Monday, July 21, 2008

Business Cents

There's no laundry facilities at my current apartment, so I am forced to use the only clean laundromat remotely close to campus. Usually when I go to the laundromat, I don't bring extra quarters - I expect the change machines to be working. This seems a reasonable expectation; most people don't keep $8+ dollars of quarters laying around, and it behooves the owner(s) of the laundromat to make using their machines as easy as possible.

I say all this because when I went to said conveniently-located clean laundromat, there were no quarters to be had. None whatsoever. All three change machines were out, and the person working the desk there had apparently been out of quarters for some time. She said that management had been called, but that it was hard to get someone out on a Sunday. I checked the adjacent former Osco, but they too had long been stripped of their quarters.

So I went to do other errands for a few hours. When I returned to the laundromat, though, there still weren't any quarters. I ended up going across the street to Quiznos to buy dinner and thankfully managed to buy a roll of quarters off of them. It wasn't until halfway through my dryer loads that the laundromat's change machines were restocked.

Now, let's stop and think about this for a bit. A laundromat, like the vast majority of other businesses, exists for one reason - to make money providing a needed service. I, as well as many other people, have a much easier time doing laundry on weekends rather than during the week - in fact, whenever I'm there it's usually quite busy. I have to wonder what owner and/or manager in their right minds would let their business be unusable to most of its customers for hours of peak usage time.

For any business, but laundromats especially, not having quarters on hand makes no cents.

7 comments:

moon-grrl said...

I'm thinking that we use the same laundromat as you during the summer, though I've never seen the change machines out of order.

We ended up going to Urbana this past week because all of the large load washers were out of order. Grr!

rknil said...

There's another laundry place if you go east on Green. Or at least there used to be.

moon-grrl said...

If it's the one that was in the little shopping center, it's gone.

The Squire said...

The one in Skylight Court on Green and Fifth is still there - I used to use it, before I discovered the current one I use, but it's remarkably scummy and they don't do a terribly good job of maintaining the machines. All the other ones I know of in the area, including the ones in the phonebook, have all gone out of business.

rknil said...

Skylight Court -- that's the one. (Although I think someone was smoking a crack pipe the last time I dared to go in there.)

If you want to drive all the way to west Champaign, there's one along Country Fair Drive near the brownfield known as Country Fair Mall. Lots of chain smokers there, but the facilities seem OK.

Narc said...

It's for this very reason that once a month or so I go to the bank (the UIECU, really), slap down a twenty, and ask for two rolls of quarters.

rknil said...

One time I went to Quiznos, slapped down a twenty, and asked for two sandwiches.