I remember writing something about this topic several years ago, but still it comes back to haunt me. The problem is that my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) and my son (Joseph the Commonsense Challenged) both seem to regard loading the dishwasher as a competitive form of tic-tac-toe.

Why? (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Max Maxfield)

To an outside observer (or an inside observer in the case of your humble narrator), it would appear they both perceive an empty dishwasher to be a challenge, and they are determined to use the first item they insert to block the maximum possible number of moves by the next player, which — once again — would be yours truly.

I have to confess that I simply do not understand the rationale here. It seems obvious to me that the world would be a better and happier place if everyone were to use an optimal packing strategy so as to facilitate the maximum number of dishes to be washed at the same time, thereby conserving energy and minimizing water usage whilst also ensuring the little rascal isn’t obliged to run 24/7/365 because of gross inefficiencies in the loading technique.

And, whilst we’re on this topic, why on earth would anyone orient plates in a dishwasher such that their dirty sides face toward the outside walls? Even if it doesn’t actually affect the ultimate outcome, surely it’s common sense (which isn’t as common as it used to be) to load the dishes such that their dirty sides face inwards toward the spinning jets of steaming hot water.

I seem to recall someone commenting to my previous column on this topic saying that, whenever he and his wife happened to be in the market for a new dishwasher, he took a set of their plates, cutlery, and a select collection of other utensils down to the store with him to make sure that everything fit as required. “Genius!” I thought, quickly followed by, “Now, there’s an engineer!”

What do you think? Is this just a case of engineers (who have a clue) versus non-engineers (who don’t), or is it a left-brain versus right-brain kind of thing, or is some other factor at play?