Guy Skips Work for 24 Years, Gets Fired
AK Verma, an engineer in India, last showed for work in 1990
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2015 2:04 PM CST

(Newser) – A man who ditched work for 24 years has finally lost his job—apparently a sign that India is cracking down on government bureaucrats who avoid office time, Reuters reports. AK Verma, a senior engineer at the Central Public Works Department, last showed up for work in December 1990. The Hindu describes him as being "on furlough," but an inquiry ruled against him in 1992, and delays and inaction ensued for 22 more years until Verma eventually got fired. "He went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned, and defied directions to report to work," officials said in a statement.

Civil servants in India are infamous for showing up late, taking lengthy lunches, and hitting the links during work hours, the Guardian reports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he was shocked by bureaucrats' behavior when he took power last year, and has tried cracking down. He's known to play office monitor, showing up in the halls of power unannounced, and now makes civil servants sign in with fingerprint scanners (the results can be seen online). Attendance has gone up since, the Guardian says, and Delhi's main golf course is now mostly empty during the week. (In the US, a worker got in trouble with the boss for using his robot voice on the phone to callers.)