The ten second rule of the microwave

12 January 2022
microwave oven timer

If your office has a shared kitchen, chances are that the microwave oven is in use for most of the day; warming up food, warming up coffee, making noodles…

I've noticed a pattern; most of the time when I get to the microwave, the timer shows 9 seconds left.


My theory is that most people using the microwave for warming up food / warming up coffee / making noodles get too impatient to wait for the cycle to end. No matter whether they have set the time for 30 seconds, or a minute, or five minutes, when the countdown hits ten seconds, they decide "F*ck it", pop the door open, retrieve their stuff, and off they go.

The timer ends up at 9 seconds because of the time delay between the subconscious decision to open the door, and actually doing so.

I wonder how many other things we do impatiently…

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