Workplace Leech

There is someone act like a leech at work. Like a real leech, he sucks on other people’s blood to survive. In fact, he is worst than a lazy bone with zero productivity. He has negative productivity because others have to spent time to deal with him. Unfortunately, I have to deal with a leech in my current project. He does not belongs to our department, we do even work under the same boss. My project is one of my high profile project this year, so our jobs is quite security for the time being. The leech needs to justify his his value of existence in the company, so he approaches our project and offer some help, so that he can bill his salary using our time code. We are under staff, so we have no reason not taking his help. This is where my headache begins.
In the initial agreement, he will delivery some reusable code for our testbench. The first week seems pretty good, he came up with nice presentation slides and a 30 pages document. Actually what he had planned well fit into our verification strategy. Then the next deliverable from he is to implement the design and gave us some code. His code is delayed, which is kinda expected like every other work in my company. The code is not compatible with our code, so it is completely useless. There are many lines of code, so at least he has done some hard work.

I gave him the benefit of double on miscommunication of our requirements and ask him to fix the code. Then I smell something funny, he keep pushing back to make any changes to his code. He keeps saying his code would work with our testbench if we change our design to fit his code. This raise my suspicious, I dive in and take a closer look. It turn out those are not his code after all. He simply copy some old code from someone who had left the company, renaming the the old project name to the new project name in code.  If copying someone’s homework in school is plagiarism, what do we call copying someone’s code at work?

I flag his plagiarism to my boss and my boss flag it to the leech’s boss. However, this leech is quite senior, even more senior than my boss, so we can’t get rid of him without good reason. He is still with our project and our problem is finding some work for him to do. We can’t give him mission critical task since he may fail to delivery and jeopardize the project. We can’t let him sitting idle, since he is accountable for the project cost. At the end, we decide to use him like the Indian contractors. We will give him specific requirement and ask him to implement the code. At the same time, we have a contingency plan. If he fail to deliver, we will distribute the work among other team members and take the hit to our schedule. If he fails again, then we have enough evidence to black list him and kick him off from our project.

Leave a Reply