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Tales of the Laundromat Game

27 Dec

December 27, 2010

Longtime readers of my blog, if any survive, may recall that I’ve written extensively about my adventures in the Laundromat. Here is were I pissed off a guy watching Jeopardy, and this is the blog where I ran into an old boss and we both pretended not to see each other. There are a few more, but you can look them up in the index. On the other hand, maybe you shouldn’t. Your mental health is a precious thing.

This particular tale is a bit of an oddity as I didn’t hang around in the Laundromat  but simply dropped off my stuff and left. We do this for things like towels and sheets, things that accumulate to loads so large that it is cheaper to let the Laundromat do them for us than to use three machines and fold fold fold all day. I have better things to do with my time, like… I’ll get back to you.

On this particular occasion, my load was relatively small, just a comforter and a pair of bed ruffles. Bed ruffles are cool because they hide all the junk I kick under my bed while simultaneously allowing me to indulge in my frilly feminine side. Um, if I had one, I mean. The comforter is so big that it is just a pain to wash and dry so I let them do it. All of this was shoved into a yellow laundry bad with a small (large)  rip in it near the seam where the string runs.  No, I am not being cheap by not buying a new laundry bag. So what if I can’t pull it closed, it still holds the laundry, right? Get off my back, me.

So to reiterate for those of you already bored by this but haven’t yet surfed over to TMZ, the load I dropped off at the Laundromat consisted of:
1- a black and grey comforter,
2- two blue bed ruffles
3- a yellow bag, the comforter and ruffles within.

They handed me a receipt and said it would be ready the next day.

How could anything go wrong?

I actually had a problem with this place once before. I dropped off a load of laundry containing a mix of towels, sheets, and one comforter (again with the comforter). Like always, I put the sack on the scale, they weighed it, asked my for my phone number and put it all into their Super Bat-Laundry Computer (remember this, it gets important later) and it spit out a receipt with my phone number on top (remember this, it gets important later) and the price on the bottom. They then attached a copy of that receipt (with my phone number on top- remember this, it gets important later)  to my laundry. I left, happy and secure in the knowledge that when I returned in a few days I would have nice clean laundry.

When I returned a few days later I did not have nice clean laundry.

I handed the guy behind the counter the slip. He started to look at all the bags behind the counter. “It’s a yellow bag,” I said, trying to be helpful. He kept looking at all the bags. (Remember this too, as well as the phone number thing, it will be also important later. Is this annoying?)

The bag wasn’t behind the counter, nor was it in the bask of the store, not was it, I swear, under the tiny pile of mail he peeked under either. Turns out the bag was right under his nose. Or right under his knees, at any rate. The bag was under the counter. And it was not washed.

The guy read the slip and told me that they didn’t wash it. I could see that. Why wasn’t it washed? Because the laundry had a comforter in it. Ah, Ok. Huh?

While most loads get charged by the pound, comforters are done at a flat rate of $10 each. So the bag had the wrong price on it. After finding the bag the guy explained it all to me, took out the comforter, reweighed the bag, and added ten bucks. It was all ready a couple of days later.

Are you satisfied with that story? Is something niggling at the back of you brain? Forget anything? Hey- I told you to remember the phone number. Three times! This Laundromat had my phone number and for whatever reason they simply shoved my bag under the counter instead of, and this would have made a whole lot sense, calling me to straighten it out. It is what a good business does.

As I was to find out, this is not a good business.

Let’s jump forward, shall we? To the actual point of this blog, the yellow bag with the comforter and the pair of bed ruffles I dropped off about ten paragraphs and a million brain cells back.

About a week after dropping it off, I went back for my laundry. Why didn’t I go back sooner? When was the last time you heard of one comforter and two bed ruffles being a rush job? I do my laundry and dry cleaning once a week on Saturdays, so sue me. It wasn’t like I didn’t have another comforter sleep under.

But I digress.

I handed the guy behind the counter the slip. He started to look at all the bags behind the counter. “It’s a yellow bag,” I said, trying to be helpful. He kept looking at all the bags. (Remember this too, as well as the phone number thing, it will be also important later. Is this annoying?)

The bag wasn’t behind the counter, nor was it in the bask of the store, not was it, I swear, under the tiny pile of mail he peeked under either.

Recognize that? That’s the beauty of “cut and paste.” Why come up with a new paragraph when THE EXACT SAME THING happened again? I only have so many words in my brain, no need to waste them. I may want to rant and rave about the Laundromat when I’m old and senile.

But yes, the same thing happened again, except that the bag was not under the counter this time. After looking everywhere, the guy had to admit defeat and tell me he couldn’t find my laundry. But just before he could do so, and before I could launch into some kind of Seinfeld-like monologue, somebody came out from the back holding my bag.

I’ve been in this store a lot. I’ve been dropping off my laundry there, and usually getting it back clean, for months. However, I’ve never seen this particular Morlock before. She and/or he was about four feet tall but with the feet of a giant. the hair was a strange combination of dreadlocks and ironed flat. The clothes seemed to be from the 80’s. The 1880’s. This creature hauled my bag out of the back, grunted, and dropped it at the counter guy’s feet.

The guy handed me the bag and charged me ten dollars, which I paid despite my better judgment. Why? First, the price could not be right. Ten was the price of the comforter, but what about the ruffles? Second, the bag was not neatly tied like every bag they return. It was hanging open like when I brought it in. Third, the comforter wasn’t folded, it seemed to have been just shoved in the bag, just as I had brought it in. Clearly, something was wrong. I had a strong suspicion that the laundry was not washed.

So why did I pay? I’m not sure. The whole thing seemed so surreal I just wanted to get my stuff and get out. I had already decided that I was never coming back.

Yet I did go back.
The very next day.

All day it was pissing me off that I paid ten dollars and got my dirty laundry in return. So the next day I went back to the Laundromat and spoke to the other counter person. She pulled out the receipts and showed me that they indicated that my load was washed. It had a washer number, a dryer number, and a time. I told her that my nose indicated that the bag did not smell like it was washed, my eyes indicated that it was not folded, and my mouth indicated that I wanted either my laundry done or my ten dollars back. She told me that she’d have to talk to the boss, who wouldn’t be in until late the next afternoon.

What kind of place is this where the person running it doesn’t have the authority to rewash a comforter for a disgruntled regular customer? And over a measly ten dollars? Don’t answer, those are just rhetorical questions and don’t require answers  (like “when did you stop beating your wife,” and “how fucked up is congress?”). So I left the stuff and came back a couple of days later, which happened to be Christmas Eve.

Perhaps that explained the present I received from the Laundromat: a brand new laundry bag.

Well, no, not really. It wasn’t a new laundry bag, it was an old laundry bag which I had never seen before. Inside were my comforter, all nicely folded, and my two bed ruffles, neat and clean. They were inside a large blue plastic recycling bag, which had then been placed in a sort of shabby and clearly used square laundry bag, the kind that stands on its own and looks like a suitcase, if a suitcase could be said to be foldable and made of plaid plastic.

I told the woman that it wasn’t my bag. She got one of those “here we go again” looks on her face and said “I don’t believe those guys” so it wasn’t me she was pissed at. She looked around for my bag and I told her to forget it, the bag was ripped anyway (but still in better shape than the thing we got back.) So I took the laundry, in the blue recycling bag, and left the other thing behind.

I just wonder what is going to happen when someone gets their laundry in my old bag.

I just don’t see how it happened. When I do the laundry the last thing I toss in the machine is the laundry bag. Who wants to put clean laundry back into a dirty bag? So why wouldn’t a professional place do the bag too?

So three strikes and they’re out. In my area there are three other Laundromats within walking distance, and one has a big parking lot so I don’t even have to walk.

On the other hand, as I’ve said before, maybe I should do my laundry at home.

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3 Responses to “Tales of the Laundromat Game”

  1. Allan Keyes December 28, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    the kind that stands on its own and looks like a suitcase, if a suitcase could be said to be foldable and made of plaid plastic.

    >>> You know, the kind of “plastic” that’s about 87% post-recycled non-recycleable materials. The kind that only homeless people use to store their pungent posessions. The kind of bag that if someone handed to you, your first reaction would be “get this sh*t away from me, now I have to wash my hands”

    Who even makes those rotten things? Is that possibly the most useless manufactured product on the market?!??!

    Like

    • bmj2k December 28, 2010 at 12:46 am #

      Uh, yeah, that’s the bag…

      Like

  2. Thomas Stazyk December 31, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    First, I’d forgotten about Morlocks–thanks! I’ll start using it regularly.

    Second, I can relate to your comforter problem. I had the same problem with an English challenged clerk once. He didn’t know what it was I had to draw a picture of a bed and show how it works. Then I got the “we no do” speech.

    Like

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