Man skips work for 6 years; no one notices

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A 69-year-old Spanish man was fined this week after officials discovered he hadn’t shown up to work for at least six years, the Guardian reports.

The civil servant was discovered only when the deputy mayor attempted to give him an award for 20 years of “loyal and dedicated” service in 2010.

“I thought, where is this man?” the Guardian quotes the deputy mayor. “Is he still there? Has he retired? Has he died?”

According to the Independent, a legal case was launched against the man — Joaquín García — that year. It finally wrapped up this week, with García, who retired in 2011, losing an appeal and being issued a fine of approximately $30,000, the Times reports. That’s the equivalent of one year’s salary after taxes, and was the most that could legally be reclaimed.

The investigation into García determined he hadn’t been to his office for at least six years—and possibly as long as 14 years — and had done “absolutely no work” between 2007 and 2010.

García was supposed to be supervising the construction of a water treatment plant, the BBC reports. But the water company thought the city council was in charge of García, while the city council thought the water company was in charge of him.

A water company manager admitted to not having seen García for years despite having an office across from him.

García argues he was bullied and given a job with no actual work to do because of his socialist politics. As for what he did with all his free time: The Guardian reports he became “an avid reader of philosophy and an expert on the works of Spinoza.” (A Spanish mayor made taking an afternoon nap the law.)

This story appeared originally on Newser: Man Skips Work for 6 Years, No One Notices

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6 comments

  • Gary

    That’s nothing.
    I’ve showed up for work and busted my butt every day for the last 22 years, and nobody has noticed.
    No raises, no bonuses, no “thank you”, no nothing. It is as if my department doesn’t even exist.
    And they wonder why they are watching all the good talent leave the state.
    I’d have gone long ago if I didn’t have family here, and there are days where I think that maybe it would be worth it to leave anyway.

  • Linda

    No, Alex, they aren’t robbing the man. They are repossessing the money he stole from them. I don’t care about his alleged sob story, the fact is he stole from them, and subsequently from the people, for many years. He should be made to pay all of it back.

  • J.B.

    2 words in this story….”Civil Servant”
    Why did this guys boss not notice?
    Because he is writing paychecks with taxpayer “monopoly” money.

    The Flint water guy was probably busy studying philosophy with this cretin.. .

  • Jason Phuhken Walters

    I agree with Alex … they’re robbing the guy … accountability starts with management … someone should always follow up with workers quality … as a bottom level management person myself … the people in my department and I are on first name basis and everyone knows my work schedule … my boss and I both have walkies and I get called over the radio probably 10 times a shift … If I’m 10 minutes late everyone knows … because it’s a system that works. they are in obvious need of reviewing their accountability measures and I wouldn’t be surprised if they found more than just him hiding in the woodpile.