Launder and Press
It was another one of those Philly summer days.
Tracey, the Team Leader along with three other laundry team members: Eric, Kenny, and Patricia were too busy laundering and folding on that Wednesday afternoon to be distracted by me, the amateur
photographer of the day. Most of the consumer along with some commercial laundry is done in the facility on South Street. The ready-to-go commercial laundry sat in a side room marked Employees Only. All the ready-to-go consumer laundry was gathered on top of those gigantic washers. Tracey’s workstation included a Chrome Computer, notebook, masking type, Sharpie, a phone, and of course, some Oreos.
Tracey looked a little tense that day on the phone with customer service. Consumer laundry demands a lot of attention from Tracey, because of the variety of clothing items and the high-quality service we want to provide. She was double-checking again, to make sure that everything was right, and clothes were getting folded the way they should. Tracey would not hesitate to point out if anything is wrong.
Kenny and Eric were relatively quiet. Eric has a sweet smile, is relatively soft-spoken. For consumer laundry, he would fold everything before he matched all the socks. Kenny was folding right next to Patracia. He occasionally crack a joke, and the crew would burst into laughter. Sometimes, when a good song came on the radio, the crew would joyously sing along, or dance to the song for a bit.
A little accident happened that afternoon:
my back hit the edge of a flowerpot holder when I was standing up from squatting taking pictures. I awkwardly went back into the facility and asked for a Band-Aid. Patricia got me a Band-Aid, gently cleaned the cut with an alcohol pad for me, and put on the Band-Aid. She looked like a concerned mother, seeing her child getting a cut: “Be careful when you’re taking pictures out there.”
Everything was pretty peaceful, cyclists came and left. The workflow was rarely disrupted. It was just another warm hummid Wednesday afternoon. Later a thunder came and left. I walked out of the facility after saying goodbye, and work continued.
Yue Xiang is a rising junior at Haverford College, a liberal arts college located in suburban Philadelphia. She currently works as a Marketing Intern at Wash Cycle Laundry this summer, where she has been going on “field-trips” to laundry facilites to learn about the staff members and our operational process. She will be writing more about what she learns and people at Wash