Diary of a goof-off: No work, no pay


sanctus
#1
A Des Moines woman details her idling on the job on her employer's computer.



A Des Moines hotel worker has been fired for using her employer's computer to keep a massive, detailed journal cataloging her efforts to avoid work.

State records indicate that Emmalee Bauer, 25, of Elkhart was hired by the Sheraton hotel company in February 2005. During most of 2006, she worked at the company's Army Post Road location as a sales coordinator.

At one point during her employment, Bauer was allegedly instructed to refrain from using company time to work on her personal, handwritten journal. Rather than stop writing at all, Bauer allegedly began using her work computer to keep the journal up to date.

"I am going to be typing all my thoughts instead of writing all day," wrote Bauer, according to portions of the journal that were entered into evidence at a recent state hearing dealing with Bauer's request for unemployment benefits. "That way, there isn't any way to tell for sure if I am working really hard or I am just goofing off."

Over the next several months, Bauer composed a book-length journal of 300 single-spaced pages, describing in excruciating detail her dogged efforts to avoid any sort of work.

"This typing thing seems to be doing the trick," she wrote. "It just looks like I am hard at work on something very important."

A supervisor discovered the journal late last year and fired Bauer for misuse of company time.

Other journal entries, according to evidence presented at the hearing:

- "I am going to sit right here and play Elf Bowling or some other nonsense. Once lunch is over, I will come right back to writing to piddle away the rest of the afternoon. ... I have almost 100 pages here! I wonder how long that's going to take to print?"

- "I don't feel like doing a single worthwhile thing today. It's 11:00 and so far I have stuck to that. ... I have managed to waste half of the day doing nothing constructive. That isn't exactly an easy task, either."

- "It's noon already and I don't feel like I have accomplished a damn thing. Accomplishment is overrated, anyway."

- "I just have to get through the next seven hours and forty-six minutes and then I will be free."

- "(I have) an hour of time that needs to be wasted - I mean 'spent wisely.' I know, that's a crock. 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."

At the state hearing, Bauer testified the journal was intended to help her deal with anxiety and frustration. She said she didn't believe her firing was warranted because other employees violated company policy without being penalized.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman denied Bauer's request for unemployment benefits last week, saying the journal demonstrated a refusal to work, as well as Bauer's "amusement at getting away with it."

In the journal, Bauer speculated that her writings might someday be published even though they dealt largely with the minutiae of her daily life such as rearranging the furniture at home, doing the dishes and planning for a tattoo on her lower back.

"I don't really think about much of anything as I type or write," she wrote. "I simply put on paper what I am feeling in that exact moment. ... It could be a side note to my biography someday that no one supported my writing and I was forced to do it secretly at the risk of persecution."

Clark Kauffman
 
jimmoyer
#2
This is Bartleby the Scrivener reincarnated.

A novella short story by Herman Mellville, a quiet classic, is about Bartleby the Scrivener
who answers every request of his boss with the thoughts, I PREFER NOT TO.

It's a quiet riot.

It's the first evidence of cubicle warfare. It's the first story about corporate life in a little room,
with a window facing a brick wall.

It's hysterical.

I quite recommend it.
 
L Gilbert
#3
One should get fired for time theft. A company hires someone for x number of hours per day. That basically means that person sold x amount of personal time to the company and x amount of time becomes the company's time. They paid for a product and the person isn't giving the company the whole product. Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.
 
sanctus
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

One should get fired for time theft. A company hires someone for x number of hours per day. That basically means that person sold x amount of personal time to the company and x amount of time becomes the company's time. They paid for a product and the person isn't giving the company the whole product. Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

(joke) I am, but mind you I don't have regular hours
 
karrie
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

One should get fired for time theft. A company hires someone for x number of hours per day. That basically means that person sold x amount of personal time to the company and x amount of time becomes the company's time. They paid for a product and the person isn't giving the company the whole product. Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

fired for time theft? In my opinion, it should be a criminal charge just like stealing money from work, especially in a case this provable. People who are at jobs they are being paid hourly for, reading forums like this one or typing journals etc., are as guilty of theft as someone who lifts bills from the cash register.
 
jimmoyer
#6
Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

-----------------------------L.Gilbert----------------------------------------

LOL !!!

wooohoooo !!!

Yeee hah yippee ki yah !!!

Coo Coo for Coconuts !!!

R
R
R
R
arrrr
 
DurkaDurka
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

fired for time theft? In my opinion, it should be a criminal charge just like stealing money from work, especially in a case this provable. People who are at jobs they are being paid hourly for, reading forums like this one or typing journals etc., are as guilty of theft as someone who lifts bills from the cash register.

Wow, Slacking = Criminal theft? That's quite a bold statement. Employers have remedies available if they find employess to be slacking, such as firing them, which deters most people. To lump these people into the same catergory of a thief is bs. Perhaps you would like to see people who show up late charged with a criminal offence as well.
 
canadarocks
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Wow, Slacking = Criminal theft? That's quite a bold statement. Employers have remedies available if they find employess to be slacking, such as firing them, which deters most people. To lump these people into the same catergory of a thief is bs. Perhaps you would like to see people who show up late charged with a criminal offence as well.


More than slacking though, this person was being paid and avoiding all the work she was earning the money for.
 
DurkaDurka
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by canadarocksView Post

More than slacking though, this person was being paid and avoiding all the work she was earning the money for.

Fair enough, I think firing the person would be a suitable solution to that. I can't imagine employers being able to retain many employees if they employee always had the possible threat of criminal sanctions looming over them.
 
karrie
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Wow, Slacking = Criminal theft? That's quite a bold statement. Employers have remedies available if they find employess to be slacking, such as firing them, which deters most people. To lump these people into the same catergory of a thief is bs. Perhaps you would like to see people who show up late charged with a criminal offence as well.

It is collecting payment for something and not providing the product. Not quite the same as theft, but criminal. and no, you can't extrapolate my view off into ordinary human issues like running late. people are bound to have bad days, unproductive days, sick days, etc..... but consistently behaving the way this woman did, constantly collecting an hourly wage for nothing in return, is as bad as theft.
 
karrie
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Fair enough, I think firing the person would be a suitable solution to that. I can't imagine employers being able to retain many employees if they employee always had the possible threat of criminal sanctions looming over them.

If you're an honest person, you'd never have anything looming over you. I don't see the problem there. If you're being paid hourly, and providing hourly, then it's a non issue.
 
DurkaDurka
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

If you're an honest person, you'd never have anything looming over you. I don't see the problem there. If you're being paid hourly, and providing hourly, then it's a non issue.

The issue is, the majority of people will not accept having the courts enforce work policies. Like I said, if the person is negligent of their duties, fire them. I personally would not be responsive to having my tax dollars used for prosecuting people for being "lazy" at work.
 
karrie
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

The issue is, the majority of people will not accept having the courts enforce work policies. Like I said, if the person is negligent of their duties, fire them. I personally would not be responsive to having my tax dollars used for prosecuting people for being "lazy" at work.

As a tax payer and consumer it frustrates me to no end that I pay more in almost every area of my life because it takes 2 or 3 lazy people to do the job of 1 honest one. It's a waste of resources, and if there were laws which allowed provable 'theft of time' to the degree which this woman did it, I'd be elated to see her have to perform community service to make up for the dollar amount associated with that crime.
 
eh1eh
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

As a tax payer and consumer it frustrates me to no end that I pay more in almost every area of my life because it takes 2 or 3 lazy people to do the job of 1 honest one. It's a waste of resources, and if there were laws which allowed provable 'theft of time' to the degree which this woman did it, I'd be elated to see her have to perform community service to make up for the dollar amount associated with that crime.

If everyone was that productive ( as you are ) then there would be less jobs, less people to buy stuff. More welfare cases...
Last edited by eh1eh; Jan 22nd, 2007 at 05:04 PM..Reason: (*)
 
jimmoyer
#15
Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

-----------------------------L.Gilbert----------------------------------------

LOL !!!

wooohoooo !!!

Yeee hah yippee ki yah !!!

Coo Coo for Coconuts !!!

R
R
R
R
arrrr
 
temperance
#16
Thats too funny --lol
oh, that cataloge will be the bible on how to appear working at work --Im sure it will be on the best sellers list !!!
 
karrie
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

If everyone was that productive ( as you are ) then there would be less jobs, less people to buy stuff. More welfare cases...

*lol* took you a while to add that little personal dig. Me, I don't have to feel bad about being on the comp for a while in the day. I don't earn an hourly wage. If I did, trust me, I wouldn't be on the internet.
 
DurkaDurka
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

*lol* took you a while to add that little personal dig. Me, I don't have to feel bad about being on the comp for a while in the day. I don't earn an hourly wage. If I did, trust me, I wouldn't be on the internet.

So being paid a salary justifies you in being lazy?
 
karrie
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

So being paid a salary justifies you in being lazy?



It depends on the salary. some people make a salary to be in their job from 8-5, and are expected to find work for themselves to fill those hours. then, no, it's not justifiable to be on the net. Others are paid a salary to get a specific job done. if that job is done, and they decide to relax on the net, then it's better than those working an hourly wage, yes. If you've provided the service you were expected to provide, for the money you're being given, then my criticism in terms of theft doesn't really apply anymore.
 
eh1eh
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

*lol* took you a while to add that little personal dig. Me, I don't have to feel bad about being on the comp for a while in the day. I don't earn an hourly wage. If I did, trust me, I wouldn't be on the internet.

I meant to indicate you were productive but now I see your doing what I do at work. Post here. But I'm the boss at work so I can do as I please. Ha Ha.
 
karrie
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

I meant to indicate you were productive but now I see your doing what I do at work. Post here. But I'm the boss at work so I can do as I please. Ha Ha.

I'm not at work.

I work when I feel like it. So long as I get done my duties, no one complains. I can post a bit throughout the day because I run my own hours. I am 24 hours on call. My work day never officially stops, never officially starts, therefore, when I deem it to be 'break time', no one's going to complain. Most managers, have much the same sort of situation.... So long as you're getting all your duties done, you can send e-mail or post on a forum as you see fit. If it means you have to stay at the office until 9 at night to catch up on the paperwork you didn't get done throughout the day, that's your own fault, it doesn't cost the company anything extra. Much the same with me. If it takes me until 10 at night to wrap up what I was doing, because I got busy chatting, no one is going to be put out by it, but me. *lol*
 
Zzarchov
#22
How is goofing off on salary being lazy?

You have to do your job either way. Is the Employer forced to pay you more if your salaried position warrants you being paid overtime (were it hourly)? If you stay late you stay late, if your done early your done early.

You also cannot be considered to be stealing time for using the internet at work unless you are avoiding other work.

Ie, if you finished your job and your boss isn't filling your time with something else, you aren't stealing time, your company is just wasting time they paid you for.

Keep in mind, Im self-employed, but I would expect this behaviour for any employee of mine. If I don't give you a task to do its not your fault anymore than If I hire a maid for six hours but don't let her clean anything, she still gets that pay.
Last edited by Zzarchov; Jan 23rd, 2007 at 06:13 PM..
 
karrie
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by ZzarchovView Post


You also cannot be considered to be stealing time for using the internet at work unless you are avoiding other work.

Ie, if you finished your job and your boss isn't filling your time with something else, you aren't stealing time, your company is just wasting time they paid you for.

I have seen this happen. But, as you say, that's the companys fault. My mother would be stuck wandering around the office, looking for something to do.... the boss finally said 'please start bringing a book,' because he couldn't come up with stuff to fill her time. yet, sending her home wasn't an option, because then they'd have to explain why she wasn't getting enough hours, and admit that the woman who did the job before her, and logged upwards of 20 hrs a week in overtime, had been screwing them over.
 
L Gilbert
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Wow, Slacking = Criminal theft? That's quite a bold statement. Employers have remedies available if they find employess to be slacking, such as firing them, which deters most people. To lump these people into the same catergory of a thief is bs. Perhaps you would like to see people who show up late charged with a criminal offence as well.

Theft is theft.That point of view isn't BS: otherwise there wouldn't be a term for it called "time-theft"; they'd call it "using-company-time-for-personal-benefit" or something else. Didn't you know time is valuable?
 
L Gilbert
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

It is collecting payment for something and not providing the product. Not quite the same as theft, but criminal. and no, you can't extrapolate my view off into ordinary human issues like running late. people are bound to have bad days, unproductive days, sick days, etc..... but consistently behaving the way this woman did, constantly collecting an hourly wage for nothing in return, is as bad as theft.

Nuts. It is theft. It's taking something that doesn't belong to you any more.
 
L Gilbert
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

The issue is, the majority of people will not accept having the courts enforce work policies. Like I said, if the person is negligent of their duties, fire them. I personally would not be responsive to having my tax dollars used for prosecuting people for being "lazy" at work.

There's all kinds of ways for employers to get recompense, like salary reduction (garnishee sort of thing), for instance. Some companies even utilize vidcams arounf the workplaces to make sure they get what they pay for.
 
L Gilbert
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

If everyone was that productive ( as you are ) then there would be less jobs, less people to buy stuff. More welfare cases...

I disagree. People whined about machines taking over jobs. When it actually happened to them, they went and got different jobs. People are highly adaptable.
 
L Gilbert
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyerView Post

Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

-----------------------------L.Gilbert----------------------------------------

LOL !!!

wooohoooo !!!

Yeee hah yippee ki yah !!!

Coo Coo for Coconuts !!!

R
R
R
R
arrrr

Wat kinda meds are you on?
 
gopher
#29
```This is Bartleby the Scrivener reincarnated.```

One of my faves!
 
gc
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Dollars to donuts there's someone posting or reading in here right now while on the job.

I do it all the time...but I more than make up for it by staying late.
 

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