Wage slaves, rejoice! For I bring you news of a man who rose up against the system and triumphed. A man who was not content to a life of mere drudgery. A man who understood that there is more to life than pushing paper and living in office cubicles. Take heed of the tale of Joaquin Garcia, whose name will live in infamy for generations, maybe even centuries. Like all true heroes, Garcia came from humble beginnings. He was in charge of the construction of a new waste treatment facility in Spain. He noticed, however, that the job did not require that much attention (which makes me worry about the quality of Spanish waste treatment, but leave that aside for the moment). So Garcia simply stopped coming to work. And still collected a pay check. For six years.
At this point our tale begins to veer away from the heroic into the absurd. Our hero faltered when his ruse was discovered by the company when it tried to reward him for twenty years of service. Lest you think, however, that Garcia is condemned like a mythical hero to some sort of bizarre, endless punishment, he still managed to get away with it, sort of. The company fined him $30,000, or about one year’s salary, so he’s still about five years ahead. And he didn’t waste his six years doing nothing: he read extensively and became something of an expert on the Spanish philosopher Spinoza. Spinoza once wrote “the highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.” Joaquin Garcia understood that building sewage plants in Spain doesn’t require much work. Joaquin Garcia is free.