I live in a decent, if somewhat small, apartment for which I pay a small, and therefore decent, amount of rent. It’s in a good neighborhood, there’s plenty of shopping nearby, and it’s right on a couple of major bus lines. Really I haven’t too many complaints, though I do have one: we have only four washing machines for 40 apartments.
Now normally that isn’t a problem, but sometimes, like today, it very much is. I went down to do my laundry and all four machines were in use. One had finished and the clothes were just sitting in there waiting to be picked up. The other three had less than five minutes to finish. Eventually they were all done and the owner of the clothes were nowhere in sight, though he did arrive after about seven or eight more minutes.
This left me in an interesting situation. I had my laundry. I wanted to get it in there and get it going. I was going to use only one washing machine. All four of the machines were in use, but were all finished. In theory, I could have taken the clothes out of one of them, put them on top of the machine, and thrown in my laundry. Ethically I believe that to be acceptable, but only after a certain amount of time has gone past. Clearly I shouldn’t reach in and yank them out the second they’re done, but I also don’t think waiting a half hour or so is reasonable.
So I’m going to open this up to you guys. How much time should go by between the time someone’s laundry is finished and the time it’s acceptable for someone like me to remove it and put it on top of the machine?