slight clutter on flickrWouldn’t it be cool to stop working and still get paid? It turns out that it’s not only possible, but it’s been done.
We reached out to a source who created a computer program to do his job for him.
He was working at a collection agency, spending loads of time poring over people’s information by hand to determine if they owned money. This was a time-consuming process but he saw a way to simplify it.
“I wrote a simple batch file that used the already existing data fields in the software to produce ‘the kill list,'” our source says. “Then I used some form of macro to feed that data into the credit reporting agencies system. I did feel bad because these were real people and while a person might miss a few names, the software would not. So I would randomly pardon a person until the next round. This task normally took a month. It now took less than 15 minutes.”
The next step was to call the people who owed money. Our source didn’t like this process – people were often unavailable or would just flat-out duck his calls.
“This was a huge waste of time in my opinion and bored me to death,” he says. “So again I wrote a batch file that found the people most likely to be available at a particular time and to agree to a payment plan. This way I only had to call four to six people at the end of my shift instead of maybe one hundred. The success rate was also high at over 50%.”
Here’s a kicker – the boss loved it. She “only noticed how many people agreed to payment plans since that was posted on a white board,” he says. As long as the results were strong, she didn’t seem to care what he did during the day.
So what did he do during the day?
“My co-worker and I found better uses of our time while pretending to work, like watching ‘Office Space’ or engaging in cube warfare.,” he says. “If the boss was gone we would sleep or do some research online.”
You might think that having a computer do your job for you would turn you into a slob. Our source says it actually made him a better person.
“I acquired new knowledge and skills that could be applied to a better job,” he says. “I knew that my system couldn’t continue indefinitely since it was mostly exploiting years of inefficiency that would eventually zero out. I never had to deal with that aspect of the plan because my boss was crazy and gross and I had lost interest in it and moved on to something else. The automizations stayed in place after I left and eliminated a few jobs, but those aren’t jobs that people need to do. The only thing that required a real human was the phone call. No one wants to be called by a machine asking for money.”