Long Lunch: Spanish Civil Servant Skips Work For Years Without Anyone Noticing

Only when Joaquín García was due to collect an award for two decades of loyal and dedicated service did anyone realize that the Spanish civil servant hadn’t shown up for work for at least six years, possibly as many as 14. García, a 69-year-old engineer, began working for the local authority in the city of Cádiz in 1990, and in 1996 was transferred to the municipal water board, where his job was to supervise a waste water treatment plant. In 2010, when García, who is now retired, was due to collect his long-service medal, Deputy Mayor Jorge Blas Fernández wondered where he was. He was still on the payroll, but no one knew who he was. Fernández called García, who couldn’t explain what he had been doing at work. A court fined García €27,000 ($31,847.58), the equivalent of one year's salary, after taxes. García told the court he had turned up to the office on occasion, though he admitted he may not have kept regular business hours. He claimed he was the victim of workplace bullying. 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. Either way, García made out like a bandit.