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A man didn't show up for work for six years and nobody noticed until he won an award for dedication

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A man skipped work for six years and nobody noticed until he was put up for an award for 'loyal' and 'dedicated' service.

Joaquin Garcia, 69, was a Spanish civil servant. He began working for the local authority in Cadiz in 1990.

Six years later, he was posted to the municipal water board. His position involved supervising a treatment plant.

But Garcia for more than half a decade – possibly a few years longer, in fact – failed to turn up. He was still earning his salary, just not really doing anything, and it was only when the Spaniard was going to collect his long-service medal that the man who'd hired him, Jorge Blas Fernandez, realised something was wrong.

He told el Mundo:

He was still on the payroll. I thought, where is this man? Is he still there? Has he retired? Has he died?

The manager of the Agua de Cadiz water board told Ferndandez that he hadn't seen Garcia in years. We're not sure why questions weren't raised sooner, but at least they were eventually. It appears there was confusion as to who was actually responsible for Garcia.

Garcia was called into Fernandez's office. He was asked what he'd been doing. Nothing, as it turns out. He hadn't been going into his office at all and between 2007 and 2010 had done no work whatsoever.

Garcia, who retired in 2010, is now facing a fine of the equivalent of £21,000 in Euros. The sum amounts to a year of his previous salary after tax. It came after a tribunal was brought against him from his company after it found its engineer had been bunking off.

Garcia told the court he'd been the victim of workplace bullying due to his family's socialist politics and he'd been placed in a side role at the waterboard to keep him from progressing in his career.


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