Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Suboptimal Ramblings

"I will choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."
- Bill Gates

So sometimes I feel like I have to slog through severe bouts of laziness and end up just toughing it out and waiting for the nine hours to end. This is horrible, because I'm not sure how it goes for other people but I can never get myself to stop my streams of thought - not that it's something I'd want.

Anyway, there's this very interesting anecdote that made the news lately which, without the security implications, was very thought-provoking.

For the benefit of those who can't access the article (or in case it gets taken down someday), it was about a company who found out that the reason their best employee was so good at his job was because he outsourced his work to a firm in China for a fifth of his salary. What did he do with his work day? He spent it surfing on Reddit, eBay and watching cat videos.

Setting bias and the sense of professionalism aside, I'm one of the many who felt that on some level, it was a stroke of genius. It also begs a lot of questions from me.

After all, given today's performance-driven evaluations, isn't everyone essentially self-employed? What scale of outsourcing would be considered crossing the line? Was Bob truly lazy, or did he have the management skills that a lot of companies look for?

From an objective point of view, are people expected to do work or deliver results?

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