Outsourcing: what not to ask

Here are two good questions to ask your management when they outsource your IT job. I assure you that your management will have a big public Q&A meeting with all the affected employees. By "good questions" I mean "Good, if you want to be fired."

The thing is... you are about to get fired anyway. Why not go down in flames? (I didn't have the guts to ask these questions, but I wish I had. Disclaimer: None of my outsourcing stories relate to my current employer.

Question 1: "Recently I heard a business person on CNN use the term 'vertical integration' but I didn't know what that means. What is it?'

Hopefully the person running the meeting will explain that companies strive to save money by owning the entire supply chain, thereby "removing the middleman" and enabling wide-ranging optimizations that are otherwise impossible.

Now, as your follow-up question, ask, "So, since outsourcing is the opposite of vertical integration, is our goal to spend more, un-optimize our processes, or did our CEO miss the day in MBA school that vertical integration was explained?"

You'll be shown the door.

Question 2: "Are we going into competition against Walmart?"

Obviously you will be told "no" and if you are lucky, you'll be asked why.

Simply reply, "Outsourcing tends to be such a bad idea that companies like Wal-Mart hope their competitors do it."

You'll be shown the door.

Either way, you'll have fun.

(Disclaimer: please don't do this)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Sarcasm

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