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Poll

What is the no-questions-asked maximum time to use a shared microwave?

Up to 3 minutes
41 (24.6%)
Up to 4-6 minutes
80 (47.9%)
Up to 7-9 minutes
28 (16.8%)
Up to 10-12 minutes
8 (4.8%)
Sky's the limit.
10 (6%)

Total Members Voted: 167

Author Topic: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?  (Read 6743 times)

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katycoo

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2016, 11:19:05 PM »
My answer depends on the office.  My work has 1 microwave but its not overly popular and our lunch times are flex so 10 minutes wouldn't inconvenience anyone.

But I have also always worked under the rule that food in the microwave which has 'finished' and is unattended is free to be removed, even if the owner had intended to stir and go back in for another minute.  If you want to do that, you stay with the food.

MissRose

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2016, 07:03:41 AM »
4 to 6 minutes at most in my opinion especially if you have a larger frozen meal.  I do bring in stuff like that frozen, place it marked with my name on it in the fridge and by the time my lunch time arrives, it should not take more than 4 minutes to heat.  At least my work place has multiple microwaves in various building locations, and lunch times are not the same for all as we are a 24/7 call center with people with different lunch times.  Most people are considerate in my work place with the use of the microwaves too.

betty

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2016, 10:03:50 AM »
I voted for 7-9 minutes, but really my answer is "until the food is hot enough to be safe and enjoyable to eat."

That said, a lower time should work for most options, so it's unlikely that most people will need that long. If someone is cooking a larger meal (one that takes longer), I think they should stand by the microwave and give the dish a stir occasionally to help speed up the heating (and to check if it is done sooner than expected).

If most meals are taking that long to heat, the microwave is probably very low powered. It would be a good idea for the company to replace it with a high powered commercial microwave so everyone's food cooks faster. Convenience stores often have very high powered microwaves that cook items fast, while my little home microwave would take 2 or 3 times as long for the same items. Check out a restaurant supply shop or website.

Winterlight

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2016, 07:03:42 PM »
I don't think I have a number, since I know frozen meals (and even leftover frozen soup) can take quite a while to get fully hot. It depends more on the manner in which people are using the microwave because I don't think people should have to eat cold leftovers or compromise on food safety if they don't want to.

To me, being a thoughtful microwave sharer means things like the following (all yous general):
  • being nearby and attentive - no wandering off and abandoning your food, or having to walk from the other side of the building to stir before continuing to cook
  • communicating with the people who are waiting about how much longer you're going to be taking
  • being as smart as possible about sharing - offering to let somebody else cut in while you stir or prep, if it's feasible or a special situation
  • only cooking one item during busy microwave times (I had a co-worker who cooked several batches of veggies, plus a protein, in separate bursts - each was a relatively short cooking time, but the multiple nature of it would make me crazy in a limited microwave environment

I would get internally irritated if everybody was doing all of the above and I still didn't get a chance to heat up my own food, but I would try not to blame my co-workers in that case, since that's a facility and management issue.

I agree with this, especially with the last item. If you really want to cook three things that will take five minutes each, you need to do that some time that isn't during the lunch rush.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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o_gal

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 06:12:09 AM »
I think the poll question is flawed - it asked for opinions on "no-questions-asked" maximum time. To me, that implied behavior where everyone just automatically waits, and to me, that is 3 minutes. Normally, that's for heating up leftovers. If the poll question had been something like "What is the maximum time to use a single shared office microwave in a large office?" then I would have voted 4-6 minutes. Because then people can ask you things, like whether it will more time after the initial cooking cycle (such as having to take it out and stir it, then put it back in for further cooking.)

tash112194

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 07:13:58 AM »
I frequently bring something that takes 3 and a half minutes in the microwave...
It's the longest 3 and a half minutes of my life.
And I work somewhere with a row of microwaves available, that are always full for at least the first 15 minutes of our half hour lunch break.
Although I do stand right in front of the microwave, so I'm out immediately. There are people who pop their stuff in and walk away. Since I refuse to touch anyone else's food, I leave it there even if the microwave has stopped, until they come back and get it. Many other people will take other's food out as soon as it hits 0.

z_squared82

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 08:25:45 AM »
When I worked in a call center, there were hundreds of us. We had staggered lunches and six microwaves. We also only had 30 minutes for lunch. I couldn't believe some people would use a third of their time heating a frozen dinner. And even with all those microwaves, there were days when people were fighting for cooking time.

I vote for 3 minutes. I really feel that anything beyond that and you're wasting other people's lunch break.

That said, if someone was routinely taking 10 minutes to heat up food, I'd make sure to bring nothing that needed heating to minimize my annoyance.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2016, 02:38:35 PM »
I think anything over 5 minutes is really pushing it.  If it happens occasionally, I would let it slide.  But someone who does it daily is causing a major inconvenience to their coworkers.

(Slightly off topic -- years ago, the owner of the company I worked for was using the microwave on his frozen entrée.  A line of people waiting to heat their food was building up, but no one wanted to say anything since it was the owner of the company.  Finally, someone walked in, glanced at the microwave, and asked who was using it.  "Oh, that's me.  Should only be a second or so though.  It's been going over a minute."  The other person pointed to the timer and said, "It says almost 11 more minutes to go.  I can take my lunch later."

The owner leaped forward.  "I set it for 2 minutes!"  He pulled a completely charred meal out.  We figured out later that he must have hit the timer one zero too many.  Instead of 2 minutes, he set it for 20.  Plus, he must not have had a good sense of time to not realize that way more than 2 minutes had passed.) 
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

#borecore

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2016, 12:37:22 PM »
I said 7-9 was fine, but I was thinking of a small office. My school has one working microwave at present for around 800 students (though we do typically not 100% overlap lunch times). Still, if I get there immediately after my 12:40 class is over, the end of far and away the most common class time, I am bound to be waiting behind 2-4 people --- and more like 8 people if I meander to the cafeteria.
If you know that's the norm (2 of 3 microwaves have been out of order for almost a year), I think you owe it to others to cook things that take less than 5 minutes, at least during peak times.

FauxFoodist

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2016, 12:49:08 AM »
Most of the microwave dinners I've eaten have a cooking time between 3 and 6 minutes.  Many of them have a "let sit for x minutes before eating", but I don't leave them to sit in the microwave during that time.

I had a CW who believed that the frozen dinner was supposed to actually sit in the microwave during that time.  I was so baffled I just didn't bother to argue the point with her (I did try to explain it to her as she blocked me from being to use the microwave during the time she was letting her food sit in it while the microwave was not running).  I was stuck on the fact that she would come upstairs and use the admin office microwave and take up one of the three seats in our breakroom, rather than using one of the multiple microwaves in her clinic's breakroom that had around twenty seats (I figured it was because no one liked her -- even employees at other locations didn't like her).

FauxFoodist

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2016, 12:58:00 AM »
When I worked in a call center, there were hundreds of us. We had staggered lunches and six microwaves. We also only had 30 minutes for lunch.

I worked for a call center once, too.  For my division, there were around 60 of us and one microwave.  Lunches were staggered, and I don't know how everyone figured out microwave use (I think a lot of people just didn't bring lunch).  I recall, once, using the microwave in the morning to heat up my coffee for 2-3 minutes.  One of my staff came along, opens the door while I'm in the middle of heating up my coffee, and tries to pop in her Cup O' Noodles, claiming she needs to save time so she's going to heat it up with my coffee.  I stopped her immediately, told her she needed to wait and that if my coffee heats up with her soup, it'll flavor my coffee *and* it'll make it take longer for my coffee to heat up.  She looked at me like I was nuts while my colleague agreed with me (but I think was just faking, actually).  Anyway, I didn't let it happen.  Employee stated she wouldn't be on time for her shift then, but my feeling was it wasn't my problem to give up using the microwave and/or having chicken-soup-flavored coffee because she wasn't willing to wait (she wouldn't have been late, incidentally; Employee was also known to be a chronic liar and just wanted her own way).

saki

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2016, 08:38:54 AM »
I think around 5 mins but that's partly because, until reading the thread, I hadn't considered the possibility of frozen meals.  I have never seen anyone bring one of those into work - it's usually left-overs or chilled soup from the supermarket or something. 

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Microwave Sharing - How much cook time is always OK?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2016, 01:03:59 PM »
In my office, 50% of people bring frozen meals. However, since we aren't on scheduled breaks, it isn't a problem most of the time.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien