Orkin Man Uses Sippy Cup To Sprinkle Poison, Leaves It Behind In House With Little Kids

An Orkin exterminator’s decision to use a child’s sippy cup as a pesticide dispenser has gotten him suspended from his job after he left it behind in a house with three young children.

The tech had come out to the house in Chicago to deal with an ant situation. The next day, the mom spotted an unfamiliar Looney Toons sippy cup wrapped in paper. Upon further inspection, she realized it was what the Orkin man had been using to sprinkle pesticide.

“He was using it as an applicator. He had put the bait in a sippy cup,” she told the Chicago Tribune’s Problem Solver. “It was so blatantly dangerous that it threw me for a loop.”

After checking to make sure none of her kids had touched the cup, the mom was on the phone with Orkin.

They were kind of like, ‘Oh, did anyone get hurt?’… They were apologetic, but their sense of urgency wasn’t there. (The service manager) took the bottle as evidence. He said he would let me know what they were going to do and he would call me back.

Not surprisingly, they didn’t call her back.

When the mother was finally able to get someone on the phone again, she was told it couldn’t be discussed with her because it had become a human resources issue.

That’s when she contacted the Chicago Tribune’s Problem Solver column, who managed to get through to someone at Orkin’s parent company, Rollins Inc.

Said a rep for the company to the Tribune:

What the technician did was to use an unapproved dispenser… Unfortunately, he was using a child’s drinking cup to scatter the granules. That was completely outside of company protocol….

He was reprimanded… He was put on a three-day suspension without pay.

Additionally, the company agreed to cancel the outstanding $80 charge for the Orkin visit that started the whole mess.

The mom didn’t seem terribly impressed with the three-day suspension, telling the paper, “That doesn’t seem like very much.”

What do you think of the resolution to this situation?

Sippy cup used to apply poison [ChicagoTribune.com]

Comments

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  1. lehrdude says:

    This bugs me on so many levels…

  2. digital0verdose says:

    3 days without pay for something that ended with no one hurt doesn’t seem like enough?

    If the guy was using something as odd as a sippy cup then it must work exactly how he wants. Yeah it really sucks he left it behind but the guy wasnt out to kill anyone.

    What did she expect, prison time?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I don’t see how the fact no one got hurt somehow dimishes the severity of the act. It’s about how dangerous the act is, not by the outcome.

      • AI says:

        The act of what? Using a strange container? His intent was not to poison children, his intent was to find a container that distributed the poison the way he wanted. It looks like the sippy cup met that intent. Unless you have proof that the exterminator intended to hurt children by doing this, leave the guy alone.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          I think it qualifies as endangering a child, neglect of a hazardous substance.

          • digital0verdose says:

            What about the parent? It took her a day to finally spot something that didn’t belong.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Sounds like a game of spot the differences. What if her children already have several sippy cups? One more would be difficult to catch.

              And I like how it’s now turning into “blame the mother.”

              • digital0verdose says:

                So the sippy cup wrapped in paper that the mom said was unfamiliar is going to be hard to spot? I somehow doubt that.

                And it’s not that I am blaming the mother, I am just pointing out that if you are going to start throwing around BS like “I think it qualifies as endangering a child, neglect of a hazardous substance” you need to understand that the ORKIN guy is not the only one responsible with such a claim.

                • Dalsnsetters says:

                  If the Orkin guy had simply taken the sippy cup with him, we wouldn’t have known anything about it. Besides, who would ever expect the bug guy to use a child’s sippy cup to store pesticides in???? I mean, if he had left a big ole container with a skull and crossbones on it, that would be one thing, but WTH is up with the blame the mom because the Orkin guy left a dangerous item on her property?

                  • digital0verdose says:

                    Jesus Christ. Please gain some comprehension skills before responding to posts. It will really help you keep up with conversations.

                • crunchberries says:

                  “And it’s not that I am blaming the mother…”

                  Except that you are blaming the mother. Asking for due diligence is one thing; bitching because she didn’t instantly spot an unfamiliar object hidden in her house is another. And before you ask another asinine question, yes, it was hidden by being wrapped in paper. And yes, it was done intentionally. And no, you are not pointing anything out; you are just being whiny and desperate because people dare disagree with you.

                  Funny thing is, I somewhat agree with you despite your melodramatic antics. I don’t think the guy was out to harm anyone; he just didn’t realize that his actions were dangerous. However, that doesn’t mitigate the fact they could have been deadly, not just dangerous, and 3 days without pay is a ridiculous slap on the wrist that doesn’t detour him from doing the same thing in the future.

            • myCatCracksMeUp says:

              WTF does that have to do with anything?

          • AI says:

            Yes, if you’re a litigious asshole. The same could be argued for leaving a bottle of vodka around the house.

            • CyGuy says:

              if it was a sippy cup full of vodka, then yes.

              Saying no-one was hurt alleviates liability is advocating that we get rid of all drunk driving arrests unless a car accident was already caused by the drunk driver. This employee did the equivalent of drunk driving through a playground at recess. If you don’t think that should be a criminal act, then I sure hope you don’t live in the came country I do.

              • AI says:

                You apparently live in a country where the entire population is in prison, if you classify this as criminal.

              • Jezz1226 says:

                No, this is the equivalent of saying that if no one gets hurt when someone drives drunk they receive a lesser punishment then if someone does get injured/killed. I don’t think anyone is arguing that the Orkin man should receive no punishment, just that he should get less of a punishment since no one was actually injured.

                The sentences for attempted murder is usually less then murder, sentence for drunk driving is less then vehiclular manslaugher, etc etc. The punishment for leaving pesticides behind should be less then for leaving pesticides behind and injuring/killing a child.

          • SabreDC says:

            Which should be the case whether he left it behind in a sippy cup or a big black spray container with a skull and crossbones that says POISON on it. He left poison behind and that was neglectful. The fact that he left it in a sippy cup is only relevant if a child mistook the sippy cup and drank the poison.

        • ovalseven says:

          I was drunk and needed to get home from the bar. My car met that intent. Unless you have proof that I intended to hurt anyone, leave me alone.

          • AustinTXProgrammer says:

            I was already thinking of this. If you get caught with a first time DUI and don’t hurt anyone you get a very expensive slap on the wrist. If you do kill someone you get tossed in the slammer.

            This guy didn’t hurt anyone and got a slap on the wrist. If he does it again, yes, fire him.

          • tdogg241 says:

            Ah, but if you did hurt someone driving drunk, you’d be facing a VERY different set of consequences than if you’d just been pulled over by a cop.

            • AI says:

              And they’ve already had many precedent setting cases where they specifically determined that getting drunk, and getting behind the wheel, knowing the statistics of drunk driving caused deaths, constitutes intent. This is very specific to drunk driving laws.

              The same cannot be said about ‘leaving poison behind’ laws. Which don’t exist.

              • INTPLibrarian says:

                Uhm, you don’t work with dangerous chemicals, I hope? There ARE laws about leaving chemicals around that aren’t properly labeled. It looks like there might not be for this particular instance, but there definitely are laws that say you can’t just leave any old dangerous substance anywhere and anyhow.

                • Brunette Bookworm says:

                  Some people seem to not get the problem with this. The tech got off easy and fortunately no kids tried to drink this BUT there are OSHA requirements for the handling and labeling of chemicals that this violated. I would think that the techs know this. Orkin is lucky in not getting any kind of OSHA fines for this. And it’s just plain stupid to put a poisonous chemical in any kind of container normally used to drink out of. Surely they make bottles that aren’t a sippy cup that he could have used.

            • ovalseven says:

              Right. But the the point is, you still get penalized even if nobody gets hurt.

              If a child had been hurt, the exterminator would have faced more than just a 3-day day suspension.

      • digital0verdose says:

        If you can’t see how someone not getting hurt diminishes the severity of a situation then that is really personal issue.

        As for the act, the act was leaving behind his pesticide. The only reason this is anywhere near an issue is because of the container… which was wrapped in paper. This indicates he was aware of potential outcomes and planned accordingly.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          You may feel this way, but I’m pretty sure we don’t live in a society that fogives all indiscretions unless actual harm is commited.

          The long list of civil suits filed this year alone proves otherwise.

          • digital0verdose says:

            Since you have such a vast knowledge of civil suits, care to post details to any that relate to the topic at hand?

            I just don’t see how you can sue someone when there is no harm done.

            If that is the case, I am going to start suing all these people who cut me off in traffic for potentially causing me harm.

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              You make a bad point. Whether or not you’re hurt the person cutting you off in traffic has committed a moving violation that would get them pulled over if witnessed by the police. At least in some states.

          • Chaluapman says:

            Civil suits in most cases are utter bullshit.

            Maybe we should have public caning as a punishment.

          • Aedilis says:

            I’m pretty sure we live in a society right now where we love to see people suffer. We root to see Lindsay Lohan fall off the wagon so she gets arrested again so she can get what she deserves. We live to see Paris Hilton get arrested for coke and taken to jail. Then we get even more outraged when their punishments aren’t to our satisfactions and we want to see them suffer more.

            We live in a society that wants every illegal rounded up and sent back to wherever they came from so that we can somehow feel better that they got punished. We’re upset that our neighbor has 4 cars in his driveway that are all new and so we call the police on them every night because two of the cars are 3 inches in on the sidewalk just so they can suffer with a ticket. We see cars flying pass us on the expressway and hope upon hope that they get pulled over or worse, end in an accident. That’s what they deserve right?

            However, when we’re in a hurry and need to get to Aunt Sue’s Thanksgiving Dinner and are doing 80, that’s fine. When our friends visit and stay overnight, it’s ok to have them park in the driveway. It’s one night right? When you get that first DUI or ticket for inattentive driving (texting), you plead to the court for leniency right?

            Some dude with a beard said something once about picking up a stone or something, and I’m sure it’s poignant here…

      • Aedilis says:

        Well I do Loias. You’ll be hard pressed to convince the DA of any willful intent to endanger the lives of any children by the Orkin employee. See Statute information below:

        “Sec. 12-21.6. Endangering the life or health of a child.

        (a) It is unlawful for any person to willfully cause or permit the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered or to willfully cause or permit a child to be placed in circumstances that endanger the child’s life or health, except that it is not unlawful for a person to relinquish a child in accordance with the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act.”

        Now, even IF for some reason this guy was charged, it’s a misdemeanor. So the county is going to waste a couple grand in legal expenses to maybe, possibly get $500 out of the defendant? Probably not.

        So if I understand this correctly, the mother is upset because all she got was her $80 service comped and knowledge that the guy got a 3 day suspension after never telling anyone what she expected to see? I’m willing to bet that this is a first step for her to join our litigious society and file suit against Orkin rather than do what every other citizen here could do: Never do business with Orkin again based on her personal experience. She’s free to do that as far as I know here.

        Don’t worry though Loias, I’m sure the actual laws won’t get in the way of your emotional driven opinion to be right. That’s what’s important right? YOU WANT this guy to not only be punished as much as possible AND have it done publicly because it will make YOU feel better. There’s a word for this: schadenfreude.

        What is it about our society that consistently wants to participate in schadenfreude on a daily basis? Knowing this guy was punished wasn’t enough for you. You want to see this guy fired, and have the criminal justice system step in and try to punish him more. A guy you will almost certainly never come in contact with and will never affect your life ever.

        • Pax says:

          (a) It is unlawful for any person to willfully cause or permit the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered or to willfully cause or permit a child to be placed in circumstances that endanger the child’s life or health, except that it is not unlawful for a person to relinquish a child in accordance with the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act.”

          Perhaps you missed those two words? He made a wilful choice to use an unapproved, unmarked container which by it’s very nature, would be an attractant to very young children. That use was, specifically, to store and dispense chemicals which pose a serious threat to human health.

          Now, even IF for some reason this guy was charged, it’s a misdemeanor.

          What do the laws and regulations of that state – and the Federal Government – have to say about improper storage of hazardous chemicals? Remember, one single action can actually result in charges under several statutes.

          • Aedilis says:

            Prove it.

            Prove he made a willful choice instead of him leaving the bottle there by accident. The only way you’re getting that proof is either by confession or mind reader. As far as I know, mind reading is only allowed in court on episodes of “Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law”.

            Maybe if there was some sort of nanny cam that showed him wringing his hands and cackling while placing the bottle on the counter you could prove intent legally. However, short of real solid proof of intent, no prosecutor is going to spend time and resources to maybe prosecute a minor misdemeanor.

            It’s ok though there’s a fix to this. Run and become the Cook County DA. Then go ahead and prosecute him to the fullest extent. I’m sure you’ll get a great pat on the back for it. Or you could simply ride on into town on your horse and lynch him. I’d simply suggest looking elsewhere on the internet for a schadenfreude scenario to latch on with some staying power.

            • Pax says:

              “Prove he made a willful choice instead of him leaving the bottle there by accident.”

              Not necessary. He made a willful choice to put the poisons in an improp[er, unlabelled container in the first place. A container which by it’s very nature invites yougn children to explore it, and it’s contents.

              That choice created the danger due to the reasonable probability that somewhere, some day, he would leave it somewhere it shouldn’t havebeen left – even without intent to harm in the act of misplacing the cup.

              A proper container or dispenser, properly labelled, exists in no small part TO reduce the risk of accidental poisoning. Putting those poisons into any container except the proper, approved, labelled container was a willful choice on his part, which created the subsequent endangerment.

              And, dude, get off the “schadenfreude” thing. That has nothing to do with it – I just think that this guy demonstrably lacks the requisite responsibility to be handling lethal toxins on a daily basis.

              • Aedilis says:

                As I stated above, why haven’t you, the noble citizen more versed in the law than I am, bring this case to the police yourself or the Cook County DA? I mean, we can’t have this guy running the streets, he might do this again. You clearly believe he committed a crime serious enough to warrant their attention. It is your right, nay, DUTY to contact them and notify them of this situation.

                ***And, dude, get off the “schadenfreude” thing. That has nothing to do with it – I just think that this guy demonstrably lacks the requisite responsibility to be handling lethal toxins on a daily basis.***

                I’ll get off it once you guys stop doing it. Based on your previous postings, you think that this guy totally warrants not only being fired from his job, but having the state and federal authorities investigating this guy to the ground bringing as many charges as possible including child endangerment, felony reckless endangerment, improper handling and storage of hazardous materials. Oh, I forgot, this whole situation needs to be brought to the forefront because the children. Think of the children!

                Yeah, I’m sure that’s the reason why you’re doing this. Championing justice to save the children. Definitely not because you personally think and want this guy’s life wrecked over an almost-sort-of-could-have-been tragedy.

                • Aedilis says:

                  *** Posted by Pax earlier in this section***

                  No, three days’ pay isn’t enough. A CHILD COULD HAVE DIED. Just because he got LUCKY, and it doesn’t happen, shouldn’t lessen the severity of his punishment.

                  I say: pink slip. Yesterday.

                  And then he should count himself lucky he doesn’t get arrested and charged with criminal negligence and reckless endangerment. Which means, yes, possible prison time.

                  *****end Pax Post****

                  Nope, no schadenfreude here. The tone here definitely doesn’t sound like someone who wants another person really held to the fire.

                  • Pax says:

                    Do you even know what “shadenfreude” means?

                    I’m not saying the guy should have been fired because it’d bring me pleasure.

                    I’m saying it because I believe it would be the right thing to do.

                    STOP WITH THE APPEAL TO MOTIVE, already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_motive

                    • Aedilis says:

                      Yet you keep telling us your opinion on it over and over in a tone that suggests you would enjoy seeing this guy fired and sent to jail. I don’t think you’d spend this much time proving your opinion to me as what should be done if not for the satisfaction you’d take from seeing your opinions employed.

                      Dress it up in being Lawful Good Captain Justice, I’m sure it helps you sleep at night.

          • Aedilis says:

            I forgot to respond to the last part of your post.

            Yes, I’m aware that other charges can be filed as a result of a original filing. However, go talk to a defense attorney or a district attorney. They’ll all tell you the relatively the same thing. They’re in it to win it. Most charges aren’t brought because of lack of evidence or very little provable evidence.

            The DA wants cases he can win so that a) it helps his campaign in the future and b) the cost of prosecuting the case is worth the result. If there is even a 50/50 chance of losing they won’t prosecute on misdemeanors.

            So yea, good luck on that. I’m sure that no one would use a case like this against the prosecutors. Maybe a tea party supporter: “Mr. Smith the DA wasted thousands of dollars of tax money so he could get a $500 fine on a misdemeanor. Is this how you want your tax dollars spent? Vote for me John Q. Lesstax.”

          • mszabo says:

            If you don’t have young children you may not realize this but ANY container is attractive to a child. The fact that he used a sippy to dispense ant poison is a complete non-issue. Leaving ant poison out where a kid could reach it is a MUCH bigger issue. This story made headlines because he used a sippy, without that its just a contractor left behind some of his tools an honest mistake that perhaps does rate a suspension because of the danger. However as a parent I certainly check everytime a contractor leaves my house. I’ve never seen one that doesn’t leave behind a few nails, a bit of broken glass, etc.

    • Tim says:

      Say the company did nothing … or just told the guy “don’t use a sippy cup.”

      A few months later, another technician uses a sippy cup for a job, leaves it at the house, and a kid eats it and dies. Parents sue company. Parents’ attorney shows a pattern in which the company did very little to enforce its policy against using sippy cups after multiple techs used them (but oh, no one got hurt those times). Jury rules for the plaintiff, $5 million.

      • AI says:

        How about they use whatever container gets the job done, but they take it with them when they finish? The company should have better chemical handling procedures, but the sippy cup itself isn’t that big of an issue.

      • digital0verdose says:

        What are you on about? Please show me where I said the company should not have reprimanded the tech.

      • mszabo says:

        Honestly as a parent of 2 young kids, In my experience the difference in age between

        1) Kids who will play and eat anything that they come into contact with
        2) Kids who would take a drink from a random sippy cup they found wrapped in paper, but leave anything else alone.

        Seems pretty minimal. Leaving pesticide out where kids can reach it seems to be the real story here, The sippy thing is a bit of a red herring. Personally I always survey the grounds after any contractor comes over. I almost always find a bit of broken glass (new windows) or a few nails (new Gutters, new Roof) around somewhere. It’s annoying but not something I get upset about.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        The guy did something that was potentially very dangerous. He’s either very unconcerned with the possibility of harming children or he’s very stupid and doesn’t even understand how dangerous it could be.

        He should be fired.

        • digital0verdose says:

          Or he made an honest mistake. Lets say he has been working with the company for 15 years, always did a good job and then one day he forgot his stuff. Do you really think firing him is necessary? Especially when no one was hurt.

          I hope to all of the gods that religious people believe in you never become someone who is in charge of employment.

          • pawnblue says:

            Right, it’s sort of like when someone randomly shoots a gun at a crowd but doesn’t hit anyone. Sure it was dangerous. Sure it violates the law. But no one really got hurt, so how dangerous could it be? We shouldn’t put that guy in jail or anything, just because he messed up a little bit? /sarcasm

            It’s poison in a sippy cup. If you were trying to kill children, what would you do?

            • digital0verdose says:

              Well I wouldn’t cover it in paper. I would want the kids to actually see what it was.

              Also, for your silly little analogy. That would result in a fine and possibly a revocation of any gun licences you had. Not jail time.

              Got anything else?

              • Woofer says:

                Actually, it’s a little more then a penalty and losing a license. It’s considered assault in the majority of states, even if no one was hit.

                • digital0verdose says:

                  But without some sort of negative past history, there is no way that I can see that resulting in jail time since there are no victims.

                  • huadpe says:

                    In New York, it would be reckless disregard of human life, and be classed as a class C or D felony, depending.

                  • Conformist138 says:

                    Illegal discharge of a firearm within city limits is a HUGE no-no. Dunno where you’re from, but most areas with large populations get pretty pissy about that whole stray bullet/innocent bystander thing.

                    The fact is: a man used an object made especially for children (with characters to appeal to them and everything) as a way of dispensing poison. He then left it behind. I’m sorry, there’s no excuse for that, none at all. Even if it “works for what he needs”, there’s still no excuse because the rules surrounding proper use of potentially dangerous chemicals are supposed to be strict. I think using an object specifically intended for children as an applicator isn’t even Chemicals 101, it’s the remedial class where they start with lessons on not drinking bleach.

              • perkonkrusts says:

                Plaxico

    • bdgbill says:

      I don’t know where you work but at my job, if you endanger the lives of customers and embarrass the company in the media, you get fired.

      People who work with pesticides and other dangerous chemicals are trained on day one that these substances are always supposed to be in properly labeled, approved containers.

      This guy should have a job where it is a little more difficult to kill people by being stupid.

      • digital0verdose says:

        But this isn’t about you and where you work.

        You know nothing about this guy or his history and without the proper amount of info you simply cannot say “fire him” and even be considered a reasonable person.

        You have to imagine that a 3-day suspension, with an incident like this, it probably means he has been with the company for a while, has never made a mistake like this and likely wont again.

        If this had been a repeat incident, an employee who already had a tarnished history or was just bad, he would have been fired.

        • mythago says:

          Sorry, but the definition of “reasonable person” is not “only those who agree with digital0verdose”.

          It doesn’t matter where the guy works. Handling Dangerous Chemicals 101: only use approved and properly-labeled containers. Anyone who has ever spent five minutes in a safety program has heard tons of horror stories about what happens when people use unlabeled, nonstandard containers to store things.

          • digital0verdose says:

            You don’t have to apologize, it’s not your fault.

            Also, I never said that people who agree with me are the only reasonable people. One thing you should try to keep in mind when posting in public spaces is that each person’s post embodies their opinions on a matter. Disagreement is a natural occurrence.

            Also, it does matter where the guy works as each individual place is going to have their own protocols.

            • Dean says:

              Watch what you say to the Holy Avenger of Chemical Protocol.

            • mythago says:

              Please re-read my post for content instead of for an excuse to troll-wank.

            • Wombatish says:

              There are rules and standards for handling chemicals in this country.

              That hardly equates to “they have their own policies man”.

              He broke all kinds of rules and if you get technical, probably the law.

              And being fired is hardly the worst thing that could happen to a person. It’s bad, especially in this economy, but his actions were pretty damn bad as well. I think firing would have been reasonable and saved the company a lot more face.

    • howie_in_az says:

      What did she expect, prison time?

      Pretty sure she expected to get a few thousand dollars out of this for one bullshit reason or another.

    • perruptor says:
    • Pax says:

      No, three days’ pay isn’t enough. A CHILD COULD HAVE DIED. Just because he got LUCKY, and it doesn’t happen, shouldn’t lessen the severity of his punishment.

      I say: pink slip. Yesterday.

      And then he should count himself lucky he doesn’t get arrested and charged with criminal negligence and reckless endangerment. Which means, yes, possible prison time.

      • Aedilis says:

        Hmm, good thought. Everytime I see someone smoking at the gas station pump, I will try your tactic. I will run up to the person and yell “CALL THE POLICE. A CHILD COULD HAVE DIED!”

        Now for the serious rebuttal. Illinois statues on child endangerment state that the prosecution has to prove willful intent in order to convict. Now, considering there was no harm actually done to any children, that would mean the DA would have to spend at least two grand in order to maybe get a conviction of a $500 fine misdemeanor. I’m sure that will happen.

        Sorry Pax, there will be no prison time even IF they convicted him. I know you really, REALLY want it badly to satisfy your schadenfreude addiction, but unfortunately it won’t happen on a misdemeanor where the max penalty is community service and a $500 fine.

        As for the pink slip, when you’re the owner of the company, you can fire him. Otherwise it’s up to the business. Your only recourse is to simply not do business with them. I’m sure they’ll get along just fine without your business.

        I know, I know, “I SHOULD THINK OF THE CHILDREN”. However, this funny thing called common sense gets in my way.

        • Pax says:

          Hmm, good thought. Everytime I see someone smoking at the gas station pump, I will try your tactic. I will run up to the person and yell “CALL THE POLICE. A CHILD COULD HAVE DIED!”

          How about you just quietly call the police, because yes, smoking at a gas station is more than “a child could die”, it’s possibly “thje neighborhood could be destroyed and dozens could die”.

          Now for the serious rebuttal. Illinois statues on child endangerment state that the prosecution has to prove willful intent in order to convict. Now, considering there was no harm actually done to any children, that would mean the DA would have to spend at least two grand in order to maybe get a conviction of a $500 fine misdemeanor. I’m sure that will happen.

          The passage quoted did not say “willful intent to harm”, and stop there. The passage you quyoted, says “willfully cause or permit. Which means, you can be guilty of child endangerment due to negligence, not just malice aforethought.

          But, even if we ignore that specific statute … what about improper handling of hazardous and/or controlled substances (for many of those poisons, you have to have a license to handle them) …? What about a general charge of Reckless Endangerment?

          • Aedilis says:

            ***How about you just quietly call the police, because yes, smoking at a gas station is more than “a child could die”, it’s possibly “thje neighborhood could be destroyed and dozens could die”.***

            If you want to take the analogy seriously, sure. Go ahead and call the cops and I’m sure they’ll rush right there to arrest/ticket the guy.

            ***”The passage quoted did not say “willful intent to harm”, and stop there. The passage you quyoted, says “willfully cause or permit”. Which means, you can be guilty of child endangerment due to negligence, not just malice aforethought.”

            But, even if we ignore that specific statute … what about improper handling of hazardous and/or controlled substances (for many of those poisons, you have to have a license to handle them) …? What about a general charge of Reckless Endangerment?****

            Tell you what, you’re so sure that the guy is guilty about it why not petition the DA and get him to open the case? I mean you clearly want to see the guy raked through the mud and dragged down. So do it. Start a writing campaign into the Cook County DA office (statesattorney@cookcountyil.gov) If you can’t get him indicted, then write into Orkin (http://www.orkin.com/customercare/contact-us). Write them every day demanding his firing for committing such an egregious act to these children.

            If that doesn’t work, well you can always take the sex offender shaming route. Make sure that you find out where this guy lives and then start mailing everyone who lives within 8 blocks of him with a picture of the sippy cup and saying something like “Would you want this guy near your kids? He might poison them too!” Don’t stop until he’s left the state or is incarcerated.

            I mean, that’s what you all want right? See this guy suffer as much as this family suffered. I mean for goodness sakes, a child almost-well-maybe-could-have-possibly died here.

            • Pax says:

              If you want to take the analogy seriously, sure. Go ahead and call the cops and I’m sure they’ll rush right there to arrest/ticket the guy.

              Acutally yes, they would.

              I mean you clearly want to see the guy raked through the mud and dragged down. [...] I mean, that’s what you all want right? See this guy suffer as much as this family suffered.

              No. Stop with the Appeals to Motive already. If you want to know what I want, ask me – don’t decide for yourself.

              As it so happens, I think that this person clearly is not qualified to handle dangerous toxic chemicals in a responsible manner.

    • fokensheatman says:

      Digitaloverdose is just a real prick. He obviously never uses chemicals. The way this guy talks sounds like he screwed up real bad one time and didn’t understand why he got in so much trouble. But besides that.

      Lets say you take your bratty child to the store and like most parents of today, they don’t pay attention, the kid starts knocking things over and usually the parent didn’t go back and pick the stuff up or just didn’t want to because no one saw them. The only difference between the employee and the mother is that the employee gets paid to clean up the aisle, the mother however now gets to wonder if the kids played with the cup or drank from it. Like others have said, its only an issue because the Orkin Guy goes into your house and uses your cups, but why? simply because it was suffice? It worked for the job he was doing? is this a known trade secret that other Orkin Men have done? That actually sounds reasonable, for an employee to use something that wasn’t created for that job. In all fairness what gives a company man the right to go into someone’s home and start using their utensils, cups, or anything that doesn’t belong to them?

      on another note, like Digitaloverdose said “no harm no foul” or “its all hunky dory” because “no body got hurt”. sounds like an episode of “Leave it to Beaver”. this aint the 1950s where you can say “golly gees Batman, the Joker got away”. “We’ll catch him next time Robin”. This is 2010 if you threaten someone chances are they would rather beat you to a pulp then take a chance in saying “No Harm No Foul”!

      • Aedilis says:

        Wow, reading for comprehension might work sometime. The Orkin guy didn’t use any utensils from the woman’s house.

        • fokensheatman says:

          Wow, Aedilis. you have even better comprehension skills then i do apparently. what did you do skim my response and read the LAST half of the LAST sentence of the middle paragraph? go back and read that whole F**KING sentence then reread the whole middle paragraph. think of a plumber coming to fix your pipes but instead he uses your tools. the orkin guy decided to use a sippy cup, who’s to say maybe he did use a spoon to fill the sippy cup since he definitely didnt have any tools to use in the first place. my whole point in that one sentence was talking about a guy who doesnt live there, using their stuff, stuff that didnt belong to him. the only reason i said utensils was to avoid an idiot commenting if i mentioned a hammer, screwdriver, or an actual “TOOL”. the whole point of that sentence was about a “COMPANY MAN” not the “ORKIN MAN”. since your the idiot pulling quotes out of context…”or anything that doesn’t belong to them?” hopefully you can read that context clue and understand the point i was trying to make!

          were you one of those kids who they always had to explain the joke to?

          • willystyle says:

            The article very clearly states that while the women did have children (who presumably have sippy cups of their own), she recognized the “Looney Tunes” cup as foreign. The guy brought his OWN sippy cup because it probably dispensed the bait like he wanted. It was NOT a cup from the woman’s house…he just had the unfortunate lapse in judgment to leave it behind, and not to mark it far more clearly to prevent children from mistaking the cup.

            Direct article quote:
            “The next day, the mom spotted an unfamiliar Looney Toons sippy cup wrapped in paper.”

            Before you go bashing people, you should make sure you have your facts correct.

      • digital0verdose says:

        If that is what you took away from what I have said, you have some serious comprehension issues. Just because you lake basic skills related to understanding what you read does not make me a prick. The way you spin your BS makes me wonder if you watch Fox News. You are learning some bad habits buddy.

        • fokensheatman says:

          heh, i have bad comprehensive skills? you can go lake it up.

          wow, where did Fox News come from?

          ill leave you alone so you can finish blaming the mother for her stupidity, that is what helps you sleep at night, right?

  3. DariusC says:

    The Orkin man must have been an under-paid minority who doesn’t give a crap.

    /In before people claim not getting paid enough warrants a lack of safety.

    • digital0verdose says:

      “The Orkin man must have been an under-paid minority who doesn’t give a crap.”

      Should we play a game of Count the Racist Sentiments?

      • danmac says:

        Yeah…I started to say something like, “Wow…that was pointlessly racist,” but the comment was so strange that I wondered if even the “minority” part of it was sarcasm. I ended up scratching my head and walking away confused.

      • aaron8301 says:

        Minority != race. Technically, women are (or at least used to be) a minority, especially in the workforce. Women are NOT a race.

        To immediately jump on someone for being racist when they’re clearly not is like being overly homophobic when you think someone implied you’re homosexual – it says something about you.

        • digital0verdose says:

          Do you honestly think he was referring to a woman with his comment?

          • DariusC says:

            I was referring to any minority… it was sarcasm anyways.

            And by orkin man, I could have meant WOman for short :D

            Point being, many consumerist readers have defended those who crapped on pizzas and spit in drinks because they were under paid minorities (doesn’t have anything to do with it?) that shouldnt care because they are not paid enough to care.

            • Rectilinear Propagation says:

              many consumerist readers have defended those who crapped on pizzas and spit in drinks because they were under paid minorities (doesn’t have anything to do with it?)

              I agree the minority part has nothing to do with it but I’ve never seen anyone tack on the “minority” part. I don’t think you’re making it up (I don’t read every post here, particularly over the weekend) but I think people would have caught the sarcasm had you just left it at “under paid”.

              • DariusC says:

                True. My bad… but people often throw in the minority thing for no reason as I just did. My mistake and again, I apologize to the consumerist hive mind! :D

        • KyleOrton says:

          I wouldn’t say DariusC “clearly not” being racist. Possibly not clearly being racist, but that’s different and still a stretch. Of all of the examples of minorities he can be referring to, you found one – sex – that wouldn’t be racist. And we know that’s not the case because the Orkin man is referred to as he.

        • mythago says:

          Yawn. “Minority”, in common American parlance, means “people who aren’t white”. Fake pedantry is so pathetic.

  4. tater says:

    A child’s sippy cup of all things. Jesus christ. I think he should be fired. If one of the kids had become ill or had died as a result, the company would have been sued for an incredible amount of money. If this employee has such little regard for company protocol, and not to mention, is lacking that much common sense, who the hell knows what kind of other idiotic things he does/has done/will do. He’s a liability.

  5. Hoss says:

    If he left ant poison in the original container but would have been the same concern. A child small enough to put a dirty cup in their mouth would put anything in their mouth.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I have to disagree. He put it in a container that the adult mother might not have caught. Another way to think of it is that if a child took the sippy cup in the presence of an adult, that adult likely would not stop them because they wouldn’t realize that it was poison (b/c poison in a sippy cup? Hello?!). The adult would definitely stop the child from drinking something NOT a child’s drink cup.

      • AI says:

        Perhaps things are different, but I was taught at a very young age not to drink anything out of strange containers, which would include sippy cups that weren’t mine. This instruction kept me from drinking the who-knows-what chemicals my Dad stored in 500ml Coke bottles in the garage. Note: However black in colour, they did NOT contain Coke.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Unless your dad operated a business out of his garage, he was under no obligation to follow appropriate OSHA requirements for safe handling of chemicals. He wouldn’t have needed a safety plan, MSDS sheets, etc.

          A business has much different requirements in terms of safe handling than an individual.

      • Dutchess says:

        I agree, it was in a container that a small child would be attracted to and possibly familiar with but do you think his actions warrant more than a three day suspension?

        Seriously, the “Do it for the children!” rational behind her pleas are nothing but an emotion based argument intended to insight outrage and fear. As the OP said, it’s a complete non-event that is being made into something much worse.

      • dwtomek says:

        If you let your children drink out of a sippy-cup that has been brown-bag-specialed…well that’s pretty awesome I guess.

  6. sufreak says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the woman calling the hounds for such a non-event. The company is right, it is an internal HR issue. To tell an outside person on the phone would be a liability.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      This is not a non-event.

      The Orkin guy should have been fired for his careless, reckless, dangerous actions.

      • sonneillon says:

        But Orkin doesn’t have to say it. Almost every company I have ever worked for will not give out the information about what punishment was given. There are very good reasons for that.

        • Pax says:

          But, they DID say that all he’s gotten is a 3-days-without-pay suspension.

          • sonneillon says:

            Yeah that was odd. That lady didn’t even work for Orkin. She worked for Orkin’s parent company as a spokes person. I don’t know if she actually knew what was going on or made something up. Or maybe she went against company policy to act as a PR person. Or maybe Orkin and Rolling have different policies. The Orkin line was it is in HR and we can’t comment (which is what corporations should do).

    • pgh9fan1 says:

      If it were a non-event, the media wouldn’t have covered it. Look at the play it’s getting. TV and Web. It’s certainly an event. Heck, you even took the time to comment on it.

  7. savvy9999 says:

    Consumer is upset (rightfully; kids or not, leaving behind poison in any container is unacceptable), but doesn’t clearly enunciate what it would take to get “satisfaction”. Company comps her service, suspends guy without pay, and she’s still not satisfied.

    What does she want? Is Orkin supposed to also be in the mind-reading business?

    Orkin did fine in this situation.

    • mythago says:

      They should have fired the employee and revamped their training program, because clearly if they have managers who think this is no big deal, they have more than an HR issue.

    • fokensheatman says:

      the only reason she got her money back was because she got the media involved. the only reason he got suspended was because she went to the media. if she hadnt gone to the media then we wouldnt know what would have happened. if the person who answered the phone for orkin had told her what they did to him then she wouldnt have needed to go to the media.

      whats this about mind-reading business? orkin was ignoring her. they wouldnt answer her. how are they suppose to know what she wants when they wont tell her anything? how is she suppose to enunciate her “satisfaction” if they wouldnt even call her back if they said they would!

      i would rather a whole weeks pay just because they tried to cover up the whole situation. “Its an HR ISSUE” FU!!
      she did the right thing.

  8. humphrmi says:

    I’m going to say it.

    What business is it of hers what happend to the employee?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Because the employee is guilty of endangering a child…..her child?

      Just throwing it out as a thought.

      • Ilovegnomes says:

        Just another thought.. if she was so concerned about poison in her house, what was she doing paying someone to put poison around her house? Kids put all sorts of things in their mouth, lick stuff, etc. There are natural ways to get rid of ants.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Tough to make that claim without knowing how the poison was implemented. I imagine these companies already train where to put poison so that children or animals do not ingest them.

          • sonneillon says:

            not really. They operate under the assumption that while their poison is going to kill a being that weighs 1 gram it is going to be less than effective on something weighing 20 kilograms.

        • Hoss says:

          They may be carpenter ants

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          if she was so concerned about poison in her house, what was she doing paying someone to put poison around her house?

          She was concerned about poison being in a container designed for a child’s use and she was paying them for pest control.

    • qbubbles says:

      If person x puts person y in harms way, person y has a vested interested in knowing what happens to person x.

      Example. I was sexually assaulted in an elevator by a janitor on a college campus. I went to the cops and reported the incident. The incident got back to HR and they told me that they’d removed the employee from working that building. Well, I’m not only in that building. I have to return books, eat lunch, work at the library, go to classes in other buildings. I think I had a right to know where they relocated him (although I wanted him fired…). Mostly for my own sanity so that I knew I wouldnt have to run into him again. But I also warned others about him. HR didnt think I needed to know this information. Actually UVA is very very bad at handling sexual assaults.

      Anyway, I think the same thing applies.

      • humphrmi says:

        It is not the same. This woman is dead-set on getting this guy fired for making a very stupid mistake. He’s not a sexual predator.

        • aaron8301 says:

          I’d say reckless endangerment of small children is right up there with sexually assaulting an adult. At least an adult can defend themselves. When a child is in convulsions for driving out of a sippy cup full of poison, they’re pretty much f**ked.

          I MAY be biased, though. I carry a gun for self defense (legally), and have two small children.

          • AI says:

            An exterminator’s job is to spread poison around the house where there may be children. Children can eat properly applied poison off of the floor just as easily as they can drink poison from strange sippy cups.

            So should anyone that hires an exterminator be sent to jail for child endangerment?

        • qbubbles says:

          Guilty until proven innocent. He was never fired because the DA never took the case.

          And I think it does apply. Again, person x put person y in harm’s way. Person y should be informed what happens to person x.

          • Mighty914 says:

            100% apples and oranges, and I’m surprised that someone who’s been through something as horrific as a sexual assault would compare it to something like this. You have every right to know where this guy is to be able to avoid him, etc. Although this mother should have a right to find out what happened to this guy, it doesn’t directly affect her in the long run. After all, my guess is that she will not be going back to Orkin any time soon if she can help it.

            • qbubbles says:

              I’m sorry if you think the extreme sickness or possible death of her child wouldnt directly affect her in the long term. I sure do.

              I would easily consider something like that happening to my future kid as worse than what I went through. Hands down. Do shit to me all you want to, but dont you dare endanger my kid.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      It’s her business because it’s her house that the dangerous sippy cup was left at, and because it’s her children who could’ve easily been harmed.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Orkin did not “do fine”. Orkin has an employee who sees nothing wrong with using a sippy cup as an applicator for poison. The same employee also isn’t compenent enough or concerned enough to ensure make sure that no poison is left in the house after he’s finished.

      If Orkin thinks that such an idiot employee is ok to continue working then Orkin did not ‘do fine’.

      • AI says:

        Actually, it’s his job to ensure that poison is left behind. You know, to kill the bugs. If he didn’t leave any poison behind you’d demand your money back.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Well, the first person she spoke to said they’d tell her what happened. If it’s their policy not to tell customers what action, if any, they take against an employee for any reason then they should make that clear up front.

  9. OnePumpChump says:

    Seems like a pretty good idea, to me. I mean, it seems almost perfect for the purpose.

    But what also seems like a good idea is prominently labeling it as a poison dispenser. Maybe painting over the loony tunes characters.

  10. drburk says:

    I agree it doesn’t seem like very much, if I found that in my house I’d have hit the ceiling and Orkin would have heard about it all the way up the phone tree. I’d demand the state revoke his pest control license.
    Orkin could have at least lied to the lady and said they were inspecting all trucks for unapproved containers.

  11. Blueberry Scone says:

    I don’t disagree with the Orkin man’s method – it’s perfectly possible that he felt the sippy cup was a great way to distribute the pesticide. My DD has a few cups that, when turned upside down, have a slow flow – perhaps these cups work in the same way and are great at distributing just a few drops of pesticide at a time. So, I don’t think using a sippy cup is inherently wrong.

    But dude should have done something else to make sure it’s clear that it’s NOT a random sippy cup, besides just wrapping it in paper. Maybe paint over the characters with a big ‘X’ or something.

    I don’t know what else the mom wants to have happen, though. Maybe the company could say that they’re requiring all field service techs to read and sign a rule stipulating that they can only use Orkin-issued equipment, or maybe they need to complete an inventory check of all equipment before they leave a home. (I’m grabbing at straws, here.)

    • mythago says:

      Yes, it is inherently wrong. You don’t put poison in nonstandard, unlabeled containers. Period. This is not rocket science. It is also the basis of a hundred cautionary stories taught to anyone learning to work with hazardous chemicals.

  12. sirwired says:

    The guy used what was, from an engineering standpoint, a good pesticide dispensing device. It won’t leak when tipped, and can apply the chemicals pretty precisely. Yes, it was a mistake not to make it look horribly threatening, and put obvious chemical labels on it. But fire the guy over it? Not necessary.

    • AI says:

      That was my first thought, the guy should be commended for finding a perfect delivery device in a cheap, readily available consumer product. But I’m an engineer. Next time, put a sticker on it that says ‘Poison’, and bring it with you. Crisis averted.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        Crisis not averted at all.

        The man was careless enough to leave a pesticide applicator in a client’s house. It doesn’t matter if it says Poison on it, it shouldn’t be at the house once he’s gone.

        He’s lazy and stupid and careless and should be fired.

        • carsinamerica says:

          I am so, so glad that you never, ever make mistakes. That’s because, if you did, then you would obviously be lazy, stupid, and careless. Or maybe a person just made a mistake. Everyone does. We don’t generally deserve to be fired for mistakes unless they are a pattern, or cause irrevocable harm.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        Right because all 2 year olds can totally read labels.

        • AI says:

          No they can’t. But what they can do is lick floors, which is where the properly applied poison is. Everybody here seems to be forgetting the fact that an exterminators job is to LEAVE POISON BEHIND.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      It might be good from an engineering standpoint but I can 100% guarantee that it is not acceptable from an OSHA standpoint. During our OSHA audits, we’ve been dinged for Windex bottles that had labels that peeled off.

      Unlabeled chemicals are a huge no no. If someone gets chemicals from an unmarked container in their eyes or a child ingests it, it can make treatment from poison control or the responding EMT very difficult if they don’t know what it is. I suspect that Orkin has some major safety problems and probably needs to completely redesign its safety plan from the ground up.

  13. Dutchess says:

    “The mom didn’t seem terribly impressed with the three-day suspension, telling the paper, “That doesn’t seem like very much.””

    Really, does she think he should be fired? I’m surprised she didn’t use the tried and true response “Do it for the children!!!” that all people use when they express over-inflated outrage at a situation.

    Yeah, this could have been dangerous. It wasn’t, move on. He’s been reprimanded and lost three days of pay, you think he should lose his job and livelihood for this? Perhaps she should find some fucking compassion.

  14. Alvis says:

    Did you just get a take-down email from the Tribune for the pic?

  15. loopdedoo says:

    Pesticides and other toxins should never be stored in anything but their original container. Putting a pesticide in an unmarked container is a violation of federal and state regulations and ought to cause an operator to lose their license or face a fine from the state pesticide regulatory agency. Putting a pesticide into a food container is beyond careless merits the loss of license. The OC should report the incident to her state agency. http://npic.orst.edu/state1.htm

  16. flip says:

    If its wrapped in plastic or whatever, to me that would be an indication he may of been disposing it in the garbage. Then comes along the garbage picking homeowner, see’s that and immediately the CHHHAAACCHHHIINNNNGG bulb goes off in her head.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      The mom says it was left by the door, not in the garbage.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Actually, it’s worse in your version because then it means that he left a container full of pesticide in their house on purpose. I had assumed he’d left it on accident and had it wrapped in paper because he didn’t want someone messing with it if/when he had to set it down for any reason.

  17. rookie says:

    I worked in the paper converting industry as a maintenance technician for twenty years. Safety seminars and drills were a regular part of life. IF, I, or anyone else with the standard training had transferred ANY chemical, hazardous or not, to ANY unmarked container we would have face disciplinary time off, and then, for subsequent violations, termination.
    This, however, was in a factory setting, no children allowed.
    What this worker did, was egregious. If he had any training concerning the use of unapproved containers, he deserves termination.
    If he had not been adequately trained, the company deserves a big fat kick in the ass.
    Monetary wise, via OSHA, and, if the parents warrant, litigation.

    /end rant

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I completely agree. If a company that handles chemicals on a professional level doesn’t have procedures for general safety, as well as proper handling, containers, or appropriate markings, then they should absolutely not be going into people’s homes.

      I’m sure we’ve been through the same OSHA training but the rule of never putting chemicals into an unmarked container is burned into everyone’s brains. If somebody gets it in their eyes or a child drinks it, what are you supposed to tell poison control or a paramedic if the container is unmarked?

      • dwtomek says:

        I may be incorrect but I am quite sure that transfer of chemicals into an unmarked container is acceptable if that container remains in your personal control at all times. Obviously that wouldn’t be very efficient in a factory setting. When you are the only person on the job site though, I don’t see anything wrong with it, until it gets left behind. But beyond that I don’t really see what this lady expects. He already had nearly 25% of his wages for the month taken away, surely this was a recordable offense…I don’t believe immediate termination was necessary.

  18. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I work in the environmental field and we really don’t come into much contact with chemicals. However, every single chemical we have in our lab, shop, vehicle, etc. has an MSDS sheet, protocols for safe handling, appropriate containers, markings, etc. This is from a combination of internal company policies and OSHA mandates, as well as just common sense.

    I can guarantee a company like Orkin has exactly the same setup.

    Who knows how many company policies, OSHA requirements, and state laws were broken by putting a toxic chemical in a child’s sippie cup and then leaving it somewhere a child may come in contact with it.

  19. cozymoses says:

    Something similar happened in Utah this past winter, with much more tragic results. Two little girls died from applicator negligence. I am still shocked this did not become a national story:

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12020887

    “In February, Nocks treated the Toones’ home for a vole infestation. Four-year-old Rebecca and her 15-month-old sister, Rachel, died less than three days after their home was treated.

    Investigators determined Nocks had used large amounts of the pesticide and applied it much too closely to the home. He is now facing two counts of negligent homicide — class A misdemeanor.”

  20. Intheknow says:

    That’s just so wrong and shows a TOTAL lack of thinking. Good thing this guy isn’t in charge at the nuclear power station! It seems so obvious. Didn’t he go to any kind of poison control classes before starting his job? I do think the punishment is appropriate. I sure hope he doesn’t have kids of his own at home. DUMB!

  21. framitz says:

    Criminal negligence and child endangerment in my book. He needs to be locked up after being fired. 3 days suspension is a slap in the face to the victim in this case..

  22. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    What’s wrong with the approved containers that made this guy decide to use a sippy cup in the first place? I don’t get it. Did the other thing not work? Did it break? Why’d he even have a sippy cup in the first place? Is it something he normally uses or did he just happen to have it that day and this is a one off?

  23. sopmodm14 says:

    they could have at least offered more services to offset the risk

    this shouldn’t have happened in the first place…either orkin didn’t train this employee, or didn’t provide the proper equipment

  24. jimmyhl says:

    Orkin waived the balance owed for the work and sat the guy down for three days without pay and the OP is holding out for more. Unreasonable on her part. They’ve done what can be done. She can find another bug company if she’s upset about it.

  25. Bugpop says:

    I wouldn’t terminate my contract nor would I demand the termination of the employee. If I had no other reason to believe he was inept I would even prefer that he would remain my regular tech. I would expect Orkin and the tech to take the extra steps necessary to restore my trust in them. If they did that I wouldn’t even need a verbal apology.

  26. tundey says:

    Not sure what sense of urgency she wanted. The situation was already in check: the sippy cup had been found, the children had not used it and were in no danger. So what sense of urgency did she want? At least they asked if anyone was hurt.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Hard to know without hearing the whole conversation but she was probably looking for more concern in their tone of voice and I’m sure she isn’t happen that she wasn’t called back.

      Perhaps some assurances that other techs weren’t doing this, it was an isolated incident, with a promise of re-training and/or better equipment.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Oh lord, she isn’t “happy” she wasn’t called back. I don’t even know how I got happen instead of happy.

  27. ouijabored says:

    Luckily none of her kids touched/used the cup. I can understand her freaking out, because very bad things could have happened. But really, what more does she want? No one got hurt, she didn’t have to pay, and the guy got suspended for a few days. I think that’s enough.

  28. pdennison says:

    “The act of what? Using a strange container? His intent was not to poison children, his intent was to find a container that distributed the poison the way he wanted. It looks like the sippy cup met that intent. Unless you have proof that the exterminator intended to hurt children by doing this, leave the guy alone.”

    Actually, for some crimes — and note, I’m not accusing this exterminator of a crime — “intent” doesn’t have to be an element at all, as long as the act (or failure to act) could be reasonably foreseen by the perpetrator to lead to the outcome in question, regardless of whether they desired that outcome or not. e.g., the Ohio Revised Code states that (and C and D are what I’m referring to here, as well as “regardless of purpose” in B):

    “(A) A person acts purposely when it is his specific intention to cause a certain result, or, when the gist of the offense is a prohibition against conduct of a certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish thereby, it is his specific intention to engage in conduct of that nature.

    (B) A person acts knowingly, regardless of his purpose, when he is aware that his conduct will probably cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A person has knowledge of circumstances when he is aware that such circumstances probably exist.

    (C) A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that his conduct is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that such circumstances are likely to exist.

    (D) A person acts negligently when, because of a substantial lapse from due care, he fails to perceive or avoid a risk that his conduct may cause a certain result or may be of a certain nature. A person is negligent with respect to circumstances when, because of a substantial lapse from due care, he fails to perceive or avoid a risk that such circumstances may exist.

    (E) When the section defining an offense provides that negligence suffices to establish an element thereof, then recklessness, knowledge, or purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element. When recklessness suffices to establish an element of an offense, then knowledge or purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element. When knowledge suffices to establish an element of an offense, then purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element.”

    • Aedilis says:

      I think the problem here is convincing someone that he was recklessly endangering anyone. On the list of reasons it could be reckless endangerment:

      - Child’s cup full of poison in a home with kids left by man.

      In the reasons it could be argued that it wasn’t reckless endangerment:

      - Cup was covered up by a blank white sheet of paper.
      – We’d have to deliver the substantial lapse or perverse disregard.

      Honestly, I don’t see this ever going forward with the DA for reckless endangerment or for child endangerment. The DA wants high conviction rates and if you have a not-sure-thing case where no one involved was actually harmed, it makes it really hard for them to prosecute and win.

  29. invisibelle says:

    This is one of those cases in which I think, if the company had done a halfway human and decent job of apologizing, it might have helped a lot.

    • Bugpop says:

      Apologizing implies an admission of guilt. There’s probably a policy in place which prohibits CSR’s from apologizing, or perhaps they are trained to apoligize in ways that avoid accepting liability. I suspect it’s an aversion to the admission to liability which makes the company appear to be unconcerned. I would take it as an issue that the company is too concerned.

  30. evnmorlo says:

    Kids attract bugs. Orkin was just being thorough.

  31. Dean says:

    What, does she want blood? Ridiculous. Orkin did fine on this one.

  32. AgitatedDot says:

    Seriously? This lady sounds like a bitch. The guy made a mistake, he did not do it on purpose and the fact she kept calling and called the newspaper just to get the info about the employee speaks volumes about her.

    People like her really make me mad.

    • crunchberries says:

      So, let me get this straight. Orkin tells this woman that they’ll let her know what happened, ignores any other further attempts she makes at contacting them, and being persistent makes her a bitch? Do you live in Bizarro World or something? Will standing on my head make that sentence make sense? Please, I need some guidance.

      Oh wait, never mind. You’re just stupid. Let me spell it out for you: This is CONSUMERist, not CORPORATIONist. That’s down the hall, to the left.

  33. libwitch says:

    You also realize that most houses leave boxes of ant killer lying around open for kiddies to easily get into, right? Its basically Borax. The guy was incredibly stupid, mind you, but do her kids usually pick up strange sippy cups and drink powder from them?

    • gtrgod01 says:

      I supposed you have data to back up your claim of “most houses leave boxes of ant killer lying around open for kiddies to easily get into”? I personally have never seen it and i’ve been in a lot of houses.

  34. Michael A. B. says:

    There are special licenses required for exterminators. Those appear to normally be governed by a specific state agency. I would recommend also filing a complaint with that agency. It may have no effect on your situation, but it could help prevent it from happening again. I believe it is important to do this. Storing poison in a drinking container, especially one specifically for children, is unlawful and should be addressed by the regulatory agency and not just by the company.

  35. mandy_Reeves says:

    I’m sure OSHA would like to know about this…does OSHA govern this sorta thing or…

  36. Jon R. says:

    Orkin should have told her what they would do to prevent that from happening in the future and that they retrained their exterminator in their policy on containers. Even if the exterminator left a sippy cup marked as poison, he still would have been negligent. A child may not read and children are prone to putting things in their mouths if it looks like it will fit. The exterminator may not have done it on purpose, but ingestion of a mere teaspoonful of borax can kill a child. If the mother had not noticed the sippy cup in time, this story could have ended with a tragedy that would have scarred both the family and the exterminator for life. So, just because it ended well doesn’t mean it’s not a significant issue.

  37. gtrgod01 says:

    Some of the people that comment on this site have some serious issues. Let a screaming child on a plane and it’s the worst possible thing to ever happen. Leave a deadly chemical in a child’s sippy cup, in an area where there are children, and you get comments giving him props ingenuity.

    No one actually died in this event, but that doesn’t change the fact the potential was there and it was created by an untrained or uncaring (in the sense of chemical safety) employee. Would you really want that kind of liability working for your company in the litigious society which we live? If he was properly trained and the company had records to back it up, he should have been fired. You shouldn’t be suspended for endangering a clients life.

    It doesn’t matter one bit that the child didn’t actually find the cup or drink from it. What matters is the employee created a VERY PREVENTABLE scenario that could have resulted in death by putting the chemical in an unapproved container, one that would/does spark interest from a young child, and left it in an area where children are present. The potential for harm to the client and to Orkin (liability wise) in that situation is tremendous. If Orkin were smart they would fire him. If the media picks up this story they are going to wish they would have fired him in the first place anyway.

  38. Silverhawk says:

    I know it says granules, but I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the possibility yet that the cup contained diatomaceous earth. Several pest control companies are using it now for pest control, as it’s NON TOXIC and pretty effective. I can see someone using a sippy cup or squeeze bottle to distribute it, as it is meant to be puffed or sprinkled into corners & along edges.

    The container and lackadaisical response from Orkin was definitely inappropriate, but the non-toxic nature of DE could definitely explain why there was no sense of urgency.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

  39. BooBee says:

    Resolution was completely acceptable!

  40. webweazel says:

    What a strange coincidence. This guy was treating for ants, and just a few hours ago I was doing battle in our laundry room for ants. The huge trail had come in under the back door overnight in front of the washer, and into the dog food bin. Somebody left the bin open. Still catching some stragglers right now, but I got them all, including the nest. I think they were fire ants. One of the little bastards bit me. The fire ants this year have been absolutely horrendous.

  41. fokensheatman says:

    Wow, Aedilis. you have even better comprehension skills then i do apparently. what did you do skim my response and read the LAST half of the LAST sentence of the middle paragraph? go back and read that whole F**KING sentence then reread the whole middle paragraph. think of a plumber coming to fix your pipes but instead he uses your tools. the orkin guy decided to use a sippy cup, who’s to say maybe he did use a spoon to fill the sippy cup since he definitely didnt have any tools to use in the first place. my whole point in that one sentence was talking about a guy who doesnt live there, using their stuff, stuff that didnt belong to him. the only reason i said utensils was to avoid an idiot commenting if i mentioned a hammer, screwdriver, or an actual “TOOL”. the whole point of that sentence was about a “COMPANY MAN” not the “ORKIN MAN”. since your the idiot pulling quotes out of context…”or anything that doesn’t belong to them?” hopefully you can read that context clue and understand the point i was trying to make!

    were you one of those kids who they always had to explain the joke to?