In my office, we take dinnerware-related tasks in weekly turns that consist of getting dirty dishes and cutlery around the office, stuffing them in the dishwasher and organising them in cupboards, making sure nothing comes out dirty (and keeping that in the dishwasher, if it happens). We're 20-somethings in the office, so the dishwasher is turned on almost daily.
There's a rule, though, that might collide with the dishwasher duties. We're told to hand wash our stuff if the dishwasher is running. Well, this rule has been interpreted in the way that "you must never leave a dish in the sink" by some people. I confess, I've left from time to time a dried mug or a really dirty dish in the sink, with soap and water, to make it easier for the dishwasher to remove the stains, only when the dishwasher was not working and with dirty stuff. Even during my turn.
I've found dishes in the sink during my turn, and I simply put them in the washer, no complaints, and never found it being a terrible part of a task you decide to take or not (so, basically you have the option to hand wash all your stuff and skip kitchen turns, or use the dishwasher and take turns).
At some point in the past, a colleague (let's call him John) emailed the whole office (bosses included) mentioning heavy stuff like "Stop leaving dirty dishes in the sink, you PIGS", bold being mine, but capital letters are John's. The reason was that, during John's turn, somebody left some dishes in the sink. He wrote things like "I don't need to wash your disgusting stuff" or "This is not a student's flat, behave like grown ups". You know, all these sentences are pretty offensive.
This specific email has been put back to life lately by one of my bosses (so she endorses the email), quoting that same problem (dishes in the sink), but politely saying we should make a collective effort to keep the kitchen clean, even out of one's turn. That's okay. However, many others started going mad and quoting John's email, threatening the rest they'd go on a crusade to chase anyone leaving stuff in the sink.
I've left dishes there at least twice not during my turn, and those swears offend me, as I left them on purpose, to ease the person in turn's job. I'd have said something, but I'm afraid I get confronted, considered a troublemaker or even retaliated in one way or another (we caught an intern leaving coffee bags and he had to remove the bags of the whole office for a day). Since one of the boss also supports this, I'm only missing the other boss, who laughed at me when I told him I did it from time to time.
What can anyone do, in a pressing situation like this?