So, in case you guys didn’t know, India has the worst bureaucracy in Asia and one of the worst in the world. We knew this in 2012, because of a survey a Hong Kong-based firm did–you remember when they released the results, right?–and now we have even better proof: The Indian government has finally managed to fire a civil service employee who hasn’t reported to work since 1990.
The man’s name is A. K. Verma, and he’s either your hero or your nemesis, depending on where you fall on the laziness spectrum. Verma joined India’s Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in 1980, and went on a leave of absence one decade later. When that leave ran out, he petitioned his bosses for an extension, but was turned down. So, he pulled a Peter Gibbons and just decided to not show up at all.
Apparently, tardiness and absences are huge problems in the Indian government, and Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, was “shocked” by what he found in the capital city of Delhi (or didn’t find, more like) after getting elected last May. But Verma’s case was extraordinary even for India. An official inquiry into his situation found Verma guilty of “willful absence from duty” in 1992–two full years into what amounted to a paid vacation–but no action was taken against him.
It wasn’t until this year, when his case came up again in the wake of reforms Modi has instigated, that M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Urban Development cabinet minister, was able to order Verma’s termination. If nothing else, he should have a lucrative career ahead of him on the lecture circuit, where he can explain how to be lazily successful to rooms full of eager would-be executives and masters of the two-hour lunch who nonetheless hunger for more time off.