Electrician sneaked off to play golf by hiding work GPS

Bob Colella1

As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. But an Aussie electrician finally got his comeuppance after bunking off work to play golf.

Tom Colella, from Perth, Australia, put his GPS tracker in a bag of ‘Twisties’ crisps to block its signal and played golf 140 times over two years, his employer Aroona Alliance claimed after receiving an anonymous tip-off.

The golf claim was never proven but Aroona was able to show Colella had been at home on 21 occasions in a one-month period when he should have been at work.

He appealed his sacking, arguing his personal digital assistant (PDA) tracking device had a 'glitch', but it was dismissed, with the Fair Work Commission saying Colella knew exactly what he was doing.

I did it to protect myself and the company

- Tom Colella

“As an experienced electrician, Mr Colella knew that this [crisp] bag would work as a Faraday Cage [an enclosure of conductive materials that block electromagnetic signals], thereby preventing the PDA from working properly,” a report wrote.

In response, Colella, now an Uber driver, admitted he had put the device in the crisp packet but denied he skipped work to play golf.

“As the senior delegate I didn't want to be implicated – if we needed to get some spare parts we didn't want to be tracked,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“[I did it] to protect myself and the company – they said they wouldn't track us. So I purposely decided to put it in a Twisties packet – it was the simplest option.

“The reason why this all started is because a person put in a complaint saying I'd been playing golf all the time. That was refuted, so they decided to go into other information.”

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