I get in the elevator, open the lock, and press the button to take me to the basement level laundry room.
Since it is 2:30 in the afternoon, I'm not expecting many people to be doing their laundry.
But my expectations hit a snag as I see that all three washers and both dryers are in use. And one of the washers is out of service.
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I stare at the digital read-outs. There won't be a single available machine for at least 22 minutes. Great.
I go back up to the apartment and get back on the Internet, hunting for any news about Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour, which will be opening in Cardiff - while I'm doing laundry in New York. There's something very depressing about this.
A half hour later, I head back down to the laundry room. I get off the elevator and see two Hispanic women inside. One is emptying one of the dryers, the other is opening one of the washers.
I stand at the door and wait. The younger girl emptying the washer looks at me - and then looks away.
Because of the size of the laundry room, there is no way for me to get in while she's standing there. She doesn't say anything to me, even though it's pretty obvious that I need a machine. I sighed and everything.
Maybe she doesn't speak English, I think to myself. Or maybe she's here illegally and has been told not to talk to anyone.
She begins to talk to the older, plump Hispanic woman in Spanish. So, fine. She doesn't speak English, but she can still acknowledge my presence or motion to me that she will only be one minute and that I can use the machine when she is done.
She continues to ignore me, but takes her time casually plucking the 524 individual items out for sorting.
Enough of this.
I notice that the machine next to the one she is emptying is already empty, so I decide to be just as rude and squeeze myself in there, slowly placing my items into the open mouth of the empty machines, then using the second machine when she finally finishes emptying it of her rags.
Because I know I'm in her way, I take my time to add my detergent, pop in my quarters and close the lid on the machine, leisurely checking the clock on the wall. I make a note of what time to return.
The skinny girl leaves the laundry room, and while she's waiting for the elevator, makes a phone call.
"Yeah, I just have one load left and then..." (the door opened and I couldn't hear the rest)
So, the little bitch does speak English, and was deliberately rude. She must
30 minutes later...
I approach the elevator and press the button. The door opens and I see the skinny little bitch standing there, playing with her Blackberry. I would love to see the look on her face as I smacked it out of her hand. This little fantasy causes me to smirk. I turn to the button panel and use my key to unlock access to the laundry room. She says nothing to me, and I assume that she is going to the first floor and not the basement.
The elevator continues to drop below the first floor and there is no reaction from her, like, "Shit, I forget to press 1!"
I just realize what she did.
She couldn't be bothered to turn the lock herself. When she saw me she knew where I was going and just let me do it instead. What if I hadn't shown up? Did she even have a key?
Knowing that she is going to the laundry room, I cut her off and exit the elevator first.
I stand in front of my machines while I wait for them to stop. I have one hand on each, protectively.
The bitch goes to the third machine and pulls out the contents, and placing them in the dryer. I take my time pulling my items out of the machines and put them in the tub to bring them to the second dryer.
The bitch leaves, yakking on her cell phone that she's almost done.
And then, the strangest thing happens. Her dryer turns itself off for ten minutes straight! What a shame. Now she'll have to spend that much more time waiting for her laundry to finish.
Too bad I didn't have any Cheetos.