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Electrician skipped work 140 times with crisp packet trick

The Week logo The Week 28/11/2017 Rebecca Gillie

A packet of crisps © Getty A packet of crisps An Australian electrician managed to bunk off work about 140 times to play golf, covering his tracks using a crisp packet to shield an electronic tracker.

Tom Colella, 60, took his former employers to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal, after being sacked for skipping work.

However, the Fair Work Commission sided with Colella’s bosses after hearing how he hid a work-issued tracking device in a crisp packet when he headed off to the local links during work hours.

The foil packaging acted as a Faraday cage, blocking the electro-magnetic GPS signals which would have pinpointed his location, the ABC reports.

The Faraday cage is named after scientist Michael Faraday, who discovered the phenomenon in 1836. Cars, lifts and planes are examples of everyday technology which uses the principle to shield users from electricity.

Electrician skipped work 140 times with crisp packet trick © Twitter Electrician skipped work 140 times with crisp packet trick Colella’s scheme was finally exposed when his employer received an anonymous tip-off alerting them to his secret golfing trips, Perth Now reports. The unidentified informant said that Colella had absented himself from work on at least 140 occasions between 2014 and 2016.

The company launched an investigation, which revealed 21 instances where Colella’s access card had not been used at a site where he was supposedly carrying out work.

Colella claimed that his personal digital assistant had suffered a “glitch”.

In his judgment, Commissioner Bernie Riordan said that the evidence indicated that Colella’s unusual twist on the phone case had been “deliberately mischievous”.

“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,” he said.

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