Some days you might feel like nobody appreciates how hard you’re working, or pays any attention to the contributions you’re making in your job. Yet, if we shared this theory with our colleagues, the chances are they would assure you that that isn’t the case.
But for Joaquin Garcia – who may just be your new hero – it was in fact completely true. People were so unaware of his absence, they continued to pay him for six years after he stopped showing up for work.
And though he did continue to get paid by Aguas de Cádiz despite having no discernible job to do, Garcia has now been fined €27,000 ($42,000). or less than one year’s pay (seems like a pretty good deal to us).
The Spanish ‘worker’ from Cadiz was finally caught out when he became eligible for a long serving achievement award. The deputy Mayor noticed that after twenty years of service Garcia was entitled to a plaque as a token of gratitude. But upon looking into the honour, they found that he wasn’t exactly the active member of the community they had supposed him to be.
Until that point they were unaware that the civil servant, who earned €37,000 a year, had shaved off at least six years of his two decades of presumed service for the company.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo, is calling him “el funcionario fantasma” – the phantom official.
Reportedly, Garcia, 69, says that he was bullied in his job due to his family’s politics, and as a result he was moved out of the way to the water company.
He went to work occasionally, but on finding there was no work to be done, he read philosophy and continued to collect his cheque. He feared admitting this to bosses would leave him unable to provide for his family or find a new job in his sixties.
The water company was under the impression that he was being supervised by the local authorities, and vice versa. And incredibly this delusion went on for years.
Fantastic communications skills, guys. Everyone give themselves a big pat on the back.