I just now almost got into a fight. And I do mean just now — as in only about 20 minutes ago.

I was in our apartment’s laundry room, waiting to do some emergency laundry. (We’ve all been there — underwear, socks, towels and the like.) I had a load of laundry to do and it had to get done tonight. All the washing machines were taken, and I waited ten minutes next to a washer filled with someone’s already-finished wash. That’s ten minutes spent just staring at the only would-be available machine. I finally got fed up and took the guy’s clean laundry out… only for him to walk in right after I did it.

He… didn’t seem happy. In fact, he seemed seconds away from punching me.

“Look, buddy, you should expect this to happen when you take up the last three machines in a communal laundry room and not take your stuff out on time. We only have 6 machines to share between over 100 people, and I’ve waited 15, 20, 40 minutes before for people to take their finished laundry out. I waited ten minutes for you and I just assumed you were another one of the loafers in our apartment complex. If I had known you were going to come in just five more minutes, I would’ve waited.”

“Um… sorry.”

He went on to berate me (because I confessed that I did it when he questioned me and I apologized) and finished by saying, “In the future, wait a little longer for someone to get their laundry!”
He then very tersely walked out of the room and closed the door behind him.

I don’t entirely blame him for his reaction (although he got angrier than I thought anyone would over this), but am I in the wrong? Can you blame me for what I did?
I don’t like to touch other people’s clean laundry any more than I like touching my dirty laundry — I avoid it at all opportunities. But goddammit, it’s just rude to not keep track of your crap in that situation.

At least I actually waited for the guy, fessed up to taking his stuff out when questioned and genuinely apologized afterwards. He still looked like he wanted to punch my face in, though.

Here’s the bad news: Assuming he’s now on top of things, I’m going to run into him again tonight when I put my wash into the dryer and he takes his stuff out. I hope he didn’t spend all his time stewing over this and decks me the second he sees me.

UPDATE: As expected, I ran into him. We exchanged glances (his glance was more of a scowl) and that was that. We both internally decided to just leave it alone; he already said all he wanted to and I wanted to let sleeping dogs lie out of fear of a face-punching. DRAMA AVERTED!


6 Responses to FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

  1. Darby says:

    You know what I would do? I’d probably ask the apartment complex to post some general laundry etiquette rules (i.e. in a prominent, obvious place in the laundry room. I’d even offer to make them the sign, in bright yellow with black text, so no one can miss it.

    But a lot of apartment complex managers are jerks, or indifferent, and might not be keen. Still, it’s what I’d do in an effort to take away a jerk’s justification for being a jerk. It’d help to have a sign to point to for support in your position.

  2. Boone says:

    They do have a sign of laundry rules (and I’ve read it), but I don’t remember what it says exactly. I know it says that management holds no responsibility for lost laundry and that people are supposed to keep track of when their laundry is finished. It also says the rules on how to operate the machines, etc.

    Thing is, I wouldn’t get pissed if someone did the same thing to me unless A] they took out my stuff in mid-cycle, which I didn’t, and/or B] they threw my crap on the ground, which I didn’t–I put his laundry on top of an available dryer. If anything, I saved him time and effort. He should’ve thanked me… or not. You get my point.

  3. John says:

    You should have raped him.

  4. Harz says:

    I’ve been in situations like this far too often in my life, and I have come up with one simple solution to it all–just look more intimidating than 90% of the people out there. I began doing heavy weight-lifting a number of years ago, and even though I am only 5 foot 7, nobody dares to give me dirty scowls or act like they want to punch my face in, because I appear that I could punch theirs in HARDER. Hahaha, I know it is a pretty childish solution, but you have to admit that a good 75% of the people out there have childish IQs, and if my arms are more ripped than theirs, they leave me be. Even though I am the nicest guy you could ever know in person, hahaha. =]

  5. Page says:

    Would he have been mad if you’d folded his laundry?

    Hell, it certainly would have weirded him out. No one’s going to hit you if they’re a little worried about your sanity.

    You could have told him he needs new underwear.

  6. veinglory says:

    If the laundry is done, you can take it out. I don;t know what his problem is. he should try living in my apartment block where I was late to get my laundry out fo the machine and someone put it straight in the rubbish bin. Passive aggressive much?

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