Man Skips Work for Six Years, No One Notices
It sounds like something that would happen in Office Space, or maybe in your worst (best?) nightmare.
A Spanish man by the name of Joaquín García left work one day and never came back. In fact, no one noticed when he did, or if they did, they didn’t report it because García remained employed by his company for at least six years even though he stopped showing up.
Garcia, a civil servant, began working for the city of Cádiz in 1990, and six years later was transferred to the municipal water board to oversee a waste water treatment plant. This is where things get cloudy. No one knows how long García actually worked there. It is known that he didn’t perform any work duties from 2007-2010, but it is also suspected that he ceased working for as many as 14 years.
It was only when deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández wanted to award him with a medal for 20 years of service, did he realize that García was missing.
“He was still on the payroll,” he told el Mundo. “I thought, where is this man? Is he still there? Has he retired? Has he died?”
The former manager of the water board who had the office opposite García told Fernández that he hadn’t seen García for several years. Fernández then decided to call García in.
“I asked him: what are you doing? What did you do yesterday? And the previous month? He could not answer,” he said.
The court fined García the total of one year’s salary, about $30,000. Not bad for doing nearly no work for six to 14 years.
García did tell the court that he has shown up to work, but kept irregular business hours. He also said that he was a victim of workplace bullying “because of his family’s socialist politics and had been deliberately sidelined at the water board,” according to The Guardian. The result of which left him severely depressed and unwilling to report the harassment for fear of losing his job.
It was also discovered that the water board thought García was the city council’s employee and the city council thought García was their employee.
García, however, has been making the most of his early retirement. He’s become an expert in philosophy, particularly the works of Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher credited with laying the foundations of the Enlightenment, according to The Guardian.