Context: I live in an apartment building that contracts out it’s washers and dryers. The company that handles them has been doing a lousy job lately. I had to deal with a broken dryer twice recently and today I had to deal with a broken washer.
Dear laundry machine customer service guy,
You might think I’m overreacting to your company’s broken machine. You may think my response is out of proportion, even though this is the third time in a row I’ve had to deal with a machine that didn’t work right. Here’s what you don’t understand: I’m sick. No, I don’t just have a cold. I mean, I have a chronic illness, so I’m sick all the time, every day. Doing laundry is a big fucking deal for me. I set aside an entire day to do laundry because it wears me out. On the days I do laundry I know I might not be able to run errands, cook dinner, or clean up around the apartment. I certainly can’t socialize with anyone. So doing the laundry is a big fucking deal.
Today I set aside the time. I made plans. I planned to go down to the basement 3 times: once to put my clothes in the washers, once to put them in the dryers, and once to bring them upstairs. Your broken machine meant I had to put my clothes into a different machine, which meant a 4th trip to the basement.
It isn’t just about the extra $2.50 to run a second washer after the first one didn’t work out. Sure, $2.50 means more to me now than it did when I had a job, but it’s still not about that.
It’s also not about the extra 45 minutes to travel to the basement, find my unclean clothes, and run them through another machine. Sure, I’m not happy about that. I didn’t plan on it. I might have had to be someplace or do something. There might not have been another machine free. But no, it wasn’t about that.
It as about the extra pain and the extra loss of energy. It takes so much effort for me to do laundry that I try to only do it on my best (aka least sick) days. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely healthy on those days. By that last trip to the basement, my knees were starting to buckle. I felt the pain. And I was more tired than ever. Some days I can barely bring my laundry back to my apartment and I don’t have the energy to fold it. Why should I have to expend more energy because of your broken machine?
If this was the first time, I’d let it go. I’m sure that to you it’s no big deal. But for some of us, doing a load of laundry is a big fucking deal. It’s tiring and painful and incredibly difficult.
And I’m one of the lucky ones.
A pissed off customer
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