Friday, March 9, 2018

Modern day innovations

Human beings are innovators. We have so many gadgets to make our lives easier. Some simple, some complex. Some complex machines which simply do the job while some simple machines complicate the job. One such machine which torments me everyday is the microwave, especially my office microwave.

I feel my anxiety building up as lunch time approaches. I get increasingly paranoid approaching the microwave. This reminds me of the experience of visiting a friend's place. I have this friend whose place I love to visit. My only worry is his dog. He has a very friendly dog who likes to "welcome" people and I am scared of dogs. Whenever I visit him, I just want to get over with the ordeal of getting past his dog. This dog scares me. All dogs scare me in general, but this one in particular knocks the living daylight out of me with all the jumps and barks. Once inside I enjoy my his company (friend's) and I don't even remember the ordeal with the dog.

This microwave experience is very similar. The one in my office is so complicated that I get scared to use it. I am convinced that with the right combination of keys this microwave could transform itself into a TV, or a telephone or a time machine. The person using the microwave before me would have used it for one of these purposes and I cannot find a way to use it as a microwave again.

This microwave finds the darnest of ways to make me question my 'microwave using skill'. I keep my lunch in this microwave, press a number followed by the start button. Nothing happens. One person behind me says, you did not press the timer button. Ok. I press the timer button. Nothing happens. Another person yells, you did not select at what power you want the microwave to operate. I say..... ummm... ok. He comes over and this is how the conversation goes over.

Him: what do you have in the lunch box?
Me: Rice
Him: Was it in the fridge?
Me: It was not
Him: When did I make it?
After discussing the recipe for the dish, how he would have made it, when was the last time he made it and also how his grandma hand ground all the spicies,  he finally suggests I have to use 750 watts of power for 2 minutes to heat my lunch. Now I hit power, select 750, timer followed by 2 and hit start. Nothing happens.

By now a small crowd of people who want to heat their food has gathered around the microwave and are discussing their version of the rice recipe. I know all these people as I work with them. One more person comes over and is eager to help so that I am out of her way and she can probably use the time machine to learn grinding of spices by hand. She presses another couple of buttons and hits start. I finally see the timer tick. The microwave is not heating the food, just the timer ticks. Why do I need a 'timer only' option on the microwave. No one said let me run to the restroom and back while I time myself on this microwave. Usain bolt did not have this feature while he broke the world record

Another colleague comes over and presses another set of buttons, now the timer starts again as well as the light inside the microwave. The group cheers. I too cheer this colleague. But soon we all realize that it is just the timer and the light but the microwave is not heating the lunch inside. Meanwhile I am worried that my luch would travel to 2018 BC.

I start to panic as a the crowd expands. Some people don't even have to heat their food. They have come for the show since mine is a small office and pretty much nothing interesting happens through the day. One guy even started distributing invitations to his house warming ceremony. His audacity at hijack my crowd. MY CROWD. I am fuming a little at the microwave, a little at the guy who invented this but mostly at the person distributing the invitations.

Another colleague decides to take a stab, at the microwave. He comes over presses a lot more buttons and hits start. The microwave does work, finally. But somehow the timer now is only 10 sec. After 10 seconds I collect my lunch and begin to walk out. Some asks me, just 10 secs? why?

Now I just eat out

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