I automated my job over a year ago and haven't told anyone.


I saw some similar posts to this so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon.

I work for a mid-size law firm that hired me as an IT specialist to handle all of their digital evidence for trials. The law firm was in the process of changing their evidence managing system to Cloud-based and wanted me to be the only person with admin access to the Cloud, everyone else would be limited to view only and would work on a local network drive. Sounds great, but I quickly realized this was the only task they expected me to perform in my 8-hour shift. This was in no way an 8-hour job, so I was stuck pretending to work at the office most of the time.

Then COVID happened and I was asked if there was any way I could work from home. I set up a remote workstation, tunneled it to my house, and that's when the real fun began. In about a week I was able to write, debug, and perfect a simple script that performed my entire job. It essentially scans the on-site drive for any new files, generates hash values for them, transfers them to the Cloud, then generates hash values again for fidelity (in court you have to prove digital evidence hasn't been tampered with). I clock in every day, play video games or do whatever, and at the end of the day, I look over the logs to make sure everything ran smoothly... then clock out. I'm only at my desk maybe 10 minutes a day.

For a while, I felt guilty, like I was ripping the law-firm off, but eventually, I convinced myself that as long as everyone is happy there's no harm done. I'm doing exactly what they hired me to do, all of the work is done in a timely manner, and I get to enjoy my life. Win-win for everyone involved. Plus, I've already decided that if they ever try to get rid of me I'll just get rid of the script. I'm running it on equipment that I own so if they lose me, they lose the work. Creating my own job security.

Edit: Wanted to answer a few questions I've been getting.

  1. How much am I getting paid? Just shy of 90k. I think I'm doing alright.

  2. What work did they hire me to do? Sorry if it wasn't clear. The firm gets thousands of digital documents, photos, etc on a daily basis. All of this goes on a local drive. My job is to transfer all of these files to the Cloud and then verify their fidelity.

  3. Why do they think this is an 8-hour job? Before they hired me they were struggling to keep up with things. Employees submit a spreadsheet of all the files they've placed on the local drive at the end of the day. Then the admin manager would check the spreadsheet and manually drag and drop the folders/files into the Cloud. I still receive the spreadsheet every day and it's what I use to verify my logs.

  4. Why am I lazy / why am I wasting my life? I don't feel like I am. I do have a passion project that I work on during the day, but it's not relevant to the discussion. Hence the "whatever" portion of "play video games or do whatever."

  5. Why did I feel guilty, they're lawyers lol? I know it doesn't fit most posts here, but I don't hate my boss. He's actually really nice, albeit not tech-savvy at all. I don't actually work with or see the lawyers, I fall under administration since they don't have an IT department.

  6. What code language am I using / how can you do this? The script is in batch with some portions of powershell. The base code is fairly simple and most of it came from Googling ".bat transfer files" followed by ".bat how to only transfer certain file types" etc. The trick was making it work with my office, knowing where to scan for new files, knowing where not to scan due to lag (seriously, if you have a folder with 200,000 .txt files that crap will severally slow down your scans. it Better to move it manually and then change the script to omit that folder from future searches)

  7. Why don't you sell it and make bank? Please understand that this is not some high-end program that's worth millions. This is a few lines of code written in a notepad. It only has value in this situation because the office has no technical skills. This is the type of script people put on github with a $5 price tag linked to their PayPal.

Thanks for reading.


If it helps you justify it, they're not paying you for the 10 minutes a day it takes you to do that, they're paying the work to be done reliably and an expert on standby full time, ready to jump in and address any issues as they happen.

If you leave, even if you leave the script, if they don't replace you and something goes wrong, they're up shit creek.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post