A Civil Servant did this? It can only happen in government work…
The Guardian has more…
Joaquín García failed to show up for his job at the water board for at least six years – and possibly as many as 14!
Only when Joaquín García, a Spanish civil servant, was due to collect an award for two decades of loyal and dedicated service did anyone realise that he had not, in fact, shown up to work for at least six years – and possibly as many as 14.
García, a 69-year-old engineer, began working for the local authority in the south-western city of Cádiz in 1990, according to el Mundo, and in 1996 was posted to the municipal water board, Agua de Cadiz, where his job was to supervise a waste water treatment plant.
In 2010, when García – who has now retired – was due to collect his long-service medal, the man who had hired him, deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández, wondered where he was: “He was still on the payroll,” he told the paper. “I thought, where is this man? Is he still there? Has he retired? Has he died?”
After the former manager of the water board, who had the office opposite Garcia’s, told Fernández he had not seen his employee for several years, the deputy mayor called the engineer in. “I asked him: what are you doing?” Fernández said. “What did you do yesterday? And the previous month? He could not answer.”
A court this week fined Garcia €27,000 (£21,000), the equivalent after tax of one year of his annual salary, having earlier found that the engineer did not appear to have occupied his office for “at least six years” and had done “absolutely no work” between 2007 and 2010, the year before he retired.
García told the court that he had turned up to the office, although he admitted he may not have kept regular business hours. He said he was the victim of workplace bullying because of his family’s socialist politics and had been deliberately sidelined at the water board.
His friends told El Mundo that the engineer had been unwilling to report his allegations of harassment because he “had a family to support” and was worried that he would not find another job at his age. He had been so depressed by his situation that he had seen a psychiatrist, they said.
The tribunal concluded that the water board had believed García was the responsibility of the city council for most of the period of his employment, while the city council thought he was working for the water board.
The engineer made the most of the confusion, becoming an avid reader of philosophy and an expert on the works of Spinoza, the Dutch philosopher credited with laying the foundations of the Enlightenment.
It is good work, if you can get it!