Joaquin Garcia, 69, is a Spanish civil servant whose job was to supervise the building of a waste water treatment plant in the south-western city of Cadiz. A court has agreed with the local authority that Joaquin never turned up for work for “at least” 6 years, and has fined him €27,000 EURO (£21,000 GBP; $30,000 USD), which is equivalent to 1 year’s salary after tax (the most that can be claimed).
Joaquin claims that he has been the victim of political bullying, in that his bosses disagreed with his family’s politics & he was sent to the water company to be out of the way. When he got there, he found that there was zero work for him to do.
Joaquin had a family to provide for & was worried that, as he was approaching retirement, that he would be unable to get another job. Fortunately for him, everything seemed to conspire to allow him to spend his final working years in perfect peace (he turned up to the office on occasions for a few hours & read philosophy):
- The water company thought he was supervised by the local authorities
- The local authorities thought that he was supervised by the water company
- The water company boss had an office opposite Joaquin & had not seen him for years. It seems that this boss did not think to report that fact.
- Mr Garcia became eligible to receive a plaque for 20 years’ service. Finally, the deputy Mayor noticed that Joaquin was missing in inaction, and took him to court.
- Joaquin does not think that he should have to pay the fine, and has written to the Mayor asking for a review of the judgement.