Today was my first day doing laundry.

Okay, I’ll amend that statement. It was my first time doing laundry in the basement of my residence hall. I’ve done laundry in other places before, but this was a bit different.

First, I didn’t know where to swipe my ID card and had to go ask before I found the black box off to the side of all of the washers. I successfully swiped my card and then proceeded to the washer and started loading the laundry in. I was distracted by the buttons for “Whites”, “Colors”, and “Darks”. I tried pressing “Colors” repeatedly and with more force each time to no avail. When I covertly looked to see if the one person sitting in the chairs off to the side noticed my obvious inability, I was happy to find she had not. I then finished adding my clothes as if I knew how to make the button work. I even added my detergent in the right slot after ruling out the slots for “bleach” and “fabric softener”.

My first epiphany came at this point. Maybe once I closed the door with all my clothes inside, the buttons would work? I was correct.

The rest of the washing process went as planned. I waited for the timer to count down to zero and transferred my clothes to the dryer (I only dropped one thing and, fortunately, no one noticed). Then I went to the black box again, swiped my card and typed in the number for the dryer. It took the correct amount of money and I watched to make sure it would start.

It didn’t.

I swiped two more times, trying different things as I went along. Nothing worked. I wandered over to the dryer, wondering if I had gotten the faulty machine. But then I noticed the buttons. Buttons! I pressed the one for “Colors” and the dryer started. Brilliant, right?

Someone got a few free dries and I learned how to use the laundry machines on campus. All for under $5!


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