Thursday, February 28, 2008

Battle for the Microwave

In an attempt to save some cash, I have started bringing my lunch with me a few days a week. Cassidy and I eat lunch together after class every Tuesday and Thursday in Club Ed, a grab-and-go lunch station run by USF's cafeteria company. Luckily, this cafeteria spot has a microwave, as well as plenty of free silverware, condiments, etc. should I ever need them.

Today I brought a frozen spinach lasagna from Trader Joe's (which was awesome by the way), and thus I needed the microwave. So I tore the plastic film off the top of the lasagna, read the instructions (15 minutes? no way!), popped the lasagna in the microwave, and set the timer for 10 minutes.

Given that most food usually takes much less time to heat, I was feeling kind of bad for monopolizing the microwave. But nobody else seemed to need it, and damnit, I need to eat too, so I tried to subdue my inner guilt. 7 minutes left to warm lasagna!

A girl sitting toward the back of the room got up and made her way toward the microwave. It looked like she had some sort of lean cuisine, which takes very little time to microwave, so I considered letting her pop in her food. After all, I was only hoping that my lasagna would be done in 10 minutes, it might take as long as 15. What is proper public microwave etiquette if your food isn't done and somebody is waiting? 5 minutes left on the microwave.

As my brain was churning the girl from the back of the room reached the microwave, and must have clearly seen that there was food already being cooked within. But, for whatever reason, she opened the door of the microwave. I thought she would put her food in with mine, which would have been cool. I'm down with sharing my microwave. 4 minutes left.

She took my lasagna out of the microwave. She set it on top of the microwave. She put in her own food in, and started it cooking. At that point I was not so accepting of this communal microwave business. Still, I figured that if she took my food out then she must have had a good reason. She must have been in a hurry to eat. She must have had a class that starts soon. There must have been some reason she took my food out and replaced it with her own! The microwave dinged. Her food was done.

Only it wasn't done! She hurried over and stirred her food, then put it back in for another 3 minutes. I was no longer thinking she had any excuse, I was just wondering how the hell to politely bring to this girl's attention that THERE WAS ALREADY FOOD IN THAT MICROWAVE! The microwave dinged again. There was no movement from the microwave thief. I stood up, marched over, pulled her food out, threw it on top of the microwave, and stuffed my own back in again. I set the timer and withdrew my invitingly warm lasagna a mere 4 minutes later.

I swear it was another 10 minutes before microwave thief emerged from the back of the room to claim her lean cuisine, which by then was lukewarm and seasoned with despicableness.


Blogger Janine said...

I love this blog, especially your use of the word (or not word) "dispicableness." My adoration of your prose is in no way influenced by the fact that I am your mother.

February 28, 2008 5:14 PM  
Blogger sfdrummer said...

I have been laughing for 10 straight minutes about this story, including the use of the [yes, it's real] word "despicableness." Hysterical! Seriously, you have so much more patience than I do, Sara. It's one of the things that make you so lovable. I think I would have ripped that woman's food out of the microwave when she put it in there for the second go-round!

February 29, 2008 7:18 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Thank you, sfdrummer, for verifying my vocabulary usage. Janine didn't seem to believe it was a real word. Well, I didn't think it was a real word either, until I double checked

Also, thank you both for the compliments!

February 29, 2008 8:17 AM  
Blogger indil said...

This sounds like some kind of Seinfeld episode. I bet she thought you had left the room and wouldn't be back until minutes after your food was done, like she obviously does it. She figured she could pull your food out early and cook hers, and you'd come back thinking your food just cooled quickly.

Fifteen minutes is way too long for a community microwave. Seven minutes tops. Any more and you have to stop yours, let the other person do theirs, then resume yours.

March 01, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Indil - Thanks for some guidelines on the community microwave situation. I didn't realize it was going to take 15 minutes! I guess next time I should take that into account instead of just trying to find a microwavable meal with less than 75 grams of carbs (high carbs = high blood sugar).

March 02, 2008 7:38 PM  

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