THROWBACK: Through the Eyes of a Laundromat Attendant

No man is an island; no matter how great or how small.  I repeat, “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND.”  …Especially and including the laundromat attendant.

The laundromat attendant is the one man on the planet that no one notices until they need him.  And though he speaks with a voice of an army, he is yet never heard.  From day to night he doesn’t just clean the grimy residue from communal washing machines.  He gains the knowledge of man.

With nothing to do but scrub scorching dryer handles and mop lint from the corners of the floor, the laundromat attendant spends all of his extra spare minutes observing the behavior of the average man and woman, delving into the core of the inner person they are trying to hide and protect from the outside world.  To anyone who doesn’t get paid to be ignored inside a laundromat, laundry facilities aren’t just for washing clothes.  They are also intended to wash away secrets.

From the average working mother to the most cunning con artist on the block, the laundromat attendant has seen and heard it all;

Parents who bring their kids with them to wash clothes but lets them run wild like ferrets. 

To the common eye those kids are just wildly out of control and the mother doesn’t have a grip.  But through the eyes of a laundromat attendant, he sees a woman who doesn’t give a damn about how noisy and wild her kids are because subconsciously she wants the whole damn world to know what she goes through every day.  I guess it’s true what they say, “Misery loves company.”


Panhandlers and Hustlers  

I don’t care who you are or where you wash clothes, there’s always someone who’s trying to sell something.  The laundromat is no different from the barber shop or the beauty salon.  Anywhere a person is sitting around waiting to spend money, there rests someone begging to take it.

But through the eyes of a laundromat attendant, these panhandlers and hustlers aren’t just begging scavengers trying to make a quick buck.  They are underdeveloped individuals who haven’t matured to a basic level of “common sense.”  What the attendant observes is a man [or sometimes a woman] who is not capable enough to realize that they are doing nothing but wishful thinking if they believe people who scraped up their last hard saved quarters all week long are going to be distracted, side tracked, or even stupid enough to actually buy what they’re selling.  They do not understand the meaning of rejection and denial and therefore should be declared unstable specimen who simply can’t help themselves.

You and I don’t want to hear that sh*t but we’re not looking through our eyes, are we?

The lady who calls everyone she knows to tell them that she’s at the laundromat.

Most laundromat visitors go to the facility with one goal in mind: to wash their clothes.  Because the place is public, everyone knows that there’s no guess as to who or what you may see while there.  From intrusive conversations with strangers, to bad attitudes of husbands, wives, and often more, bitter single people who get life from staring at other people’s pre-washed unmentionables.

The attendant sees it all.  And the one who stands out the most is the lady who puts out a public service announcement to everyone that she knows to let them know that she’s in the laundromat.  To the common eye she’s just loud and annoying.  But through the eyes of a laundromat attendant, she is merely conveying an illusion of importance when deep down she’s a lonely woman who can’t accept the fact that no one gives a sh*t about where she is or what she’s doing.  This act screams, “Dependency issues!”

No one realizes that great power comes from observation.  And there are only two types of people that have such power: Parking attendants and Laundromat attendants.  Through the joy of people-watching, though in trade of suffering the consequences of alienation, underestimation, and custodial abuse, the one person that you don’t think about is the very person who knows most about the demons you try to wash away.


Quote of the week:   “Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science.”

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