Laziness is like wine: It’s only appealing to certain crowds, a surprisingly large amount of work goes into it, and it gets more impressive as time goes on. However, some people only remember that second part, and that’s how we end up with news stories about epic feats of slacking that make Ferris Bueller’s blazingly self-indulgent and interpersonally destructive day off look downright responsible.
#6. A Spanish Civil Servant Quietly Skips Work For Six Years
As an engineer in Spain, 69-year old Joaquin Garcia was supposed to be overseeing the construction of a water treatment plant — which is a job we know nothing about but assume must involve a lot of planning and, you know, talking to people.
A mix-up caused the water company to think Garcia was reporting to the city council and vice versa, so with no boss and no real guidelines, Garcia didn’t do a damn thing. It seems his crew was the most efficient construction team ever, seeing as how he managed to not show up to work for over half a decade with nobody, not even the guy in the office across the hall, noticing his absence.
It wasn’t until Garcia was supposed to win an award for 20 years of loyal service that people started wondering where the hell he was. Co-workers debated whether he had retired or straight-up died, while an investigation was launched which revealed that his six-year paid holiday may in fact have lasted as long as 14 years. Finally, Garcia stepped forward, admitting that he had been hanging out at home reading up on his Dutch philosophy. He was fined $30,000, which roughly translates to one year of his income. He should consider himself lucky; $30,000 for over six years of vacation in Spain sounds like a pretty good deal.
#5. A Man Successfully Argues To Extend His Vacation For Two Decades
Garcia’s run was admirable, but it takes a certain amount of hubris to ditch work for over 20 years knowing full well that your co-workers are pissed and that the government is looking for ways to haul your ass back to your desk. There are some people out there who are vital for society to function, and A.K. Verma was one of those people. He also hated his job.
Verma worked (by which we mean “did not work”) as a senior bureaucrat for India’s Central Public Works Department. Verma was so knowledgeable in his field that he knew all the ins and outs and little loopholes in the country’s various labor laws. For example, businesses in India with more than 100 paid employees may not fire an individual without permission to do so from the government.
It takes a warrant just to clean out his desk.
Verma seized on this opportunity, taking an extra-long leave of absence, until his superiors called him back into work. Verma responded by filing a continuous stream of extensions to that leave of absence. Naturally, his employer (remember, the government) kept denying these extensions, but each time they did, Verma simply filed another one, like a child in a grocery store who won’t stop asking for that box of Cookie Crisp no matter how many times you tell them “No.”
Verma decided to fall back on the loophole, rolling the dice on how long it would take the government to grant themselves permission to fire his ass, which finally came about 22 years after he was found to be guilty of “willful absence from duty.” The law has since been changed to prevent further radical sabbaticals.
#4. Two Students Steal An Entrance Exam At Knifepoint Rather Than Study
While the job market for lawyers is currently kind of bad, there has apparently never been a better time to apply to law school. That poor job market means fewer people are interested in a legal career, so schools are accepting more and more applicants who may not have been considered qualified in the past. However, nobody thought to inform Danny Khatchaturian and Dikran Iskendarian, who decided to elaborately steal the entrance exam like they were in a ’90s teen comedy.
“There’s two of us. Double jeopardy!”
“That … that’s not how it works.”
Khatchaturain and Iskendarian were set to take their exams at a law school in Hawaii. Convinced they would never be suspected of a theft all the way over in California, our delinquent duo had a guy gain admittance to the Los Angeles test area with a fake ID before absconding with the test papers, pulling a switchblade on one of the proctors during his escape. Allegedly, the thief then brought the papers to a fourth guy, who figured out all the answers and relayed them to Khatchaturain and Iskendarian via pager. This is where the plan fell apart, as one of the test administrators noticed that these two men (who claimed not to know each other) were constantly checking their pagers, which are a thing that only elderly doctors and replicants failing at playing human would carry.
“Excuse me, where is the nearest payphone?”
The two scoundrel scholars’ efforts netted them predictably incredible scores that would have put them in the top 150 out of 19,000 takers, had the school not been suspicious of their shared ancient technology. Khatchaturain and Iskendarian received felony convictions that resulted in jail time and nearly $100,000 in restitution fees, ironically prohibiting them from ever being able to practice law. An arguably harsher punishment would’ve been to force them to assume the type of student loan debt incurred by actually attending law school.
#3. A Man Fakes A Coma For Two Years To Avoid Court
Alan Knight had been charged with theft after swindling 45,000 British pounds from a neighbor, which seems fair. Fearing prison time, Knight told the court he was a quadriplegic who suffered from chronic, coma-inducing seizures. And as luck would have it, he fell into an extended two-year coma right before he was supposed to show up in court for the theft charge.
Now, the South Wales Police aren’t stupid. They required at least some form of proof that Knight was down for the count — proof Knight and his wife were more than happy to provide in the form of pictures of Knight in bed at home, guard rail at the ready, breathing mask stationed semi-firmly over his nose.
Her concern is palpable.
Despite being only slightly more convincing than a doctor’s note written in crayon on a piece of notebook paper, the photos were enough to delay Knight’s trial for two years. That is, until he was seen walking around in public (generally a difficult task for quadriplegics) without an oxygen mask.
At least put that thing on and try to Bane voice your way out of it.
Seeing as how he was able to go buy macaroni or whatever without a wheelchair or neck brace, the police reasoned that he was able to appear in court, which he did. Although we’re frankly amazed that Knight wasn’t “suddenly struck by a vehicle” on his way to the courthouse and thrown into another coma.
#2. A Man Set A Submarine On Fire So He Could Go Home Early (Twice)
Casey James Fury was busy at work as a sandblaster and painter at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, toiling away inside the USS Miami, a nuclear submarine. Fury had been struggling with stress and anxiety recently, and needed to take some time off. However, rather than ask for sick leave like some kind of sane person, Fury felt that the best course of action would be to set the submarine on fire, possibly because his name is Casey fucking Fury.
“We didn’t start the fi– nah, I totally did.”
Seven people were injured in the blaze (which was initially ruled accidental), the Miami was destroyed (because the government couldn’t afford to repair it), and Fury got his day off. Because his plan had worked so well, Fury set fire to a second submarine three weeks later when he decided he needed another half day.
Fury initially denied any involvement with the fires until he flunked a polygraph test like a six-year-old in Calculus, and finally admitted to destroying a naval warship and endangering the lives of his co-workers so he could go home early. Fury was hit with 17 years in prison, whereas the Navy was out $400 million and a submarine.
Their Geico policy only covers fires that occur during a mutiny.
#1. A Claustrophobic Coal Miner Fakes Literally Everything To Get Out Of Work For 35 Years
You would think suffering from acute claustrophobia would prevent Carlo Cani from taking a job working in a coal mine. You would be wrong; it in no way prevented him from taking the job, but he would be goddamned before he actually worked it.
Cani started giving it the ol’ fake cough/amnesia/hemorrhoids routine, occasionally providing full-blown doctors’ notes from some less-than-scrupulous medical professionals.
“Hang ten of these and call me in the morning, brah.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Cani made sure to shake things up a bit by pretending to be drunk and stumbling around the mine, causing injury to himself by ramming his finger into the wall or rubbing coal dust in his eyes and getting sent home. Finally, after 35 years of doing everything possible to avoid working, Cani retired early with a full pension, despite spending his entire career doing almost nothing in the coal mines.
Naughty kids were doubly disappointed on Cani’s watch.
Deep inside us all behind our political leanings, our moral codes and our private biases, there is a cause so colossally stupid, we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it’s toilet paper position, fedoras on men or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful we can’t help but proselytize to the world. In this episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim and comedian Annie Lederman to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!
For more insane stories of people elaborately bailing on their commitments, check out The 7 Most Extreme Lies Ever Told to Get Out of Something and The 6 Most Impressive Things Ever Done to Get Out of Work.