That time I paid $8 to do one load of laundry in my own apartment building.

I’ve been avoiding my laundry to a while. Thankfully, between unemployment and my large wardrobe, this hasn’t been a problem. But well, it’s about time I get about to finally doing a load or two of laundry.

For the first two months, I didn’t really know here the laundry room was. It was one of the three locked doors on the ground level. By not-so-stealthily watching a neighbor, I figured out where the room finally was. But then there was an issue of whether or not I had a key to said room. (Which, until this morning, I did not.)

After my landlord opens the room and hands me my 6th key for this apartment*, he asks if I know how to use the machines. Duh. I’m almost 30, of course I know how to do my laundry. That was until I was greeted by these one the machines…

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Ok. So I needed to get a card. And of course, there was a handy machine for this up on the wall. However, it only took dollars, not coins. And according to the little button to buy a card, I needed $5.

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So I ran back up to my apartment, got my cash, and then finally bought my card. Awesome. So I load up a washing machine — trying not to grumble that the cost to do laundry was 75¢ more than at my old apartment (which gladly took coins). I put my card in and… nothing. The machine flashes $0.00 at me. My brand new $5 card has no balance.

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The machine on the wall that sold me the card made no mention about it costing $5 just for the card itself. That unlike what I’m used to, say with the CTA, you don’t just get that $5 as a balance on your card. So I pop in $3 more dollars, because I still can’t put coins in the machine and thus have to understand that I’m just going to have 50¢ sitting on there unless I add another $2 to do a second load one day.

Once I have the money, I finally get the washing machine going… And grumbled all the way back to my apartment because I just paid $8 to do one load of laundry, and why can’t a machine just take coins?!

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I realize that really, my laundry isn’t that expensive… but it’s just the frustration of it all that’s got me. Does the card really need to cost $5? No. Now I understand why I never really see my neighbors using the laundry room. Looks like I’ll be checking out the laundromats near by…

*Seriously. Every door has a separate key. Front door, mailbox, back door, back gate, laundry room, and my individual apartment door.