He said he had been “present, but not really there” for the 14 years he had been employed as an engineer at a state surveying office in North Rhine-Westphalia, Die Welt newspaper reported.
Parallel structures of the organisation and shuffling around of work constantly left him with an empty in-tray.
“I am entering retirement fully prepared,” he wrote in the email, before stating exactly how much he had been paid during his career of keeping his desk warm – €745,000.
The 65-year-old thought he had had the last word before heading out of the office door for the last time – except his email was leaked to the regional media and he is now the focus of some attention.
“I do not wish to say anything else,” he told local paper Westfalen Post on Wednesday. “That email was not intended for public view.”
The mayor of Menden, where he worked, has expressed his disappointment and said he felt a “considerable pinch of rage” when he saw the email, as the man had not once complained to the staff council about not having enough to do.
“This kind of behaviour is very telling,” he said, adding that he will not be taking the incident any further.
Menden town council has had to make considerable budget cuts, which has seen the man’s former job eliminated.