Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why I Will Never Use the Basement Laundry Again

Tonight was going to be just any other night, coming home, doing the laundry, going to bed.  So far, so good.

I had just finished washing my clothes and had one load in a dryer, waiting on one of the other three to become available.  Another tenant arrived and removed his clothes with 18 minutes left on his machine.  He told me he was done and I could finish off the time remaining if I'd like.  "Thank you!" I said and loaded my clothes into the dryer.  Even if I had to add time after the initial 18 minutes passed it was worth it to get a head start on finishing this chore.

He took his dry clothes and left and after no more than two or three minutes a woman entered, marched to the dryer that I had been gifted and then turned to me, finger pointing at the dryer, screaming that I had stolen her dryer. I explained that the gentlemen before me had finished and allowed me to us the remainder of time that he had on it.  She continued screaming, flailing her arms wildly, and repeating that I had stolen her dryer time.  In her yelling she said that she had added quarters for the machine beneath the one I was using and that it was broken and that the one I was in was somehow using her quarters.  I tried to explain that it would only do that if she pressed the start button on the active dryer and that I was only using what was left of the previous user's time.

She launched into a full verbal shriek, threatening to beat me.  She marched up to me, got in my face, and screamed that if I didn't take my clothes out of that dryer right then she would "kick ass".  I backed away from her, at this point nearly pinned up against one of the folding tables.  I managed to slip away and began to hastily remove my clothes for fear that she would actually fulfill her threat and turn physical.  Once I had removed my clothes and put them into a rolling bin I turned to see her run toward me, trying to shove her groin at me, screaming at me to "get in there" and pointing to her crotch.

I asked her to stop, explained that if she did come closer I would call the police.  "Call the police!  I'm from this neighborhood."  Not sure what that could mean I decided to leave the laundry area and find the superintendent.  I walked through the basement to his apartment and knocked repeatedly on his door.  I was shaken by the incident and incredibly afraid that she was insane and would snap even further if I didn't get help.  But he did not answer his door.  At this point I just wanted to get my belongings.  I was frightened for myself but also worried about what she might do to my wet clothes so I returned to the laundry area to watch them.

My first load was drying so I took a seat and tried to ignore her.  She continued to try and egg on a fight which I simply ignored.  At this point she remained on the opposite side of the room staring me down.  From her seat she still continued to yell at me so I decided to step away to where I could get cell phone reception and and call the realtor's office to see if I could get any assistance.  The office was closed but I left a voicemail message on their legal departments answering service.

I was afraid to stay but afraid to leave my clothes behind.  I stayed, but kept my distance and focused on my dryer, watching the timer tick away.  After some time she stepped out, "If you need me the super knows which apartment is mine."  She said this calmly, but sternly, as though an entirely new personality had just arrived.  She walked away and I waited a few minutes until I heard the elevator open, her step in, and it closed.

At this point I grabbed my belongings, dry AND wet, threw them into my rolling cart and hurried back to my apartment.

I also sent a detailed email to the agent assigned to my rental account at the realtor's office.  I thought it was important that someone in their office know about this incident in the event that something else happens in the future.

As it is, I'm not going to be going back to the building's laundry room.  I'll take my clothes to a public laundromat or pay the extra cost to drop it off for wash and fold service somewhere.

The moral of this story: If you happen to live here and someone goes completely insane on you grab your dripping duds and get the hell out before they completely snap and you become a headline in the Post.

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