In this installment of WTF, Columbia, Bwog reveals a tramatic experience with the notorious laundry system.
Two days ago, I spent my morning attempting to open a washing machine with a metal squeegee. Why, you ask? What could have possibly driven me to such MacGyver-esque (though admittedly crazy) behavior? The star of many a nightmare: Columbia laundry.
Let’s rewind. When I wandered down to the Schapiro laundry room at 10:30 am, the timer on the washing machine said my clothes had one minute left. Five minutes later, there was still one minute left. After ten minutes, I started suspecting that either a) the Schapiro laundry room had somehow broken free of the time-space continuum or b) something was fucked up.
My suspicions started to lean toward the latter when the washing machine started violently shaking. After attempting to bodily hold it down and force the door open with my superhuman strength, I decided to be an adult and call maintenance. No answer. Considering the possibility that my jeans would be forever stranded in the laundry netherworld, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
One minute in Schapiro-laundry-time twenty-five minutes later, I had tried everything from unplugging the machine itself (FYI not possible) to using the aforementioned squeegee (found on top of a dryer) as a lever to force the door open. Defeated, I started counting the change in my pocket and wondering if I had enough quarters to buy a new pair of jeans. In one last fit of frustration, I gave the washer a kick, slipped in a puddle, and ended up on my ass.
As I sat in that disguising, slightly-soapy-but-mostly-just-dirty puddle and watched all my pants get slowly eaten by the Washer From Hell, I had an epiphany: I should not have to physically wrestle a washing machine in order to get clean clothes. Doing laundry should not be this way.
Yes, yes, I’m sure almost every single Columbia student has come to this conclusion at some point or another (when you have to dry your clothes four times, when over half the machines are out of order, when you see a cockroach in a dryer and decide there is no goodness in the world – take your pick). But after a certain point, we’ve come to lower our expectations so dramatically that we’re excited when a dryer actually does its job. News flash: dryers are supposed to work on the first try.
To be honest, I can’t tell if our laundry machines are ridiculously fragile or
they’re haunted by vengeful spirits if they never actually get fixed, but the outcome is the same regardless. The entire process – wash, re-wash (because you accidentally chose the one that doesn’t spin and now everything smells like mildew), dry, re-dry, triple-dry, run out of money – takes up way too much time and energy. Not to mention valuable quarters you could be spending on half a subway ride or a fourth of a beer.
I mean, at least people aren’t shitting on our clothes like at Yale, but I feel like that should really be a given.
So I ask you, Columbia: WTF is up with the laundry situation? Every week (or two weeks if you’re lazy/ have a lot of underwear), the entire campus has to go through the same ordeal. Is it too much to ask that we have machines that work?
The struggle is real via Wikimedia