Joaquín García was a civil servant who, theoretically, supervised a wastewater treatment plant in Cadiz, Spain—but did not show to work for at least six years. His superiors discovered he had not been showing up to work when they were preparing to give him an award for 20 years of service.
The former Deputy Mayor of Cadiz, Jorge Blas Fernández, told the newspaper El Mundo that he began the investigation when city officials talked to Garcia's coworkers in in preparation for the 20-year award ceremony. It didn't take much talking to the people who did show up to work to discover that Joaquín hadn't been seen at the water utility much (or at all) after transferring there from city hall.
Maybe they swung by the water plant to get a few roast jokes from his coworkers for his award ceremony. Then they learned the funniest part about working with Joaquín is that he's never around.
In any case, when the deputy mayor called in García to inquire why he had not been seen at work, perhaps the most insulting part was how the absent employee did not even have any elaborate excuses prepared:
I asked him: 'What are you doing? What did you do yesterday? And the previous month?' He could not answer.
If you get called into an office after not showing up for work for six years, at least try a lame excuse, like alien abduction. He didn't even have a mop sitting at his desk wearing sunglasses. Nothing. However, it turns out he may have been skipping work for a reason.
This case became public knowledge after the city sued García and he fought them in court. It recently ended with García being fined a little over $30,000. They found he had not occupied his office for six years, and had done no work between 2007 and 2010.
During the case, García alleged that he had been the victim of workplace bullying because he favored socialist politics. The city of Cadiz was ruled by the conservative Popular Party from 1995 to 2015, and may have fostered a hostile work environment for García, according to the case.
Either way, his final fine was the equivalent of one year's salary, which is a pretty low price for doing no work for six years. Ultimately, this case has probably caused a surge of applications at water treatment facilities throughout Spain from others hoping to take a six-year siesta nap from their job.