An electrician was fired from his job after the company found he had been using a potato chip bag to help him skip work. The scheme worked for two years before it was discovered, allowing him to play golf nearly 140 times when he was supposed to be on the clock.
Tom Colella, 60, was employed by the same company in Australia for 20 years until the business received an anonymous tip that Colella had been playing golf instead of tending to his duties, something that his employers have failed to notice.
Like other company employees, Colella was provided with a digital assistant that tracked his active assignments and completed work as well as his location through the built-in GPS.
Colella used an empty foil potato chip bag to block the GPS, operating similar to a “Faraday cage,” a device that blocks electromagnetic fields, that was first developed in 1836. He placed the PDA inside the bad and sealed up the ends, preventing the signal from getting through.
When confronted with the issue, Colella initially stated that his PDA was malfunctioning, but Australia’s Fair Work Commission determined that his potato chip bag trick served no other purpose than to help him skip work.
According to a report by Fox News, Colella was golfing during work hours on at least 21 days in April alone.
“I can find no plausible explanation why Mr. Colella would create a Faraday cage around his PDA, except to obstruct the GPS collecting capacity of the device,” said Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan. “Mr. Colella appears to have been deliberately mischievous in acting in this manner.”
While Colella allegedly used the potato chip bag, which was said to be for the brand Twisties, a puffy snack which appears similar to Cheetos, to defeat the GPS tracking, he still managed to update details about his assignments, making it look as though he was completing his assigned tasks.
No one in the company was aware of the deception until the tip was provided. Details about Colella’s activities were revealed to the business through an anonymous letter.