Insight & Analysis

Spanish civil servant hates Monday … and also Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Published: Jul 2018

Civil servant skips work for a decade.

Admit it: you have thought about skipping a day off work before. I mean who wouldn’t want to spend a day at leisure, instead of being stuck in Meeting Room A with its broken chairs, stale biscuits and tepid water?

But few of us have the bottle to go through with it. The call of duty – and fear of being caught – is too strong. So instead we gaze longingly out of the window, thinking about what could have been.

One Spanish civil servant, however, acted on his desires. Carles Recio, an archives director for Valencia’s provincial government, decided he didn’t want to go to work for a decade, so he didn’t.

Audaciously, Recio turned up for work at 7:30 am each morning to clock in. He then left, only returning at 4 pm to clock out. He received €50,000-a-year (£44,000) to do so. They only caught Recio when colleagues raised their suspicions.

“I’ve been working like a dog,” he told Spanish TV channel La Sexta when the allegations were first aired. “Working like a dog so that others can reap the rewards of my work.”

Not only did Reico lose his job, a Spanish civil court found him guilty of “clearly intending to not go to work and carry out his work duties for a continued period of time”. His punishment: banned from working in the public service for a decade.

The court also criticised Valencia’s local government for its “passive attitude” and allowing Recio to continue without censure.

The story doesn’t end there. It turns out that earlier this year Valencian officials banned an art show called, “Love for Valencia: the works of a man who never worked”. Guess why. Yes, you are right. Recio was the artist. He used a fake ID to book the show.

What will he try to get away with next?

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