Mar 25, 2022

Do You Outsource Enough—Or Should You Delegate It?

A lively one-sided discussion unless you start your own column

By Ed Goldman

With so many people working in-, at and from home these days—yes, you’re being prepositioned—the concept of “outsourcing” has become a bit nebulous. A company’s own in-house employees have become consultants (I’m stifling myself from saying “outhouse employees” since I often am one of those.)

Well, just because you’re not going to a physical workplace other than the card table you opened in your sump pump enclosure doesn’t mean there still aren’t ex-officio tasks (or better yet, exo-office tasks) you’d like to delegate to someone else. 

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Here are some new outsourcing possibilities you may wish to consider since you probably have at least four hours a day to do so even though your time card indicates you’re working at least nine-and-a-half (“But I’m not complaining”):

  1. OUT-HOARSING. Are you tired of losing your voice from yelling “Defense!” while watching the Sacramento Kings, in person or on TV, lose still another game? Why not hire someone to do your entirely futile bellowing for you? An out-hoarsing consultant can work from anywhere, even Fallujah, provided you can afford the roaming charges. This consultant is a trained yelling professional, who knows how to breathe from the diaphragm (or other commercially available contraceptive devices). Ultimately, the lungs you save may be your own.
  1. OUT-SAUCING. You invite your fellow hybrid employees to a weekend barbecue—outdoors, of course, to limit both pandemic passing and carbon monoxide poisoning—and right before they arrive, you remember you haven’t marinated the pork ribs. While this wouldn’t be problematic since you’ll claim they’d been marinating overnight, regardless, what could damage your scenario is that you also have zero BBQ sauce in the kitchen larder to haphazardly pour over the ribs. This is when a quick call to an out-saucier can save your bacon, so to speak: He, she or the non-binary they will hop in one of the firehouse Rescue 8 vehicles and, sirens piercing the calm of your neighborhood, deliver a mason jarful of (essentially) ketchup to you. Why the firehouse delivery car? Because everyone knows the best barbecue sauce is made by firefighters as well as by ranch-hands named Zeke or Cal. My Dad, one of the former, made one that I still dream of and awake salivating for. I’ve long suspected the secret ingredient was honey-dabbed methamphetamine.  
  2. OUT-SASSING. Your not being in the office means you won’t have the chance to make the off-the-cuff snide remarks that have become your  trademark around the workplace, as well as the source of at least two defamation lawsuits. By contacting @sarcasm or #me-so-darn-nasty, an experienced insult comic will: (a) talk back to your boss; (b) make fun of Midge from Accounting’s Easter rumballs a full month before she even defrosts last year’s batch; and (c) create variations of the traditional office bon mot, “I’m okay… for a Tuesday!” that you can deploy whenever anyone asks how you’re doing, which probably isn’t very often, given your mean mouth.    
  1. OUT-BOURSING. If you simply have no time to monitor the Paris stock exchange—so much mon dieu, so little temps—just have someone with the all-purpose/non-gender nickname of Frenchie call their “oncle” every afternoon, Greenwich Meridian Time, to ask, “Combien d’argent ai-je perdu aujourd’huiJe blâme le masquage!” (“How much money did I lose today? I blame masking!”)
  2. OUT-REMORSING. If you’re hauled into court for a crime you know you committed, and you’re on the verge of being convicted, the judge, jury or Fox News will feel better if, right before you’re sentenced—to the slammer, gas chamber, firing squad or dinner-and-a-movie with Senator Rand Paul—you express remorse for your heinous behavior. But maybe you’re not the remorseful type, ‘eh? Maybe if you’d been little George Washington you’d have told your father after that fabled axe-related incident, “Look, Pop, we have 350 acres of #$@!&**&@!!! cherry trees, so what’s the BFD?” If so, wouldn’t it be nice to know you can pay for someone to zip into the courtroom at the last possible moment to express how sincerely sorry you are for everything from embezzling the proceeds of the PTA bake sale to sautéing Acura, your little girl’s pet koi? The answer to this appears below.
  3. OUT-OF-COURSING. Exhausted by emphatically agreeing with your boss all the time and risking serious injury by nodding your head vigorously? Of course you are! Pay someone else to do it. I rest my koi.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).