The Stink of Progress

In response to the Labor prompt at Writingthe200.


Seymour rued the day microwave ovens were invented. He remembers clearly when he first introduced the novelty appliance into the breakroom of Seymour & Sons Enterprises. All it was initially good for was burning popcorn while everyone kept their distance, ducking behind cubicle walls and filing cabinets while rubbing hands in nervous anticipation of the buzzer and delivery of chemically flavored treats.

For almost a year the thing sat mostly unused before adventurous souls experimented with heating water and cups of soup, gradually stepping up their game to warming bagels and reheating cold coffee. Those were the days, thought Seymour.

Then the gizmo’s popularity exploded. The offices came under constant bombardment of ungainly stinks that required constant febreezing. Seymour posted signs throughout the breakroom prohibiting the cooking of popcorn or seafood. Bad smells persisted. His minions, incapable of producing simple reports without putting in overtime, proved crafty in devising recipes that left the entire floor reeking like a third world food court.

In desperation, Seymour finally pulled the plug on the wretched machine and hauled it out to the dumpster. Unfortunately, he pulled a muscle in doing so. The microwaveable heating pads in the first aid station offered no comfort.

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