A Spanish Man Stopped Doing His Job — And It Took His Boss 6 Years to Notice


Man: 1. Government: 0.

In 2010 officials were preparing to award Joaquin Garcia for his 20 years of civil service in Cadiz, Spain —  until they realized that for six of those years he hadn't been doing his job. Now, 69-year-old Garcia is facing a fine of nearly 27,000 euros (roughly $30,000), which would be only a fraction of the 37,000 euros he collected annually.

The city's deputy mayor during the time of Garcia's employment, Jorge Blas Fernandez, learned of Garcia's extended "vacation" when a manager from a nearby office told Fernandez he hadn't seen Garcia in years. When Fernandez confronted Garcia about the accusations, Garcia allegedly told him he "could not answer" the deputy's questions on his work.

Garcia denied these allegations, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, saying he was a victim of mobbing and that the city knowingly sent him to an empty location. 

Mic/Getty Images

Fernandez told El Mundo he was under the impression that the company was supervising Garcia. "He was given an office in the building of Aguas de Cadiz and stayed there," he told the outlet. "Until one day [more than a decade later] I remembered and thought, 'Where is this man? Was he still there? Was he retired? Was he deceased?'"

Read More: Money Buys a Minister of Happiness for the United Arab Emirates

Here's where it gets even more bizarre: According to El Mundo, the council had actually meant to fire Garcia in 1995, at which point they supposedly stopped monitoring him all together. So it's possible that Garcia was paid for work he didn't do for as long as 14 years. 

Garcia maintained that it wasn't a total waste of tax dollars: While he didn't stay at work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. like the position mandated, he said he occupied his office for some amount of time every day, passing the time reading, often about philosopher and rationalist Baruch Spinoza. 

Perhaps we should all be so rational.