erinptah: A map. (writing)
Where the towels are oh so fluffy ([personal profile] erinptah) wrote2017-07-02 03:34 pm
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Laundromat etiquette question

Hey folks, I have a hashtag urban living question. Trying to frame it so it's not obvious which person I was....

The scene: a busy laundromat. Person 1 arrives, sets machine to do their laundry, observes how long it's supposed to run, leaves to run a few errands.

Machine finishes its cycle while Person 1 is still gone. No other machines are free.

Person 2 removes Person 1's laundry, sets the machine to do Person 2's laundry. Person 1 returns to find their clothes in one of the handy baskets next to the machine.

So...is Person 1 more inconsiderate, by hogging the machine space while other people are waiting? Or is Person 2 more inconsiderate, by messing with someone else's stuff instead of being more patient?

Short & long answers both welcome. Maybe mention where you're from, in case the standards turn out to vary by country/region.
muccamukk: Spiral staircase decending multiple levels inside a tower.. (Default)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-07-02 08:28 pm (UTC)(link)
If person one didn't want other people to touch their laundry, they should have stayed with it. I don't, so I stay with it and change it out myself when it's done (I also don't want people to steal it). BC, Canada.
muccamukk: Text: "Well I've got a banana. And at a pinch you could put up some shelves." (DW: Bananas)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-07-03 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know if laundry theft was a thing, but we were all told it was a thing. I was always really paranoid about it. For what it's worth, this goes for both dorms and laundry mats in my experience.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-02 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
With the caveat that I haven't used a laundromat in about twenty five years...

Around here, both people would be considered to have been inconsiderate/rude, and each would be entitled to vent to friends later about that horrible person who did whatever. What they can't do is acknowledge that to each other. Everyone has to pretend that the laundry swapping was done by gremlins or house elves or something.

The etiquette is slightly different for, say, a dorm laundry room where one runs into people who aren't complete strangers but whose names one still doesn't know. At that point, each should apologize to the other, more or less competitively, and both are still considered to have been rude.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-02 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, and I'm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-04 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
I'm almost 100% certain that that last part is a regional thing.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

[personal profile] sholio 2017-07-02 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Wandered in via network ... I don't think person 2 would be considered rude at all around here. It just kind of goes without saying that if someone else's laundry is blocking the only machine, of course you'd take it out, politely, and put it somewhere safe. Dropping it on the floor and stepping on it would be rude, but not just putting it somewhere so you can use the machine. Sort of like moving an object that someone left blocking a public sidewalk off the sidewalk onto the grass so people can go around, I guess?

In the dorm room example above, my recollection from when I lived on campus (ages ago) is that kinda-sorta knowing the other people in the dorm makes it even LESS likely to be taken as rude, because you're all neighbors and you look out for each other a little bit. I even remember coming in a couple of times to find one of the other girls had taken my laundry out of the dryer and was now FOLDING IT, which was admittedly a smidge on the weird side, but weird in a considerately-intended sort of way.

I'm in Fairbanks, Alaska, fwiw.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-07-03 12:03 am (UTC)(link)
Grew up in Columbus, OH, but most laundromat experiences were Philadelphia. Now in Boston area but have never used a local laundromat.

Where I grew up, Person 2 would be entirely beyond the pale and Person 1 would be entitled to blame any laundry issues or poor experiences on them for, like, the next month. ("It came out all streaky! She probably did something to the starch!") Person 2 would be expected to have some kind of entertainment with them (book, music, video game) and wait patiently as long as it takes.

I am fascinated to discover that this is not the case elsewhere, as it did seem to work this way in my college dorms.
rushthatspeaks: (Default)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-07-03 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
Person 2 wouldn't actually have been able to do anything to the laundry, but it would have been so rude-- and also seen as creepy-- that Person 1 would be socially allowed to be suspicious about it as a way of expressing how rude and creepy it was.

I disagree with that and would never do it myself, but I saw it happen.

This was mostly laundromats, because yeah, in dorm laundries nobody sits there waiting, but my dorm did very much have the standard that if somebody's laundry was in the machine and they weren't there you could go knock on their door, but if they didn't answer you didn't move their laundry. There was also a very strong social expectation that you would know when your laundry was done and move it ASAP; if you didn't, people still wouldn't move it, but they had the right to be mad at you about the whole thing. A hallmate of mine got spoken to by the RA once because she left her laundry in the machines too long habitually and everyone else was pissed.
kadnarim: (Default)

[personal profile] kadnarim 2017-07-03 10:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Person 2 is completely reasonable -- dumping someone's clothes on the floor would be bad, but putting it in a basket seems fine! Person 1 is slightly inconsiderate (they're making someone else take out their laundry) but not *very*; in college it was assumed that if you needed a machine and there was a finished one with clothes in it, you'd just put the clothes on top of the relevant machine (no handy baskets).

(from New England, btw.)