Buck Jeppson was frightened.
"There was so much strange stuff," says the manager at a software company in Alexandria, Va. "The smells were awful. Things were splattered all over the top and walls. Luckily, nothing was moving."
Jeppson is referring, of course, to the office microwave, that fast-food wonder that has single-handedly extended the life of leftovers in offices across the land and shortened the separation time between employees and their desks. Two years ago, Jeppson's company replaced the former model, encrusted with God only knows what, with a new one. It has come to the same end. Leftovers in hand, Jeppson opened the microwave door one day and his appetite went AWOL for three days, he says.
The appliance, a camouflaging black, has a sign that reads, "Please cover your food." At first, the sign seemed aimed at preventing splatter. Now, its meaning confers to him more of a ...