Is work getting in the way of your golf game? If so, you might want to start collecting potato chip bags.
An Australian electrician named Tom Colella allegedly used the foil bag from a cheese-snack called Twisties to block the signal on his phone’s GPS. The result? Coworkers who were clueless about his whereabouts and ample time to work on his game.
But all good cons must come to an end, and eventually, Colella was ratted out via anonymous letter and fired from his job at Aroona Alliance. Australia’s Fair Work Commission, a workplace tribunal, found that Colella had deliberately used the snack-bag as a “Faraday cage” to block the signal on his mobile device and conceal his location.
The tribunal found that Colella had deliberately used the snack-bag to block the GPS signal.
“The cage set-up was named after English scientist Michael Faraday, who in 1836 observed that a continuous covering of conductive material could be used to block electromagnetic fields,” writes Jonathan Pearlman at The Telegraph.
Of course, the downside to using technology to play hooky is that it’s more difficult to pretend that you weren’t acting deliberately.
In the decision against Colella, Australia Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan wrote:
I have taken into account that Mr Colella openly stored his PDA device in an empty foil “Twisties” bag. As an experienced electrician, Mr Colella knew that this bag would work as a farady cage, thereby preventing the PDA from working properly—especially the provision of regular GPS co-ordinate updates… Mr. Colella went out of his way to hide his whereabouts. He was concerned about Aroona tracking him when the Company introduced the PDA into the workplace. He protested about Aroona having this information at that time. Mr Colella then went out of his way to inhibit the functionality of the PDA by placing it in a foil bag to create a faraday cage.
According to NPR, Colella is now working as an Uber driver.
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