My first trip to a commercial laundry plant began at noon. We drove to a local plant and as soon as I entered, it hit me. This place was hotter than waiting in a car without AC in the middle of a blistering hot Florida afternoon. I grasp my forehead as I feel the sweat trickling down my face. I stroll around the plant and with every step I took, I felt more at a loss of breath. All that was going on in my mind was “how do the employees stand working here all day every day??”
I met several employees and the owner of the company stated a quote that stuck by me forever “If there isn’t dirty linen, you’re not making money,” in regards to the smelly pile of used linen outside behind me. I slowly turn to notice the pile he is referring to and then wish I hadn’t. The pile was as large as a mountain and if I had a dollar for every fly I saw swarming around the pile, I’d be swimming in cash.
The company then washes and presses the dirty linen in the most impeccable method – you would never in a million years think you could get them as clean as they were processed. I noticed the perfectly folded linen and squeaky clean floor mats and could feel the pride that the employees expressed whenever they created this artwork. They sweated over the machinery and smiled at their finished products.
The laundry’s equipment was so loud I could not hear my own thoughts. They towered over me and I was highly intimidated by the size of these monstrous machines. The actual plant was not that large, yet the machinery made it seem as though I was in NYC’s Time Square surrounded by giant skyscrapers that made so much noise there was no escape from it.
My journey was soon over as I returned back to the office. There was a part of me that did not want to leave, I was still in awe at the amazement of the clean linen and the hard work the employees had to labor over and my dehydration was begging for a cool environment and water. I returned back in the hopes that this was not my last trip to a laundry plant but next time I’ll come better prepared.