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The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn., Sam Venable column
[January 24, 2013]

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn., Sam Venable column

Jan 24, 2013 (The Knoxville News-Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- They say if you want the best game warden, hire a reformed poacher.

Ditto for tax cheats, scam artists, spies, counterfeiters and others of their ilk who have seen the light and gone straight.

Makes sense. These pros are at the top of their game. They know every trick in the book. It's a lot easier for them to outwit the bad guys because they've been bad guys themselves.

That's why "Bob" oughta be promoted to senior management. Not fired.

Perhaps you've heard about "Bob." He's the guy who snookered his company by outsourcing his own job to China and pocketing a pile of profits.

I'm not making this up. Our sister newspaper, the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, carried a story about "Bob" and his brilliant plan several days ago.

An investigative team from Verizon outed "Bob." Neither he nor his company was identified because of confidentially agreements with the hired sleuths. But it made for one of the most hilarious stories I've read in some time.

Hilarious for readers, that is. I dare say "Bob's" bosses are still slurping antacids -- and applying Rogaine by the quart to the bald spots created when they yanked out hair in frustration.

"Bob" was a software developer for a U.S. company. He was knocking down several hundred-thou annually in salary.


Obviously, "Bob" had brains. He was so smart, in fact, that he found a subcontractor in Shenyang, China, who would do his job for $50,000.

Not only do it, but do it well.

According to the Commercial Appeal, "Bob's" work was exemplary. He routinely got great performance reviews -- when all he did was sit in front of his office computer 9-5 playing video games, shopping on eBay and chatting on Facebook. It wasn't until the investigative team, hired to check out frequent computer messages from China to "Bob," discovered his ruse that he got canned.

Huh Are they nuts Run off that kind of talent For Pete's sake, milk it! Ain't it the all-American business model to do things on the cheap, even if it means getting rid of your domestic employees and hiring virtual slave labor in China, Vietnam, India or Sri Lanka I'm amazed the Chamber of Commerce in "Bob's" town hasn't erected a statue in his honor. If he'd been CEO of the company instead of a hireling, that's exactly what would have happened -- to the rousing cheers of stockholders and financial analysts everywhere.

Hmm ... not that there's any connection, and don't say you heard it here: But if anybody's willing to write 113 lines, four days a week, I know a guy who'd be happy to pay $1.47 per column.

(Any more, and he'd barely break even.) ___ (c)2013 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) Visit the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) at www.knoxnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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