In both my work and private life, I often resort to the “put it down somewhere” method of filing. That method worked well enough when I was still a kid, when I had our mom cleaning up after me, and also as a bachelor, living alone, when I would be able to memorize where in which pile a certain item was located. Every now and then, I would get a bout of cleaning and get my room or apartment in order.
When you live together with a partner, you have to adjust, of course. One big adjustment for me was very similar to the problem presented in today’s comic. You see, I was socialized for 20 years to put dirty dishes on top of the dishwasher, because our mom would rather load the dishwasher herself, according to her personal system. I kept that habit. In fact, I still think it’s the better way of doing this, because I would just put down my coffee mug, plate, glass or whatever in passing, and when the right opportunity would present itself, e.g. when I’d waiting for something to be microwaved, I would put all the items inside at the same time, thus saving time up to that point and being more efficient while sorting.
Now I do things my wife’s way. That means, for every single item I happen to wander into the kitchen with, I open the dishwasher and put it inside. It’s not a big deal. In a marriage you have to pick your battles and this was not a hill I was willing to die on. But consider this: Let’s say it takes me six seconds (rough guess) each time to open the dishwasher, find a spot and put in a coffee mug. Those are six seconds I could already be on my way upstairs into my office or do something else. Let’s say I only do this four times extra per day, which is a generously low estimate. That would mean in 40 years of marriage I spend 6 x 4 x 365 x 40 = 350.400 seconds extra loading the dishwasher. Divide this number by 60 seconds and 60 minutes and you get to close a hundred hours or twelve 8h workdays extra time of loading the dishwasher.
That whole calculation hinges on the assumption that I would only really load the dishwasher in otherwise unproductive time spans. But on the other hand, I still think loading a dishwasher one item at a time is way less efficient than when you have a clear idea of which items you need to sort.
Weirdly enough, my wife was not impressed with my impeccable logic and math.
Ah, the things we do for love!