Civil servant says he didn’t do a day’s work in 14 years

by 20 Apr 2012

Given Australia’s current focus on productivity in business, a serious example of overseas ‘loafing’ might start HR minds thinking about what’s going on in their own backyards. Heads are sure to have rolled at a German public service department after an explosive email was sent to more than 500 colleagues by a retiring worker claiming to have coasted through the last 14 years “without lifting a finger”.

“Since 1998, I was present but not really there. So I'm going to be well prepared for retirement – Adieu,” the former employee emailed to the department. The 65-year old man informed his colleagues that during the course of his employment he earned €600,000 ($917,000).

The man from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia did not think the email would leave the office and was coy to local reporter’s request for comments, but did say he had worked as a surveyor since 1974 and the situation was the council's fault because he did not have enough work to do and could leave it all to his colleagues.

The mayor of the district was enraged and ordered his former position to immediately be made redundant. “The employee had not once complained about not having enough to do during his 38 years of employment,” Mayor of Minden, Volker Fleige said, adding the behaviour was extremely worrying.


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