Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The quest for quarters

It's been a while since I needed quarters to do laundry.
In Seattle, we had an in-unit washer/dryer, and in Berkeley we could send money from a student account directly to the machines.

In Baltimore, I we need quarters for laundry and, having just moved here, I don't have a jar full of them lying around. Of course, I waited until the last possible minute to do laundry. So yesterday I rolled out of bed and decided to go in search of quarters. The wife had the car, so I was limited to walking distance.

I started with the local mini-mart; he agreed to give me 4 quarters but no more. Next I went to the laundromat. The lady there was exceptionally rude and gave me a "yeah right" when I asked if she had quarters. She wasn't very helpful telling me about banks in the area either. My next stop was a few blocks away at a laundromat with a change machine; turns out that it had been broken for years. I went into another minimart, and the desi owner refused me quarters even if I were to buy something.

I finally gave up and came home. On rummaging through my suitcases, I was able to find one hiding undergarment, thus allowing me to shower.

In the evening when the wife got home, we went to the gym and decided to stop by a grocery store afterwards. We happened upon a small stripmall with a laundromat and pharmacy, so we stopped there.

As I was about to put my $20 bill into the change machine at the laundromat, I simultaneously heard a raspy voice and read the hand-scrwaled notice in front of me: "No change unless you're doing your laundry here!" I apologized and walked out, frustrated.

At the RiteAid, we purchased our wares, and politely (maybe desperately?) asked for a roll of quarters. She didn't have a roll, but gave us a few dollars and suggested that we ask the other cashier.

As we were about to ask the other cashier for change, the lady in front of us says to her daughter as she's walking away "ok. well, I think not we shold have enough for one more load."
The cashier was out of quarters.

I feel like we've entered the quarter-free twilight zone. Maybe this weekend we'll drive down to DC or Virgina and smuggle a few rolls of quarters over the border. Who knows, maybe we could sell them for a premiuim.


audrey said...

I used to work at a bank and you should be able to get change at a bank. It might require that you are a bank customer--but I would try there.

hemantbhanoo said...

thansk audrey. The banks aren't really in walking distance of here, and I don't think Wells Fargo even has a bank location here.
I'm guessing you have to be a customer, but I suppose I could try another bank.

Kush said...

yeah, national banks are pretty particular about things. i tried to get something notarized at WF and the lady got the stamp and pen out and was about to sign and said "you're a customer, right?" i said no and then she turned me away. grrr.

are there any video game arcades or bowling alleys near by?

sacker said...

This is why I make fun of Baltimore... I'm shocked that a bank would care if you were a customer to exchange bills for quarters.

dez said...

I feel your pain. I was also just rudely turned away from a laundromat for getting $5 worth of quarters without doing laundry there. I was referred to a bank that was closed. Should've told the old man that since I have a real job, I wouldn't have time to get to a bank before 6pm. Stupid poor people.

Anonymous said...

I just ran into the same issue. So, going into a laundromat here in Brooklyn, instead of putting up with a rudeness at the desk I just lied and said I needed quarters to get my loads done, very plainly. She said "You're doing them here right?" And I nodded very casually. She gave me quarters. I walked out. F**k off high-browing quarter-elitists!

Can't believe we have to resort to this now just to get quarters. Hope everyone else has an easier time.