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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Selling Your Integrity For $3.00 » Selling Your Integrity For $3.00

Selling Your Integrity For $3.00

Rusty - April 11, 2008

As I was leaving work today I had a conversation with a friend about the luxury it is to have laundry in the basement of our building. Of course it would be nice to have a machine in our apartment but alas, we live in Brooklyn and therefore cannot afford the space it would require. But it sure is better than the laundromat.

Well, as fate would have it last night my wife did the laundry (I usually do it because it’s on the top of her list of things she hates). Rather than take down the $3 for the washing of two loads and then take down $3 for the drying, it is her wont to take down all $6 and put the remaining 12 quarters on the dryers with the dryer sheets.

As she descended in the stairwell on her way to switch the clothes to the dryer she passed a couple that lives on the third floor carrying their freshly dried clothes back up to their apartment. Didn’t think anything of it. But when she got to the laundry room she discovered the dryer sheets sitting there but the quarters were missing! $3.00 of pain-in-the-butt-to-obtain-because-cornerstores-don’t-give-out-quarters-and-there-are-no-banks-close-to-our-apartment quarters.

My wife and I spent the next few minutes laughing and trying to figure out if it could have been anyone other than this woman (a fellow resident!) and came to the obvious conclusion that the answer was “not a chance.” So she went upstairs and politely confronted her, suggesting she may have accidentally taken the money. This woman’s response was a curt denial and quickly offered, “if you really need the money I’ll give you three dollars in quarters.”

Stunned, my wife returned to the apartment to scrounge up twelve more quarters.


  1. The real solution: women’s pants with pockets!

    Comment by Mark B. — April 11, 2008 @ 7:45 am

  2. Rusty,
    That’s why I love that our building has those little cards you can use.

    I’ve learned, though, that banks are more than happy to give you a roll of quarters (in exchange, of course, for a shiny $10 bill). I don’t know how Brooklyn is, but on the UWS of Manhattan, there are more banks than Starbucks—I imagine even in the other boroughs it’s possible to find.

    My wife once needed quarters for the bus (because, of course, buses here don’t take bills). She went into the Duane Reade right behind the bus stop, where she was rudely refused, even though she was going to buy something (which I think she ended up not buying). So we ran down to the independent bakery down the street, which would have given us quarters without a purchase, but man those pastries looked good. So it ended up being win-win.

    Comment by Sam B. — April 11, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  3. So, let me see if I understand: you left three dollars in quarters sitting out in a laundry room in Brooklyn, and you were surprised when it disappeared. Hmmm. How long have you lived there now?

    Comment by MCQ — April 11, 2008 @ 8:10 am

  4. Hey, $3 isn’t nothing. Thats like 3/4 gallon of gas!

    Comment by kwk — April 11, 2008 @ 8:14 am

  5. Look at it this way: You paid only $3.00 to have a brand new arch-enemy. That’s cheap, as far as arch-enemies go – especially in brooklyn.

    Comment by SingleSpeed — April 11, 2008 @ 8:33 am

  6. re # 4, scratch that — thanks to this administration it’s nearly £1.5, so there.

    Comment by john f. — April 11, 2008 @ 8:52 am

  7. By the way, could it have fallen behind the dryer?

    Comment by john f. — April 11, 2008 @ 8:55 am

  8. Our apartments use cards, too, but you have to load cash onto them, which means I have to have cash on me every week to do the laundry. (I never carry cash, I end up giving it all to my kids.) AND the cards cost $5. You can reuse them and load money onto them, but we’re always losing cards.

    We put our name and apt # on our card.

    At least it only costs us $2.25 for a single load (wash and dry).

    Comment by Susan M — April 11, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  9. Susan,
    Yeah, that’s the downside to the cards. And I don’t usually carry cash, either; in an old building, we could actually use a credit (or maybe debit) card to fund our card. But even now, it’s easier for me to get a $20 bill (which is all that ATMs will give me) than it is for me to get to a bank while it’s open to get quarters, or to try to scrounge quarters. So, while the card isn’t the easiest thing, I love it a million times more than having to use quarters.

    Comment by Sam B. — April 11, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  10. Sam,
    Yeah, but there is no bank that’s convenient to where we live so we have to make a special trip to go to the bank just to get quarters. It’s not that difficult, just annoying. I’d love to have a card system.

    Well, my wife was surprised.

    Oh, I just thought of it as $3 for good entertainment. Most comedies don’t get that many laughs out of me.

    John F,
    No chance.

    Oh how I miss the days of a cash-less society.

    Comment by Rusty — April 11, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  11. Maybe I am a total wuss, but I would not have confronted the neighbor. I just would have learned my lesson: quarters are gold.

    Comment by ESO — April 11, 2008 @ 9:31 am

  12. Maybe I am a total wuss, but I would not have confronted the neighbor. I just would have learned my lesson: quarters are gold.

    Comment by ESO — April 11, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  13. Rusty,
    That sucks, except it sucks worse that every local store (be it bodega, restaurant, 99-cent store or whatever) is closing and being replaced by a bank up here. Your lack of banks is probably one indicator that Brooklyn’s still cool. But yeah, for whatever downside they have, the cards rock.

    Comment by Sam B. — April 11, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  14. That stinks. I live on the 3rd floor, and the laundry room is in the basement, and there’s no elevator. I finally got sick of feeding the washer/dryer and hauling my clothes that I bought a little portable washer from Wal-Mart. It cost me about $100, it’s the size of a garbage can, and I can hook it up to the kitchen sink. I store it in the closet when I’m not using it. It paid for itself in 6 months.

    Comment by Keri Brooks — April 11, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  15. I remember a talk by Sterling W. Sill where he talked about putting his money into a soda machine at a gas station, getting his drink, and then having the machine return his money. He put the money in his pocket and was walking back to his car with his cold drink when his conscience asked him if he was going to be a thief for a quarter. So he went in and paid the guy a quarter.

    I guess that’s the difference between me and a GA. I figure I’m just getting even for all the times a machine has ripped me off.

    By the way, Rusty, good call on changing the title from virtue to integrity. When I first saw the title, I thought it was about cut-rate prostitution.

    Comment by Mark IV — April 11, 2008 @ 10:59 am

  16. Dang Keri, I was getting all excited about that idea until I realized I have to do laundry for five people. Oh well.

    Comment by Susan M — April 11, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  17. Leaving unattended cash out in plain sight, anywhere in the world, is a mistake.

    If you left out $3.00 in a temple locker room and it disappeared, I would not be surprised.

    Comment by danithew — April 11, 2008 @ 11:41 am

  18. I the Mormon church was growing at the rate of the Catholic church, perhaps we’d have time to build beautiful chapels.

    Comment by sam — April 11, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  19. I don’t understand why your wife confronted the neighbor. How could that possibly turn out well? Now she has an enemy, or at best, a very uncomfortable situation. Maybe I’m a total wuss like ESO, but I wouldn’t have confronted the neighbor either.

    Comment by Ahna — April 11, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

  20. I got ya beat Russ:
    At the Theater not only would people sneak in when it’s a $1-$1.50 admission, but they would do it on $.50 Tuesday. And for selling integrity for cheap, BYU students have everyone else beat into the ground on this one.
    We have a $.50 discount at night for students who showed I.D.(otherwise how would we know who is a student and who isn’t) but not everyone decided it was a good thing to bring their I.D. with them. So they would sit and argue with us, holding up a very long line on a Friday night, about how they were a good and noble BYU student and wouldn’t lie to us all because they “sign an honor code”. Now, when ever I had I.D. that had to be carried, it never left my wallet, and I could never understand how it could magically disapear at the theater. Even if they weren’t lying, you didn’t bring it making you NOT a student, but they’d begin to whine and complain and DEMAND a discount anyway to which I always enjoyed hearing, and then boldly deneying them in return. Which was always a shock that I wouldn’t just give it to them anyway because they made a stink.
    My favorites were the guy clearly in his 30s balding with 3 kids and his wife who slides over one BYU I.D., clearly from the 90′s with the words all rubbed off, expecting for his whole family to get $.50 off each, kids included.

    Comment by Bryce — April 11, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  21. Leaving the money unattended was a bad idea, confronting the neighbor was an even worse one (unless you are moving sometime soon).

    Comment by SAP — April 12, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

  22. Boy this is a terribly pessimistic comment to be leaving on a Monday morning when I usually try to start the week off on a brighter note but expecting the highest of moral standards from your average citizen will often, if not always, disappoint you.

    Comment by Lamonte — April 14, 2008 @ 6:35 am

  23. oh man…glad to be out of there.
    maybe you should get laundry in your apt. that would solve some of your problems, and maybe your wife wouldn’t hate doing it so much.
    or maybe you should move to utah…

    Comment by alysha — April 15, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

  24. Mark B: Yes, that would be novel. Especially maternity pants with pockets. And to the wusses: Why is it so bad to confront someone about taking the money? At least then Rusty’s wife doesn’t have to sit around feeling like a wuss.

    Comment by Maryanne — May 9, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

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