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Woman Jailed For Starting Office Fire To Leave Work Early

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the take-this-job-and-spark-it dept.

Crime 136

A Florida woman was sentenced to nine months in jail, followed by five years of probation, for starting an office fire so she could get out of work early. From the article: "Pasco sheriff's investigators said Michelle Perrino, 40, started a fire at Bayonet Point Oxygen on May 12, 2009. Perrino drew suspicion when she mentioned the fire's origin — a filing cabinet — during an employee meeting. Employees had not been told where the fire started." I hope she had the good sense to start the fire on Friday so she could have a long weekend.

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Case of the Fridays (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665746)

Well, studies HAVE shown that if you do this sort of thing on a Friday, there's less chance of an incident.

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665948)

It looks like it was a Wednesday. She was right in not going for the Holy Grail of the legendary 6-day weekend, but a 5-day weekend? Too greedy! Should have done the suspicious burning desktop system trick, or fire in the lady's bathroom. *Those* are 5-day weekend events. Hey, she got her wish though; plenty of time off from work!

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666238)

Just another evidence of stupidity.

Almost amazing that she didn't succeed in killing herself when starting the fire.

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666282)

Should have done the suspicious burning desktop system trick

Denholm: [Seeing a fire burning behind a broken monitor frame] Nice screensaver.
Denholm: [later] I love the way the smoke seems to be coming off the top of it...

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668294)

I hope they called 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3.

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667028)

Six day weekend? pishaw!!!

She now has a 9 month weekend.

In fact, she probably won't work a day for the rest of her life unless its in her own back yard garden.
I've heard of people with smokin resumes but this is bound to set her career back a tad.

Re:Case of the Fridays (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667548)

Six day weekend? pishaw!!!

She now has a 9 month weekend.

9-month weekend? Yeah, I remember when I gave one of my female employees one of those! YEAH! giggity
and, uh, yeah... I have to pay child support dammit

Re:Case of the Fridays (4, Funny)

mnmn (145599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666448)



She should get....

(you know what) ...fired.

Re:Case of the Fridays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667150)

YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHH!!

Re:Case of the Fridays (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667812)

She should get.... (you know what) ...fired.

YYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Re:Case of the Fridays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32668556)

YEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

Re:Case of the Fridays (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668450)

Did you know that 40% of office fires are started on Mondays or Fridays? Shocking!

What? (-1, Offtopic)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665754)

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? This is not front-page material.

Re:What? (5, Funny)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665822)

News for nerds? Stuff that matters? This is not front-page material.

They must have taken her stapler.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665852)

Possibility of Office Space references is always front page material.

But I think most people start fire so they can retire early, not just leave work early.

Re:What? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665882)

I guess it's due to the Office Space [imdb.com] reference.

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666174)

You don't know why this story is news for nerds? Didn't you get that memo? I'm going to go ahead and send you a copy of the memo. OK? Great. Also, I'm going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday. Yeah. OK.

Crazy... (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665774)

If she hates her job that much, why doesn't she just quit?

And then set the place on fire?

Re:Crazy... (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666052)

I'm thinking it was a round-about way of quitting. I doubt her job will be waiting after the 9 months in jail.

Re:Crazy... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666518)

...why doesn't she just quit? And then set the place on fire?

And take her red stapler...

Re:Crazy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666562)

Because this happened in Florida, and if you don't like your job there you are shit out of luck because there aren't many open jobs for you to choose from (if any).

Re:Crazy... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666904)

Because this happened in Florida, and if you don't like your job there you are shit out of luck because there aren't many open jobs for you to choose from (if any).

So because the job market sucks starting a fire in your office to get out early is better than quitting?

Re:Crazy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32669052)

Yes; because you're provided with free room and board, computer access, fitness facilities, and other benefits -- all of which you would lack if you just quit your job. I can see this as being a new trend of blue/white collar crime if the employment rate rises

Re:Crazy... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668404)

Well, her plan worked. She's no longer has to go to work.

A suitable punishment would be 9 months of having to stay late at work.

Doesn't work for IT (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665784)

Sadly starting a fire or tripping a breaker won't work very well for anyone in IT, they'd just be stuck at work over the weekend making sure everything was working (or in the case of a fire, building new servers with no time to sleep or rest).

Re:Doesn't work for IT (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665890)

Sadly starting a fire or tripping a breaker won't work very well for anyone in IT, they'd just be stuck at work over the weekend making sure everything was working (or in the case of a fire, building new servers with no time to sleep or rest).

Or they just go work for the company that cleans up the aftermath... Fùck'n "A"!!!

I think that job is union! (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666164)

I think that job is union!

that is only good part about haveing to get up a 5am to do drywall at the new mcdonalds

Re:Doesn't work for IT (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666966)

That's because you aren't thinking like a true BOFH - Obviously the problem here was that potential witnesses and evidence survived the fire.

Re:Doesn't work for IT (2, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667286)

Actually the problem here looks like she was a complete and total moron who blabbed details of the crime that only investigators, the owners, and the criminal would have had.

Sociopathic *and* stupid. there's a match made in heaven.

Re:Doesn't work for IT (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667982)

Sociopathic *and* stupid. there's a match made in heaven.

Are you sure the match [wikipedia.org] was made in heaven? :-)

Sociopathic and stupid vs not (2, Insightful)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668702)

That doesn't surprise me that someone convicted of a crime is sociopathic and stupid.

Those that are sociopathic and smart become politicians, lawyers, and CEOs.

Re:Doesn't work for IT (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32669186)

She testified against herself? That violates the fifth amendment!

Re:Doesn't work for IT (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667080)

No but setting off the halon system or knocking the head off a fire sprinkler in the server room will.

Contractor knocked a head off in the crawl space above the server room. Nobody noticed the 2 feet of water up the glass until it hit the top of the first battery bank on the UPS system and it shorted. most of the servers happily ran for the 1 hour they were getting soaked.

I got to go home early every day for a week while new hardware was shipped to us. The Quake III games we played that week were a blast.

Seems like foul play would have been... (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665792)

...pretty obvious even without her filing cabinet blunder. A fire starts, the breaker is tripped, and the phone system is disabled.

Are the managers there really stupid enough to shake their heads and say "well, when it rains it pours I guess"?

And also, how do filing cabinets spontaneously combust?

Genius! (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665804)

She sounds like she might just be Fire Marshal Bill's [wikipedia.org] sister.

Work avoidance is a serious problem. (4, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665808)

Work avoidance is a very serious problem, guys. Did you know that about 40% of sick days are taken on a Monday or a Friday?

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (2, Funny)

Dogbertius (1333565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665838)

Yep.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665908)

Makes perfect sense that 40% of sick days are taken during 40% of the work week.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

soilheart (1081051) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666250)

Are you possibly aware of the word "Whoosh?". If not I can recommend urban dictionary [urbandictionary.com] .

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666660)

Whoosh

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32669248)

Even in your native Germany?

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666050)

I know you were joking, but actually about 1/3 of all sick days [macleans.ca] are taken on Monday. Friday not so much, maybe because it's payday.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (2, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667036)

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of all sick leave is taken on a Monday, and the lowest rate is on Friday, at just 3 per cent of the total.

38% total. Looks like my 40% figure is just about right!

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666082)

Did you know that about 40% of sick days are taken on a Monday or a Friday?

That is, given most people work Monday to Friday, the sick days are evenly distributed: 40% of the leaves are taken during 40% of the working days...

Were you trying to make some kind of point there?

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1, Funny)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666104)

Are you guys whoooooshing on purpose?

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666088)

i see what you did there.

for those that don't get it:
a random chance of getting sick on any 1 of 5 work days = 1/5 = 20% chance.
Monday and Friday = 2 days out of 5 = 40%

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666182)

Work avoidance is a very serious problem, guys. Did you know that about 40% of sick days are taken on a Monday or a Friday?

Not to mention that 90% of statistics are made up.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666380)

Not to mention that 90% of statistics are made up.

14% of all people know that.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667078)

And the other 56% will once they learn math.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666358)

Contrary to popular opinion, being sick of work is a legitimate reason to take a sick day. There's numerous legitimate illnesses that come from working too many days without a three day weekend or vacation.

While, mandating a 6 week paid vacation for every employee is, in my opinion, going too far, it's absurd that there isn't a legislated right to at least a week or two of paid vacation. Productivity would most likely even go up were that to be enacted.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666790)

yeah in my case my employers know that im only good 12 out of 14 days so i can do 12 but 13 is under question and 14 is right out.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Schickeneder (1454639) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666846)

That's not necessarily work avoidance. When I get sick it is usually close to the weekend, either because I get behind on my sleep during the week and my immune system is dead by Friday, or I get no sleep on the weekend trying to fit in as many fun things as I can, usually physically exhausting myself---again increasing the chances of getting sick. That, in fact, happened just last weekend.

Now it's safe to say /. is work avoidance.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666932)

Also I hear that addiction to Dihydrogen Monoxide is running rampant in all offices. Now that is a serious problem.

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667108)

WE should hold a meeting about that.

Better yet, let's hold meetings to build a focus group who can have meetings to find out more information about that,

Re:Work avoidance is a serious problem. (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667862)

This is why 4x10s are better. Only 25% of work days are taken on Mondays or Fridays, with those schedules!

RTFA: She was a Mac user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665820)

That is the slashdot angle.

Starting a fire at an oxygen company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665824)

Sounds like a really fantastic idea.

Re:Starting a fire at an oxygen company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665872)

Yeah, because companies like Shell and Q8, got tons of gasolin laying around in their headquarters, right?

Re:Starting a fire at an oxygen company (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666018)

I don't know about Shell, but I heard that the building contained about 20% oxygen.

Bayonet Point Oxygen? (3, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665832)

Wait. So as if her action alone wasn't stupid enough, she started a fire at Bayonet Point Oxygen? An oxygen supply company? There's a reason they tell people on oxygen not to smoke.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

KshGoddess (454304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665910)

From TFA:

She must also pay $4,800 in restitution

She probably worked in the office which was not attached to the warehouse/plant. I can't imagine bottles of oxygen exploding would cause that little damage. What happened to work avoidance through a meeting on your outlook calendar? geez. if she knew that trick, she'd still have a job. and not have a criminal record.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666422)

The chemical properties of oxygen are only one of the reasons people on oxygen are told not to smoke. Actually the more obvious reason has to do with the fact that their lungs are clearly already screwed up.

And if you think all patients on oxygen accept this bit of seemingly-obvious advice, you would be sadly mistaken.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666594)

Sure. But the warning on the bottle is to prevent explosion/conflagration.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666954)

Small correction: the warning on the bottle is there to prevent legal actions against the manufacturer from succeeding. The fact that it may also prevent some stupid people from causing an explosion/conflagration is a secondary benefit. But the primary is the legal one.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667316)

Umm. Fire is rapid oxidation.

Now imagine a regular fire using normal everyday atmosphere ( about 20% is oxygen).

Now imagine a person using a pressurized! oxygen tank, that has 100% oxygen and is smoking a cigarette and happens to ignite the oxygen coming out of that tank.

I think at that point, lung cancer is _not_ really the issue.

Here is an oxygen tank (not pure O2, but higher than normal atmosphere) that caught on fire: http://www.wendellhull.com/assets/tiny_mce/plugins/imagemanager/files/section_1/1_1_1/LSP1b.jpg

Now imagine that hitting your face, via your oxygen mask, and it's _pure_ oxygen.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667836)

Well, Captain Science, I don't know why you're asking me to "imagine" circumstances I already fully understand. Probably it's because you're the kind of idiot who posts snarky nonsense as AC so you can pretend that the tiny bits of knowledge you have are so monumental that surely the others in the conversation don't already possess them.

Of course, the most glaring flaw in your logic is hidden in the phrase "...at that point...". Yes, at the point where you actually ignite your pressurized O2, that's a bigger problem than long-term health effects; and if we assume you're going to find yourself "at that point" then that is what you should worry about.

Then again, when's the last time you heard of a smoker igniting his O2 tank? I've personally known people who continued damaging their lungs and thereby shortened their lives by smoking while dragging around an O2 tank. I've never known, nor even heard a story of, anyone blowing themselves up in the manner you suggest.

It doesn't matter what the bigger risk is 'at the point' where you ignite the tank; it matters what the bigger risk is day to day.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668626)

Oxygen can't ignite.

Re:Bayonet Point Oxygen? (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667648)

Wait. So as if her action alone wasn't stupid enough, she started a fire at Bayonet Point Oxygen? An oxygen supply company? There's a reason they tell people on oxygen not to smoke

Even when they suspected her after she said "filing cabinet", her defense should have been "Duh, that's the only thing that can catch fire around here. We sell oxygen but it's not like it's, flammable."

Office Space reference missing (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665840)

No Milton tag?

Incidentally, CSS on Idle broken for 522 days and counting.

milton did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665848)

mumble mumble lumberg took my red stapler mumble mumble last straw mumble mumble burn this place down

You're fired! (2)

12WTF$ (979066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665862)

Reason for leaving: I fired my boss!

Re:You're fired! (2, Funny)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666080)

Hmmm...that's likely to ignite a debate at the office.

Re:You're fired! (3, Funny)

Ipeunipig (934414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666264)

A heated debate?

Re:You're fired! (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667156)

Damn, I just wasted my last mod point. Never before has a "flamebait" moderation been so proper...

Re:You're fired! (1)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668178)

I'm struck dumb - I can't match wits with you.

There's a backstory (4, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665950)

There's always a back story. Did anyone ask her about the frequent moves she's had to endure? First on the Third Floor, then she got moved to the Second Floor, then to the lobby, then to the basement. And no one even mentioned the payroll issues she has been having. They stopped her paychecks for some reason. The last straw was probably the stapler incident...

Re:There's a backstory (4, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666076)

And she was led to believe there would be cake.

Re:There's a backstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666650)

And she was led to believe there would be cake.

Milton (and this crazy woman) should have known...The cake is a lie!!

Re:There's a backstory (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666908)

The cake is a lie.

Re:There's a backstory (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667410)

There was. She just did not receive a slice of cake.

Re:There's a backstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667694)

The cake is a lie!!

Re:There's a backstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32667930)

Milton (and this lady) should have known...The Cake is a Lie!!

Re:There's a backstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666226)

What about the stapler, uh? Who's got it? I could set the building on fire...

Re:There's a backstory (1)

jaraxle (1707) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667690)

Did they not let her listen to the radio at a reasonable volume?

~jaraxle

Who took her Red Swingline Stapler? (0, Redundant)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666074)

Honestly, you should know better?

On the Contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666130)

What insensitive people in my job if they start setting fires I have to leave late...

She was just burning the TPS reports (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666138)

She was just burning the TPS reports

Doing it wrong. (1)

cadeon (977561) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666146)

You burn the building down AFTER you get fired.

Just ask Milton [youtube.com] or Dr. Steel [youtube.com]

Nine months off (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666214)

Isn't it ironic? While serving her jail time, she will be rewarded with free room and board.

I'll burn the place down (3, Funny)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666260)

I think you have my stapler...

Re: There's a backstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666476)

Milton (and this woman) should have known...The cake is a lie!!!

stapler (1, Redundant)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666654)


Maybe somebody asked for her red stapler, one too many times?

Toll Booth (1)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666892)

Having lived on the Pinellas side of the Pinellas/Pasco county line, I have long advocated the use of a toll booth for people entering Pinellas from Pasco. Charge them a dollar to come to Pinellas and give them two when they leave. Now you see why.

Point ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666998)

I get that idle sometimes has just funny tech news, but where is the tech here ?

Sticking to ya' (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667006)

no contact with Bayonet Point Oxygen or its employees. Who would ever want to do business with a company name after a knife mounted onto the barrel of a gun? It would be like working with E-Ville Inc.

How is this special? (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667010)

Like, who hasn't done this?

Well.... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667550)

At least she started the fire in the "F" drawer of the filing cabinet...

What about feiging being sick? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667710)

What about telling people you feel a bit under the weather and going home?

Dislexic? (1)

elventear (868128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32668610)

I think she misread the memo. It was 'Casual Fridays' not 'Fire days'.
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