Allow me to explain.
We live in a building that has roughly 30 apartments, give or take. To these 30 apartments, there are 2 washers, and 2 dryers.
Adding to that it costs $3.00 to wash (yes that is per load) and $2.00 to dry.
Not only does some serious strategizing take place on the bus on my way home from work, then it’s a race to the laundry room before some other unsuspecting person who thinks they got home early enough to wash their clothes gets it.
Get into apartment. Straight shot to hamper. Bag clothes – darks first. Count out quarters. S*!t! Not enough. Grab cash. All cash. Don’t forget detergent. And keys! Lug all down to basement.
That is literally how my first 5 minutes home from work went.
All was going swimmingly (aside from the fact that someone before me decided to use powder detergent and got it ALL OVER the washing machine) and I was able to get my 2 dark loads in the wash, get an extra $10 in quarters from the change machine and even remembered dryer sheets. They had their stuff in the dryer so I mentally timed it so that when their dryer was done I’d be all over it.
Yes the landlord charges us $5 to wash/dry one load but conveniently puts a change machine down there. Ugh.
Then I got distracted Watching “The Next Food Network Star” and was 20 minutes behind getting my clothes. I figured that would give the person ahead of me an extra 30 minutes to get their stuff and didn’t think twice about it.
I went downstairs figuring I timed it perfectly. Quarters in hand, I was ready to put my darks in the dryers (1 load of our gym clothes, 1 load of regular clothes) and the whites in the wash… when it dawned on me that person-before-me hadn’t taken their stuff out of the dryers yet.
I was going to be that person.
I stalled as long as I could. I cleaned the lint filters, I lined up my quarters, I sorted my hang-drys… crickets.
I just went for it.
I swiftly got both their loads out of the dryer and on top, my loads in, whites in the washer, hang-drys in one hand (never dry your Lululemon!), detergent in the other, keys in the pocket and in the middle of an all out sprint up the stairs to unlock our front door when I heard swift footsteps.
Loosing all sense of reason I ditched the keys in the hallway once I had the door open and bolted inside the apartment with the hang-drys and detergent (aka evidence it was me) and slammed the door as the person headed down to the laundry room to get their clothes from the top of the dryer. (Once the coast was clear, I retrieved the keys).
Did I feel guilty? Yes.
Was my heart slamming in my chest? Yes. (I hate confrontations).
Did I feel it was reasonable as I even allowed them 30 extra minutes to get their stuff before I went down, making them hugely irresponsible? Yes.
Do I rationalize everything? Yes.
In the end, I decided that I did what I had to do. I was on a schedule, I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone else came down to do laundry, and quite frankly when you have a communal laundry area with 2 washer/dryers I think it’s really important to be timely and considerate that there are other people waiting.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not still nervously thinking about it! 😉
Have you ever been “that” person? Have you ever had a communal laundry “room”? What are your thoughts about people that leave their clothes down there for-ev-er?