Office Survival Tip: Kitchenette Microwave Etiquitte

5 Dec

Office Survival Tip: Kitchenette Microwave Etiquitte

Oh the office kitchenette microwave. Standing alone on the edge of the counter, splattered with a thin layer of encrusted chili; it’s usually roughly 20 years old and possibly missing several buttons. It’s a sorry-looking thing, but if you want a warm lunch it’s the best you’ve got. Those 20 Lean Cuisines in the freezer aren’t going to heat themselves.

Despite its decrepit appearance, the kitchenette microwave should be treated with some measure of respect. Mainly because you’re sharing it with a large number of other people and you have that whole Golden Rule thing to consider. Also, if you inadvertently destroy it, it could be replaced by something in an even worse state of decay, or God forbid, a toaster oven.

So please take some time to familiarize yourself with proper kitchenette microwave etiquette.

Heating any of the following items could be considered poor microwave etiquette:
-any explosive item in an improperly sealed Tupperware
-fish (this an include: leftover salmon, tuna, tuna casserole, and even fish sticks)
-Any kind of Hot Pocket (they make the whole kitchenette smell like a 7-eleven)
-Indian food, leftover Chinese, or anything with the power to stink up an entire building floor when heated

As with anything communal, the kitchenette microwave get used very frequently and cleaned very rarely. So consider that next time you decide to nuke one of your bowls of exploding chili.

It’s also in bad taste if you use the kitchenette microwave to make anything involving more than one step or two microwave cycles. The microwave is a limited resource which you must share with a significant number of hungry people. Hungry people are generally not known for their patience and benevolence, so don’t be surprised if you get the stink-eye during step 5 of your Easy Microwave Ravioli Casserole.  The office kitchenette is not the place to bring out your inner Chef Wolfgang Puck (your inner Chef Boyardee, maybe).

If you choose not to follow the above rules, you may incur the wrath of the Kitchenette Nazi, who will hang large, colorful signs outlining the microwave rules as punishment for your sins. So please don’t subject your everyone else to a barrage of passive-aggressive microwave instructions due to your general ineptness.


25 Responses to “Office Survival Tip: Kitchenette Microwave Etiquitte”

  1. Rob Rubin December 5, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Lol. Very true and appropriate for today. The past few weeks Ive either been going out for lunch or bringing in a salad. But in the spirit of holiday laziness I decided to bring in one of those frozen sodium-rich bowl thingies. I’ll make sure I follow the rules stated here since I’m fairy new to the world of processed lunch.

    Rob, The Mainland

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      Glad my tip was pertinent to your lunch making needs, I hope you ended up sailing through kitchenette microwave use without any problems!

  2. Tin Roof Press December 5, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    I’m not sure I agree – ruling out indian and chinese food would make me irate.
    So would passive aggressive messages.
    That Nazi would have to be prepared for some serious lunch time hunger rage.

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      Choose wisely, I’m not sure you can have your indian and eat it too without dealing with passive aggressive notes. Thats the mystery of kitchenette nazis, they seem to be able to post large quantities of notes without anyone catching them in the act…kind of like some kind of really crappy, passive-aggressive tooth fairy.

      • Tin Roof Press December 8, 2011 at 7:21 am #

        I think I’m lucky, no one leaves passive aggressive notes in my office.
        Thats my personal pet peeve.
        Also they are a really cowardly thing to do.

      • sharkables December 8, 2011 at 10:59 am #

        Offices and passive aggressive notes go together like peas and carrots. If you feel like there’s an empty void in your workplace that might be it…

  3. tonygrima64 December 5, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    We have two microwaves sitting side by side. The “click-clack” and “ding” of both units work together in hypnotic unison like some mad pied piper, signalling all that the lunch period has arrived and to start lining up to the fridge to retrieve their tupperware containers. The smell of last nights dinner pervades every corner of the office and occassionally, particularly on mufti day, the aroma of indian cruisine sticks to the walls. We too have a kitchen nazi who delights in punishing us with signs and office memos, whipping us into a state of resentment only to leave us totally confused by handing our caramello koalas on Fridays afternoons.

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Hahaha my sentiments exactly, only written much more poetically! Great comment

  4. Jacob Spire December 5, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I wish the people in my office read your blog… Out kitchenette is so bad, the Kitchenette Nazi himself won’t come near it!

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      Hmmm sounds like you may need to fill a void… How do you feel about writing passive aggressive notes?

  5. Cap'n Stephel December 5, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    I get really annoyed when people don’t clear any leftover seconds (yes, I’m weird like that), leave the microwave door open, and don’t fix the revolving plate if it’s making ka-thump sounds.
    Oh, I think toaster ovens are fantastic for impromptu toasted cheese sandwiches, but there’s no way it could heat up soup fast

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      Hahaha Youre going to make me weirdly self conscious about clearing the extra time off the timer now…

    • DLee March 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      … the microwave seconds annoy me too; I don’t think you’re weird, you just dislike inconsiderate people. I’ve been researching this topic since I’m in a fit of rage thinking about my pet peeves. However, my answer to the leftover seconds is to poke fun at the situation and be annoying as well… try unplugging the microwave after every use, the response from the inconsiderate people is satisfying and makes a point, they waste your time, you waste theirs. It should be a minor inconvenience to you if you make it a habit to unplug the microwave.

      Now about the door being left open… this is very annoying… but the answer is the same concept…unplug microwave, or move it every single time, or go as far as to remove the microwave door (and unplug); the joy I feel going out of my way to screw inconsiderate people over more than covers how annoyed I get encountering these people.

      The microwave plate… just remember to remove/replace it after you use it; the inconsiderate people will go crazy looking for the plate… this is also a way of training them to replace and fix the plate.

      Yes all this is way too much but the awesome part is… you will realize after having our fun that you might not really care anymore; this is what happened to me, it’s not that I gave up, or let them win, it’s the power and control I feel knowing I too can piss people off in a very significant way… makes my problem seem small 🙂

  6. Fred Wanner December 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    At 2:00 on a Friday afternoon. Place a bag of popcorn in the microwave, set it to high for 12 minutes, go home for the day when the fire alarm goes off.

    • sharkables December 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

      Haha Great idea but horrible karma, I don’t see the cubicle gods letting that one go unpunished…

  7. carmenthemasked December 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Bravo! Always enjoy the humor in your lines like “Hungry people are generally not known for their patience and benevolence”.

  8. sharkables December 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks much! Glad you enjoy it

    • Apep November 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      Yes, brewing coeffe tastes much better. No, you do not have to purchase a coeffe maker. Try Gevalia coeffe and they will send you a nice one for free. I bought a Mr. Coffee coeffe pot for $60.00. What I thought was a nice investment and it lasted a matter of months before the pot was uncleanable and the “stainless steel” started peeling off. The coeffe is good and you are under no obligation to purchase more than the first shipment. I think it was around $15.00 for pot and the 2 bags of coeffe including shipping. Good luck,Jen

    • Karthi November 19, 2012 at 2:29 am #

      if you don’t like justin whevoer why do you all keep talking about him in comments?if I don’t like something I don’t think about it all day long. you are all fucked in the head or something? maybe try not watching TV if you don’t like what they put on it?!

  9. corozmum December 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    I enjoyed my detours about left over microwave seconds

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