Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In Memory of Laundry

The boat has officially closed down the passenger laundry mats.

I am thus forced to do my laundry with 1500 crew members.

In honor of my time doing laundry in the passenger laundry mat I have included a short story.


Annoyance 102….The phrase “It's Broken.”

“It’s Broken” is the most overused phrase in the world today.

A hot water machine failing to pour out hot water: “It’s broken.”

No actually it’s just out of hot water.

A computer freezing up for a moment: “Yep…Yep just what I thought its broken.”

A quick Ctrl Alt Delete and they're back in business.

Remote controls not changing channels: “Oh my gosh the whole t.v. system is broken.”

No it's just your inability to use an entertainment system.

An elevator hesitating for just a second: “It's broken we're stuck!”

Then the doors open.

The phrase “It's Broken” can usually be translated into “I don’t have a clue what I am doing or what I am talking


People on the boat love to say “It's Broken”

“This door's broken. How are we suppose to get in?”

I push the door instead of pull.


People get into the Jacuzzis and notice no bubbles “ Oh my gosh the Jacuzzi is broken.”

I walk by and push the button for them.

The button that is very obviously shown and labeled.

“Ohhhhhh hehehehe we thought it was broken.”

I wish I could turn to them and say “No this is not a laughing matter.”

It’s a sad day when mankind uses phrases like “It's broken” instead of I don’t know using their brain and actually thinking.

My favorite example of this occurs every time I try and do my laundry on the ship.

There are 4 laundry rooms on the boat.

They are pretty large and you know look like normal laundry mats that you would find in Chicago.

Now I think we can all agree that laundry machines are a tad difficult to understand but you know once you read the buttons and directions on the machine they are easy to understand.

Well not so much for the passengers on the boat.

Since I sit and wait for my laundry to be done people love asking me a million questions.

I don’t mind helping the people who have at least attempted to give it a go on their own, but it’s the people who walk through the door asking questions that really really annoy me.

There was a lady about a month ago who literally opened the door of the laundry room and said “O.k. what’s going on, what am I doing here? What do I do?

I mean she said all of this while still standing in the doorway.

I quickly pretended to be immersed in my book.

She threw her stuff on the floor and glanced at the machine then at me “What do I do?”

I took a deep breath knowing I had a long road ahead of me and she said “Oh my gosh do you speak English?”

“Yes” I replied. “There are 8 buttons on the machine each one of them is a different type of wash. Just press the one you want.”

“What? Which one do I want?” She said.

“I don’t know” I said. “If you press them you can read what they say and decide.”

She stared at me blankly so I got up and read each one off to her.

“Yes normal wash that’s the one I want.” She told me.

So I pressed it for her and she loaded up her machine.

“Now what?” She said

“Just press the start button” I said.

She starred at me blankly.

So I once again got up and pressed the start button for her.

Then I opened up where she needed to pour in her detergent.

I sat back down and she just kept looking at the machine.

“Its not working.” She said

“It is” I reassured her. “Its just filling up with water. Believe me I know. They just take like 5 minuets to get started."

15 seconds pass.

“Its not filling up with water its broken. I can’t believe that it's broken.”

I get up and walk over to the machine.

“See there’s water filling up down there. Do you see.” I said

“Oh I guess so.” She said.

I sat back down.

45 seconds pass.

“Its not doing anything it's broken. I got the broken one.”

The machine starts rotating.

“Oh” She says. “Well how do I know when it’ll be done.” She asked

“There is an hour glass on the machine with a number next to it. That’s how many minuets are left.” I answered.

She starred at me blankly. I got up and went over to the machine.

“57 minuets” I said.

Then she smiled as happy as could be and talked a little bit about her kids and this and that.

Then she left.

For a few minutes I wondered how she would be able to get back to her room without my help.

I mean how does she exist?

How does she take care of herself and her kids if she couldn’t follow any of my instructions?

She stopped in periodically and walked over to her machine and asked me how many minuets she had left.

And I would get up and point to her where the timer is.

That was my way of telling her she could check these things on her own I wasn’t a magic laundry fairy who just magically knew the answers to her questions.

Sure the first time I used the laundry mat I was a little confused but I read all the directions and I survived.

Every week I meet people just like her in the laundry room.

Male and females of all ages.

Last week a little old lady came into the laundry room and before she could even open her mouth I got up and told her to pick a machine.

She put her clothes in it and I read her all the options then I started it for her and poured in some of my own laundry detergent and sent her on her way.

She was so happy and even gave me $2 for helping her out.

What’s interesting is that I firmly believe these folks can figure out these machines by themselves.

If I were to lock them in there they would figure it out.

It’s just that once they see an opportunity to ask someone else they do because they don’t want to think.

I sometimes catch myself doing the same thing.

I’ll be at a Fed Ex and not want to read through all the instructions so I’ll ask for help.

I’ve been trying really hard not to do things like that anymore.

Besides you get more satisfaction out of doing something by yourself.

When we don’t try to figure things out on our own the only thing we can accuse of being broken is us.


Jane said...

OH MY GOD. I love this. I feel the same way. It drives me CRAZY. this is why we are friends.

Obsessions said...

Thank you Jane!!!!!

People like us must bind together!!!!

By the way I loved that picture of you in the hat!

Thank you for the comment!