A 69-year-old man from Spain was recently found to have skipped work for six years. Reports even say that he might have skipped up to fourteen years of work. The discovery was made only after he was set to receive an award for twenty years of service. How did this happen?
That is exactly what his superiors have been asking themselves since they discovered this bizarre fact. Especially in light of the fact that he received his annual salary equivalent to $41,000 (USD), they wanted to know how this could happen.
Joaquín García, the man in question, worked for Spain’s water authority since 1990. Since 1996, he began working for a local waste water treatment plant where his job was to supervise it. Garcia is now retired, but in 2010, he was due for a twenty year service award. As part of his duties, deputy mayor, Jorge Blas Fernandez, came to the plant to give him an award, but couldn’t find him anywhere.
When he asked the man who worked at the office across from Garcia’s office, Fernandez was told that Garcia had not been seen in years. When Fernandez attempted to ask Garcia what he had done for work, he would not tell him.
Garcia was recently taken to court. The court found that Garcia had not turned up to work for at least six years. They also found out that he completed “absolutely no work” between the years 2007 and 2010. Garcia did not admit that he did no work, but he admitted that he never kept regular business hours. The court found otherwise and fined him one year’s net salary, or 27,000 Euros.
In his defense, Garcia cites that he did not turn up for work because he was harassed by his fellow employees. He explains that his family are have socialist tendencies which caused him to be bullied. As a result, he slowly stopped keeping regular hours and turning up for work.
Garcia’s friends informed El Mundo, a Spanish network, that Garcia was fearful of reporting the harassment. Garcia, given his advanced age, was worried that he would lose his job and be unable to support his family. According to Garcia’s friends, he has been seeking professional help from a psychiatrist for his depression relating to his situation.
Evidently, his situation went unnoticed because Garcia’s bosses didn’t think he was their employee. The water board thought he worked for city council and vice versa. This situation allowed Garcia to take advantage of the situation. He kept his job until he retired. Meanwhile, he used his time to read and study works of philosophers like Spinoza. Many people have hailed him as an unsung hero to the working population. Meanwhile, his employees are still in disbelief that this could have happened, let alone for six years.