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Employee Outsources His Job to China

In the “don’t do this” category:

A software developer in the U.S. apparently outsourced his six-figure job to China so he could spend all day reading Reddit and watching cat videos, the BBC reports.

The developer was working with secure files on a company VPN. No problem; he Fedexed his RSA (security) token to the Shenyang-based consulting firm, whom he paid $50,000 a year to do his job for him.

The security breach was discovered by Verizon after the unnamed infrastructure company asked Verizon to check out some “anomalous activity.”

The open connection from Shenyang to the employee’s workstation had been open for several months.

This enterprising employee may even have been “working” at more than one job, earning several hundred thousand dollars a year to do nothing, the BBC notes.

Hilarious, but not smart.

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What Fresh Hell Is This? Resume Writer Says To Stop Searching For A Job Because Your Next One Will Find You

Have you ever spent ten minutes searching for your car keys, only to find them appear just as you’ve thrown your hands up and said “Screw it, I’ll walk”? Sure that happens every now and then, but people do tend to find their car keys while looking for them.

Yet master resume writer Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter says that “you might actually land a job” when you stop looking for one, so, yeah, just quit your job search.

wonder how this made it past the DMV. photo by flickr user gammaman:

Should you “[p]lay hard-to-get by being nonchalant about job offers that do come your way”? This, Barrett-Poindexter says, will make you “be seen as a challenge, and the competition to hire you will heat up.”

No, no, no. Nonchalant is bad in today’s market. Overly attached, clingy, and needy is also bad, but there’s middle ground. If you need a job, present yourself as excited and passionate and energetic—not hard to get.

Oh, and Barrett-Poindexter also says that in times of real stress, just stop job-searching altogether. “The perspectives you gain during this time will more than make up for any perceived time loss.”

Agreed…if you’re talking about a couple hours. Maybe even a day, if you’re having a really wretched time and need a mental health break. In fact, we support the general idea of approaching the job search from a place of calm, a place of positivity, etc.–not a mental state of stress and negativity. That stress will spill over into the way you present yourself to employers, so coming from a good, happy place is good. But that doesn’t mean just to quit when it gets rough.

Job searching is a job, as anyone who’s done it for an extended period of time knows. Without discipline and putting in regular hours, you’re less likely to achieve the result you want–a job. Yes, people get called out of the blue by headhunters, and sometimes the perfect job falls into your lap, but The Secret isn’t real and you’ll better your odds by sticking with it. A job search is not like looking for your car keys.

Finally, Barrett-Poindexter also lists a bunch of tips about quitting your job search by using social media, volunteering, and going on job interviews. Funny, those things sound a heck of a lot like….job-searching. So maybe you don’t want to quit your job search after all.

LinkedIn ‘Open Endorsers’ Ruining It For Everyone

First there were LIONs, or LinkedIn Open Networkers—essentially people who would friend anyone who asked, presumably in order to win a meaningless pissing contest on the Internet about who had the most internet friends.

Now we’ve learned from Tim Tyrell-Smith that there are Open Endorsers, or people who will endorse you for all your skills if you do the same for them.

(Quick backtrack primer on endorsements, since they’re one of Linkedin’s newest features: Your connections can now indicate that you’re good at Skill X with one click. Much less work than writing a full recommendation, but about as meaningful as clicking “Like” on someone’s status update, we suspect. However, there’re rumors swirling that your endorsements will affect how you rank in search, so like many other changes social media companies have forced on us, we have to play along to stay competitive in this personal branding world.)

Okay, but ‘open endorsers’ are idiots. Here’s the profile of a person who tried to connect with Tyrell-Smith:

Useless. All noise, no signal.

If LinkedIn ranks people in search results based on the relative distribution of endorsements within their profile, fine. If we start getting compared to the people with 99+ endorsements in every skill ever, just because that guy agreed to say “yes” to all his friends, coworkers, and random strangers on the Internet, we’re doomed. Thanks a lot, idiots!

Legislation Could Help Small Businesses Offer Retirement Plans…Kinda?

Only a third of people who worked for companies employing between 10-100 people had access to a company-sponsored retirement plan. Those small businesses say it’s too expensive, even though nearly four out of five business owners say that such a plan would help them retain higher-quality candidates.

Now, USA TODAY reports, the Senate Special Committee on Aging is considering introducing legislation that would let small businesses pool with other businesses to create a group retirement plan. Financial experts would take on the administrative duties of the plan, saving small businesses time.

Except, small business plans are already available and don’t require a lot of time or effort to manage, and what business owners told the Government Accountability Office was that they wouldn’t offer these plans unless they were sure their business would show a profit multiple years in a row.

So in other words, the government wants to legislate away a problem by finding a completely different solution. Good luck with that one.

Reporter Handcuffed At Romney Event

Hunter Walker reports that a reporter for the Economist was handcuffed and briefly detained after trying to listen to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s victory speech in Michigan.

Natasha Loder, the Midwest correspondent for the Economist, and other reporters were put into a separate room during the speech, but when they realized that the room was broadcasting Romney’s speech with a slight delay, Loder tried to listen to the speech in real-time outside the room where it was happening.

A private security guard said he would shut the doors, Loder asked to speak with a member of the Romney campaign, and a police officer offered to arrest Loder and the other reporters for trespassing.

She was then placed in handcuffs and sat down in the doorway in protest, in order to keep the guard from closing the door.

Walker reports that Loder then spoke with a police officer, saying “Look, I’m sorry, I just wanted to do my job,” and then was allowed to go on her way.

The Dumbest Work-Related Court Case Ever

Sharon Smiley was an administrative assistant at a Chicago real estate company.

After more than 10 years with the company, she was fired. Her offense? Working through lunch.

According to Open Forum and multiple other news outlets, Smiley was told that company policy required her to take a half-hour lunch break. Smiley was, at the time, off the clock, but was sitting at her desk working on a spreadsheet.

She was then instructed to go to HR to discuss the issue and was fired for “misconduct and insubordination with the HR manager.”

That was in 2010. Now, finally, a Cook County judge has ruled that Smiley’s conduct “didn’t amount to misconduct that would disqualify her for benefits,” and she will be entitled to keep the unemployment payments that she’s been receiving. (A ruling against her would have required her to repay all the money.)

“I knew you couldn’t eat lunch at your desk,” Smiley told ABC News. “I was under the impression that because I was punched out I could do what I want.” It was the first time in ten years she had worked through lunch.

In December, after spending nearly two years working temp jobs and working for tips at a restaurant, she got a new job as a receptionist at an advertising firm.

And now she’s won her case. The crazy part? No lawyer Smiley could find would take her on as a client, so she had to represent herself. After winning her appeal, she called one of the lawyers who turned her down and left a voicemail:

“I said, ‘This is Sharon Smiley, and I just wanted to call and let you know that I did win my case, and I did it on my own.’ “

OMG, The Worst Gifts Bosses Give Their Employees

Target Gift Cards
Let’s say your boss didn’t read this and instead of giving her employees a cash bonus, she has decided to give out presents before you all leave for the holidays (which we here at MediaJobsDaily plan to do very shortly).

Well, let’s say you’re staring at your holiday thank-you letter with a $5 gift card to Starbucks inside.

It could be worse: you could have been given a gift card for the concession stand at the theme park where you work, that was good for one medium soda OR a banana, tax not included.

“Evil HR Lady” Suzanne Lucas writes about this mishap and eight other bad gifts from the boss here. Another doozy: the employee who was given an envelope containing $100 cash…only to find it had been deducted from his next paycheck.

Inc also put together a list of bad gifts including a singing mug that wouldn’t shut up, a bounced check, and a dinner at a fancy restaurant. That last one doesn’t sound too bad until you learn that the boss asked for separate checks at the end of the meal.

If you’re a boss and you want to somehow pull together gifts for your workers before the day’s through, fear not: most people love gift cards.

Righthaven’s Assets To Be Auctioned

gavel judge jury court

An exciting twist in the saga of copyright troll Righthaven: the company that has made a business of acquiring copyrights to newspaper articles, then suing bloggers and others said to be infringers, may have its assets auctioned off to recoup a blogger’s legal costs.

Paidcontent reports that a federal judge in Nevada issued an order that will allow Wayne Hoehn, who was sued for posting a copy of a Las Vegas Review-Journal op-ed to a forum called MadJack Sports, to appoint a receiver to recoup his legal costs.

Hoehn had been awarded the $30,000-odd judgment earlier this year after a judge found that Righthaven didn’t technically own the copyright to the article (just the right to sue), but Righthaven had said it didn’t have the money to pay.

Now, Righthaven, instead of appealing, has claimed that it actually has the copyrights, and it wants to continue its appeal.

If it does manage to produce the copyrights, paidcontent says, they will be sold to pay Hoehn. If it doesn’t have the copyrights, Righthaven’s lawyers will be found in contempt of court.

“In a related order on Monday,” Paidcontent continues, “U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Johnston ordered Righthaven’s lawyer and his wife to appear in court on January 5th to explain under oath where the assets are. If the couple doesn’t appear, the judge has authorized US Marshalls to hunt them down and bring them back.”

If the auction goes forward, Stevens Media, the Review-Journal publisher, may be forced to buy back its own copyrights.

Nearly A Fifth Of Companies Don’t Allow Their Social Media Pro Vacations

Responding to customers and fans on social media isn’t a 9-5 job. Customer service complaints happen at all hours, and your brand may have fans worldwide who are waking up just as you’re getting dinner.

That’s why making sure a company has a strategy for what happens when their social media point-of-contact takes a vacation. According to a poll by SmartBrief On Social Media, 35 percent of companies don’t have such plans in place, and their social media broadcasts go dark when their staffer’s gone.

Another third delegate the tasks to either one replacement, two replacements, or a whole team.

But 17 percent of employers said “Our social media person doesn’t get to take vacations.”

Really? Yes, consumers have come to expect responses through social media. But employees need breaks. Is this acceptable?

Tribune Co To Pay Randy Michaels $675,000 Settlement

Tribune Co. has agreed to pay former CEO Randy Michaels a settlement of $675,000, plus $50,000 in legal fees, reports TheWrap.

Why exactly is he getting this money? Michaels resigned in October 2010 after a damning New York Times article made the place look like a madhouse.

But Michaels later claimed he was eligible for a bonus through the company’s “management incentive plan.” TheWrap: “The MIP says that one must be employed to collect the bonus, except in cases of death, disability, retirement and termination without cause. Michaels said he quit because he assumed he would be fired.”

Tribune decided to settle rather than fight it out.

The settlement still requires approval from a bankruptcy judge, as the company is still in bankruptcy.

Romenesko called up David Carr, who wrote the NYT story that started this whole thing off, to ask how he felt. Carr said: “I’m sure there are some expedient reasons that the TribCo chose to pay Mr. Michaels $675,000 and cover his legal fees, but it sends a clear, bad message to the women and men at the company who continue to do their jobs well in spite of the overhang of bankruptcy process that has gone on far too long.”