College graduate said he only graduated from high school, loses job he held for 38 years.

It’s almost always a bad idea to lie on a job application. Even if you don’t get caught at the time, pretending you have skills beyond those you really do will definitely come back to bite you when you start working and are asked to perform tasks beyond your capabilities, training, and education.

But what if you fudged your resume so that it was less impressive than your actual past? Surely that wouldn’t cause you any problems down the line, right?

In an odd twist, though, doing just that has lost a man in Kobe his job. The unnamed employee of the city’s Economy and Tourism Bureau told his employers that a high school diploma was his highest level of education, but once they found out that he’s actually a college graduate, he was dismissed from his job.

Usually there’s no potential upside to hiding your higher education, but in this case only high school graduates, not college ones, were eligible for the position the man wanted to apply for. So on his application, he listed high school as his highest level of formal academic instruction, then proceeded to take, and pass, the associated aptitude test, securing the job in the process.

However, the Kobe city government recently received an anonymous tip about the man’s real background, which investigators were able to confirm. They also found out that after being hired the man had once again lied about his education, telling his bosses during a section-wide employee survey that he was only a high school graduate.

What’s perhaps most surprising of all, though, is how long the man, who is now 63 years old, managed to keep his ruse going. He was hired in May of 1980, just a little more than two years after graduating from college. It took 38 years for the falsehood to come to light, and even after four decades on the job, he’s being let go.

However, while the man had been in his position for quite some time, he may not have been a model employee, having had his pay docked for taking unauthorized breaks during working hours to hang out drinking tea in a city hall lounge with other civil servants in their 60s from other departments. It’s also likely that even if he wasn’t exaggerating his education, the act of being dishonest with his employers, and on two separate occasions (the employee education survey was carried out in 2006), and the breach of confidence that it represents, is the primary reason the city has decided to let him go.

Source: Kobe Shimbun Next via Hachima Kiko
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