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Woman Jailed For Starting Office Fire To Leave Work Early 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-this-job-and-spark-it dept.
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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Woman Jailed For Starting Office Fire To Leave Work Early

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  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:44AM (#32665746)

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

    • 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!

      • by Z00L00K (682162)

        Just another evidence of stupidity.

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

      • by Sporkinum (655143)

        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...

      • by icebike (68054)

        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: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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

    • by mnmn (145599) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:27PM (#32666448) Homepage


      She should get....

      (you know what) ...fired.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

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

  • Crazy... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:46AM (#32665774) Homepage

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

    And then set the place on fire?

    • by EricWright (16803)

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

      • If she was a public employee in Belgium it would. And they'd have to pay her salary - plus overtime - while she was in jail too.

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

      And take her red stapler...

    • by Darinbob (1142669)
      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.
      • A suitable punishment would be 9 months of having to stay late at work.

        Better make it a fireproof office building. :P

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:47AM (#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).

    • 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"!!!

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

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

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      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

  • She sounds like she might just be Fire Marshal Bill's [wikipedia.org] sister.
  • by selven (1556643) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:48AM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Dogbertius (1333565)
      Yep.
    • 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.

    • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:23PM (#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.
      • 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.

      • mandating a 6 week paid vacation for every employee is, in my opinion, going too far

        Your opinion, in my opinion, sucks.

        I only get 5 weeks paid vacation, but we are entitled to 1.5x salary during those vacations. However, I can trade up to get 7 weeks paid vacation by declining the vacation bonus pay (thus merely getting normal pay during vacations). I tend to do this almost every year. A trade of 2.5 weeks pre-tax pay for 2 weeks vacation is a winner, at least until the government starts confiscating a chunk of my vacation time as taxes.

        7 weeks paid annual vacation is about right for w

      • What country are you in? Civilised countries do provide employees with statutory paid annual leave.

    • 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.

    • by Itninja (937614)
      Also I hear that addiction to Dihydrogen Monoxide is running rampant in all offices. Now that is a serious problem.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        BP is doing its part to keep that nasty stuff under control by encasing it in a viscous organic containment substrate.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      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,

    • by Sta7ic (819090)

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

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:49AM (#32665832) Homepage

    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.

    • 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.

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      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.

      • by ckaminski (82854)
        Sure. But the warning on the bottle is to prevent explosion/conflagration.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          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.
      • Ayup. The hospital wouldn't send my grandfather home because they knew he smoked, and he wasn't well enough to go home without oxygen. Couple more weeks in the hospital, then he came home and started smoking again, then back to the hospital a couple of weeks later. I can't really blame him, he was already on the long downward spiral and just wanted to enjoy the time he had left.

      • by xenobyte (446878)

        Actually it was less than a few weeks ago here in Denmark that a KOL patient on oxygen decided to have a smoke... Cigarette in mouth and flick the lighter... Whoosh!! - Instant fireball and a fried patient.

    • 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."

  • No Milton tag?

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

  • Reason for leaving: I fired my boss!

  • by digitalhermit (113459) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:56AM (#32665950) Homepage

    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...

  • She was just burning the TPS reports

  • You burn the building down AFTER you get fired.

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

  • Isn't it ironic? While serving her jail time, she will be rewarded with free room and board.
  • by UninformedCoward (1738488) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:16PM (#32666260)

    I think you have my stapler...

  • stapler (Score:2, Redundant)

    by BigJClark (1226554)

    Maybe somebody asked for her red stapler, one too many times?
  • 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.
  • I get that idle sometimes has just funny tech news, but where is the tech here ?
  • 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.

  • Like, who hasn't done this?
  • At least she started the fire in the "F" drawer of the filing cabinet...
  • What about telling people you feel a bit under the weather and going home?

  • I think she misread the memo. It was 'Casual Fridays' not 'Fire days'.
  • I used to work in a building that also had the FEMA and they would get a "bomb threat" and we would evacuate the entire building and we would leave for the day so that police could investigate. After awhile we noticed these bomb threats would happen in afternoon of nice days and Fridays so we guest that someone didn't want to work that afternoon or wanted a long weekend so they would call a "bomb threat". After FEMA moved out of the building and the bomb threats stopped that we knew that someone at FEMA wa

  • Woman jailed for firing open office early in the morning in order to leave work early.

  • Woman Jailed For Starting Office Fire To Leave Work Early

    Sorry to nitpick, but... Since people in jail work (what, you've never heard of a chain gang?), the headline can be parsed as "Woman, jailed for starting office fire, to leave work early" instead of the more plausible (and newsworthy) "Woman jailed, for starting office fire to leave work early".

  • by sjames (1099)

    Perhaps I'm just putting too much thought into idle, but I really have to wonder what combination of bleak life and missing bits of psyche lead this woman to actually set a fire to get a part day off. To be fair to her, apparently she really did need a mental health day (at least). It might not hurt her employer to review their policy on days off. It's apparently WAY too hard to get one.

    I think it's fairly clear that whatever the problem is/was, jail and probation won't fix it (though it may well encourage

  • I'd like to meet her. She sounds hot!

  • Starting a FIRE at a company called "Bayonet Point OXYGEN" doesn't sound very bright to me.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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