He Was Afraid Foreigners Would Yell at Him. So He Let 160K in for Free

Tokyo garden loses more than $220K as a result
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2018 6:08 PM CDT
Updated Oct 31, 2018 12:21 AM CDT
Cherry blossom flowers are reflected on a pond at Shinjuku Gyoen national garden in Tokyo, Monday, March 26, 2018.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(Newser) – The Shinjuku Gyoen national garden in Tokyo lost more than $220,000 in revenue due to a scared employee. The attendant, a man in his early 70s, recently admitted to investigators that because he was "too frightened" to ask foreign visitors to pay for their tickets, he just let them in free. The man said he stopped collecting admission fees in April 2014 after a non-Japanese visitor yelled at him, he became scared that other foreign tourists would get similarly upset if he couldn't understand them because he doesn't speak any other languages. An investigation was launched in December 2016 after another employee noticed him acting oddly when a foreigner bought a ticket, the Guardian reports.

The man allegedly got a co-worker with access to the garden's database to cancel the estimated 160,000 sales in order to hide the discrepancy between sales and revenue, the Independent reports. After the issue was discovered by Japan's environment ministry, which runs the park, he was docked 10% of his salary. He asked to retire early and offered up half of his $2,650 retirement bonus. (A DMV worker literally slept on the job for nearly 4 years.)

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