After graduating from State University after 7 years of grueling undergraduate
engineering classes, you go to work for XYZ Industries. XYZ Industries manufactures
microwave ovens and other kitchen gadgets. You are hired into a low-level engineering
position and as your first task you are asked to test a series of microwave ovens to test
their defrosting capability. You proceed to your lab where you find a few dozen microwave
ovens in their boxes waiting for you to start your test. You notice that every brand of
microwave oven is here, including all of XYZs competitors brands.
You unpack all of the microwave ovens and begin your tests. It is kind of boring
testing microwave ovens (you have to wait up to five minutes to defrost some of the test
items), so you begin to dig through the cabinets in your lab to see what is there. You
quickly find out that this is used to be the lab where they tested the microwave oven
doors for radiation permeability (the amount of radiation that could escape through the
glass door of the microwave ovens). You find a neat little piece of hand-held equipment
which apparently was used to measure radiation levels. Being an engineer, you cant
resist trying it out. You switch on the meter and point it around the room and out the
window, etc. You notice that when you point it at some of the microwave ovens it goes off
the scale. You quickly turn off all of the other microwaves, and discover that the reading
is not some fluke. The microwave ovens you are standing in front of are emitting
higher-than-average levels of radiation. You look and discover that one of the ovens is
from XYZ and the other is from ABC, XYZs arch-rival. These microwave ovens are
currently the best-selling ovens on the market, because they are the cheapest ones
available. It appears that these bargain ovens may not be as safe as they seem.
Seeing something fishy, you decide to look around a little more. You find the test
report that discusses the radiation emissions from all of XYZs models of microwave
ovens. You learn that only the top of the line and the mid-level microwaves were tested.
The bargain ovens results had been extrapolated from the test results from the other
ovens. What should you do?