Hotel Employee Fired for Keeping Journal Loses Jobless Benefit Fight

January 22, 2007 ( - A woman who was fired last year from her job as a sales coordinator for the Sheraton Hotel for keeping a journal of her efforts to circumvent work will not get unemployment benefits, the Associated Press reported.

Emmalee Bauer, who worked at the Sheraton in Des Moines, Iowa, kept a hand-written journal until a supervisor asked her to stop, at which point she began using her work computer to write what amounted to 300 single-spaced pages. Some of the pages of Bauer’s journal were revealed during the hearings in which she applied for unemployment benefits.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman refused Bauer’s request for unemployment last week, saying the journal demonstrated a refusal to work, as well as Bauer’s “amusement at getting away with it.”

According to the excerpts of the journal released in the hearing and acquired by the AP, she wrote: “This typing thing seems to be doing the trick. It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important.”

Bauer also wrote: “I am only here for the money and, lately, for the printer access. I haven’t really accomplished anything in a long while … and I am still getting paid more than I ever have at a job before, with less to do than I have ever had before. It’s actually quite nice when I think of it that way. I can shop online, play games and read message boards and still get paid for it.”