implement a data lockdown so it doesn't happen to them.   That would be extremely inconvenient for all of the employees, but it would really crimp Mr. Slacker also.  I don't care for that idea, so maybe someone else has a better one?


    I completely aggree that secretly subcontracting to outsiders is a nightmare  - and CPound must definitely do something about it if this is what happens - but I think "outsourcing" could also mean: giving the work to an overperforming co-worker. In many programming jobs, a real good coder can easily do the work of two medium performers. Such a coworker has the knowledge and the tools required to do the job; if he is a nerd type, he probably doesn't care that someone else might get promoted, as long as he has enough funny work to do. It might also be an underemployed admin (with programming skills but no adequate job) who has too much time and likes to spend it on programming, making some extra dollars.



  • OK, so this is just my opinion mind you, and feel free to take it with a grain of salt or whatever.

    Here goes:

    Destroy him.

    I'm not even kidding. He's deadweight, and needs to be pruned. Anonymously, another serruptitious phone call + recorder, whatever it takes. Done properly it will be educational for everyone, and a complete blast as well.

    First order of business: ask him pointed questions about his "project" in every subsequent meeting. Especially anything related to interactions between his and your project areas. If you have code access, check it out for simple WTF type things, or obvious problems (like the outsourcee's name accidentally left in, whatever) to ask specific questions about. (My very most favorite question would be "Who's this Nadir Hasslebad person who's name I saw in our CVS? Is he in someone else's group?" if you could find other people's names)


    Just don't do anything retarded like trying to blackmail him or confront him when there's no one else around, you'll just end up getting yourself into legal trouble.

    Of course, if you want to end it in one fell (if amusing) swoop, at the next meeting you could ask where he outsources all of his work, because you're getting behind and could use a breather.



  • @ammoQ said:

    Be nice to him. He's definitely a manager type, could be your next boss. ;-)

    Really, don't be jealous about other people who make more money with less work. Jealousy gets you nowhere.
    In every organisation, there are people who obviously does not deserver title and salary. This one is at least clever enough to get the work done by external means. Fighting them doesn't help you.


    Jealousy isn't the only reason to put a stop to this. Basically what CPound is dealing with is straight up Fraud. If the HR dept found out that the other guy lied about all of his qualifications he'd be gone in a second. Just because he's not making CPound "do his homework" is no reason to let it slide.

    Hell, if the company uses the Kaizan*(sp?) system, CP can claim the rest of the deadbeat's annual wages as money saved for the company. :D




    *I have terribly limited experience with this, but I believe it's a rewards program that's common in Japanese run factories whereby you can recieve a small amount of the money that you help the company save by e.g. improving a process, doing more with less, etc.



  • <FONT size=3>Don't care about that. There are hundreds of thousands of jerks like that out there. Most of them will all fail at some point, the rest will become a managers position on something like that [:P]</FONT>



  • funny story, but completely made up...



  • Well, my first thoughts were that he knows absolutely nothing about OOP.

    Right, but then again, neither do you.

    And the story is plainly made up.

     



  • @DrPizza said:

    Right, but then again, neither do you.

    And the story is plainly made up.

     

    I would tend to agree.  And just where does this guy get the money to pay the sub contractor? 



  • the real WTF is that you haven't been promoted in 10 years.  maybe you shouldn't argue with some of the people around here (like in the "salaries" thread) who know what their talking about.



  • @ammoQ said:

    Fighting them doesn't help you.


    Of course it does, you get the satisfaction of crushing them in a battle of the most primal kind: office espionage!



    Now to a battle plan:

    (The fraudster will now be known as 'the mark')
    1) Information is you best tool you have, it will be your sword and your shield.
    1.1) Make sure that he never finds out that you are trying to take him down, if he does he might very well try to take you down instead. The hunter will become the hunted, and we don't want that.
    1.1.1) To that end, avoid telling anyone what you are doing, word might get back to the mark.
    1.2) Find out as much about the mark as possible, specifically who he farms the work out to, how he does it, and who are his allies (ppl who will come out to defend him) and who are his enemies (ppl who will bring out the knives as soon as back is turned).
    2) Work through other ppl, avoid doing anything directly yourself. Plausible deniablitity is your friend. Have multiple agents who are unaware of each other presence and do not know the full picture of the operation.
    3) A good, although dangerous, way is to befriend the mark, he'll open his gates for you to storm in. But just remember he cottons on to you, it could be erm, difficult.
    4) Possible ways to strike the killing blow:
    4.1) Disable the mark's workers.
    4.1.1) This is prolly quite hard to do, after all he can just get another one if the current cannot serve him anymore.
    4.2) Have the mark's worker feed back bad code, which will make the mark look bad.
    4.2.1) This one may be tough with the current worker, try to disable him and replace him with your own man that you can control.
    4.3) Expose the connection between your mark and his workers to higher ups.
    4.3.1) They may not care, they may even kill the messenger. Make sure you are not the messenger.



Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.