- Anirudh Rowjee
I hate loading the dishwasher.
Or rather, I used to hate loading the dishwasher. I used to hate it with a passion, and would try to get out of the job whenever it was assigned to me. It sucked, and I had the least interest in doing it. I would try to escape whenever I could.
So what changed?
On my th or so trip to the dishwasher from the kitchen sink, I came upon a realization. The dishwasher is structured in a way that doesn't really allow you to be extremely liberal with your placement of dishes, which implies the existence of a set of rules by which you load the dishwasher, to achieve optimal cleaning. Here's an image of the inside of a dishwasher for reference - (and no, this is not a rant about dishwasher design - bear with me for a minute.)
The spray arms at the bottom and the middle make for some very interesting constraints, because you need to maximize the surface area of the grimiest portions of the dishes you want cleaned. With this constraint in mind, it would only beg one to think - given my collection of dishes, is there such a thing as the most optimal solution in terms of loading dishes here? What is the maximum amount of overlap that two utensils can have which will still clean them both? Does the Spray Arm vary water pressure, and if so, could we take advantage of that somehow?
The other portion of the problem that would be interesting to probe is the transport of utensils/dishes from the kitchen sink to the dishwasher - if they're in the same place, well and good, but if not, that imposes some other constraints. Some other questions arise - which portion of the dishwasher do you fill first? If you need to walk a bit to get from the sink to the dishwasher, what criteria would you order utensils by while transporting them (this would have been particularly relevant if you, like me, wanted to spend as less time as possible doing this)? By batching the utensils by tray or by size, could you transport them faster to finish the loading faster? There are a great many questions to be answered and lessons to be learned from this, and if you'd like to probe any of these questions in depth, please reach out to me - my mom will be very happy that someone wants to take on this duty (for the sake of science, of course).
A lot of things in life are similar to loading the dishwasher, especially how I described it in the second paragraph.
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we'd rather not be in, such as being made to load the dishwasher, or writing exams - but what I've come to learn so far is that if you manage to find the "secret" set of rules that govern everything, things become much easier for you. If you like problem solving, then this is perfect! There's so much to learn and find out.
I think i've to adopt this approach to all things in life, and I'm definitely bound to have a better time if I do (If someone knows the hidden rules for the first year of engineering, please part with your secrets in the comment section). Even if I don't have a better time, I'll hopefully learn something new, and that's a win-win for me.
And until then, I'll be here -
loading the dishwasher looking for the hidden rules of life.