Spanish civil servant Joaquin Garcia failed to show for work for more than six years without anyone noticing his absence.
The matter came to light when co-workers went to present him with a long-service award. Garcia was supposed to be supervising the construction of a water treatment plant in the ancient port city of Cadiz in southwest Spain.
The Daily Mail reports:
Joaquin Garcia had been employed by a water company run by the local authorities in Cadiz to supervise the construction of a water treatment plant.
The 69-year-old, who was €37,000 (£28,000) a year before tax, was subsequently fined a hefty €27,000 (£21,000) and has since retired from his position.
Mr Garcia has denied that he did not go to work for six years and claimed he was the victim of bullying by his work colleagues.
He said the bullying was due to his family’s political views and that he was deliberately appointed to the water company to be out of the way.
Several people told local Spanish media that Mr Garcia didn’t reveal the bullying allegations earlier because he was concerned for his family’s future.
They said that Mr Garcia was worried how he would provide for his family and was unsure how easy it would be to get another job, according to the BBC.
Mr Garcia’s associates also said that he did go to work at the office, although not always just working hours.
It is understood that Mr Garcia’s alleged lengthy absence from work was not noticed due to a mixup between the local authorities and the water company.
The water company believed the local authority were managing Mr Garcia, while the local authority thought the water company were in charge of him.