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DAJODU Posts: 46
9/23/12 4:36 A

Right, Brooklyn. I am not disagreeing that there are people with handicaps that aren't visible. I was stating that people that are not handicapped in any shape or form should not, in my opinion, be using a handicapped stall when there are other stalls available. Never did I mention leaving one stall open "just in case" I am saying in the scenario described above, I would say that it's poor taste.

And I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to clarify what I said. I dislike having words put in my mouth.

SHARONPENNING SparkPoints: (0)
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9/21/12 5:42 P

I use a walker, and am legally considered disabled, but I would never question anyone using the larger shower or toilet stall. They are not usually labeled "handicapped", and there are many different types of handicaps. If I'm in a hurry and the larger stall with a bench is being used, I just take my walker into a regular stall or use the large community shower (with my walker). My walker has a plastic seat, brakes to keep it from moving, and can easily be dried off. People in wheel chairs seldom use "public" showers because they need special equipment to transfer their bodies or special shower chairs to use at home. Regular wheel chairs should not be used in showers. emoticon emoticon emoticon

TECH-ANGEL SparkPoints: (4,785)
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9/21/12 5:41 P

Well, sadly, the ending seems to be anti-climatic.

The owner of the gym emailed me back yesterday and said she talked to the offender, and she now realizes she was being a jerk and promises to stop.

I guess we'll see how long that lasts.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,517
9/21/12 5:31 P

Well, DAJODU, we will just have to disagree. While I don't care which stall I use, there are people with handicaps that aren't visible, some of which were stated earlier.

I've spent 10 years accompanying my mother and her walker into ladies rooms. Never has she been upset that someone was occupying the stall when she arrived. She was always next. People are not rude in the presence of need. However, there is nothing to be gained from leaving one stall empty continually just in case. Maybe when we get to "potty parity" and lines out the door in ladies rooms are no longer seen, one stall can be declared off limits. Til then, I don't think so.

Good day to you.

ELOQUENTZ SparkPoints: (6,832)
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9/21/12 4:53 P

Wow, think I should get out my bowl of popcorn to see how this ended up.

DAJODU Posts: 46
9/21/12 4:41 P

Brooklyn, its really a matter of opinion. I already agreed that it's unacceptable for them to be reserving the shower. Additionally, I think (as in; subjective, personally) its unacceptable for an able bodied person to take a handicapped stall when there are other stalls open.

There's no law against being rude, but I wouldn't want to raise my children to be nuisances just in spite.

Oddly enough, when I go camping each year, there are about 10 private shower stalls, with 1 of them being marked as "family" and 1 marked "handicapped" -- I've had to stand in line among a fair crowd of 5 - 6 people waiting for a shower to open up whilst the handicapped stall is open and rarely in the years that I have been going do I see people take this stall while others are watching. However, I've noticed plenty of times when there are no peering eyes, people will gladly take this stall. To me, that alone speaks volumes.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,517
9/21/12 4:10 P

@DAJODU, However, if someone doesn't stop the woman from stashing her stuff in the handicapped shower, then the handicapped person can't use it at all. It's not a matter of waiting for a shower to be completed, but waiting for an entire workout to be completed. This is the behavior that is unacceptable.

As far as whether it's proper to use a handicapped accessible shower, this has been addressed many times in different venues, e.g. a handicapped stall in the women's bathroom. The law AND etiquette is that anyone can use the handicapped accessible stall, but if a handicapped person should arrive, they would go to the head of the line (lines in ladies rooms are quite common) and use the specially equipped facility.

This is not the case or the law for handicapped parking places. There they are reserved for those with handicapped documentation.

DAJODU Posts: 46
9/21/12 3:20 P

@OP, I agree it's kind of B.S. that they are reserving a stall while they go and work out... but I dont think you using it is any more politically correct.

This topic has ETIQUETTE right in the name. And no, while there may be no law against using a handicapped shower if you're not disabled, that doesn't mean I think it's right. Rather, I think that is quite poor taste.

You're right, being handicapped doesn't mean they can't wait... but if there are two other stalls open that are for people without disabilities, you're creating an inconvienience for the disabled person that they otherwise wouldn't have to face... it seems quite inconsiderate to me. It's meant for people with special needs, not as a more convienient place for your royal hiney to splish-splash.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,517
9/21/12 11:27 A

Hardrocker: I came back just to check the latest episode of the gym soap opera. If more people banded together against rude, inconsiderate people, perhaps there would be less rudeness in the world. When they're not called on their bad behavior, it just gives them license to keep it up.

HARDROCKER1 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/21/12 2:25 A

Reading all the responses got me to giggling, like a gym soap opera drama...I found myself thinking, "I bet woman A is a Republican!"

Just kidding, of course. I would like to tune in later though and see the outcome at OP's gym.

Blessings, Michelle

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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9/20/12 5:11 P

There are lots of people's stuff in our shower at work (we have 1 shower).... not gym bags, but just random bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. There is a big hanging thing in there that everyone just stores their stuff on. Personally if I was in your position, I would take a shower while her stuff was still in the shower. If she doesn't like it then I guess she won't leave her stuff in there anymore!

ARIMIETTA SparkPoints: (5,296)
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9/20/12 12:25 P

Comedy Option:

Put her stuff in one of the smaller showers.

(Don't do this)


MAD-RUNNER-CHIC SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 127
9/20/12 11:38 A

I would either

a) ask her politely if she could move her things while you take your shower or
b) move her stuff into a basket and set it on a bench near her locker

SAAR42 Posts: 130
9/20/12 11:36 A

I would have just gone in and used the shower with her stuff in it. If that grosses her out, then she can stop leaving the stuff in there.

TECH-ANGEL SparkPoints: (4,785)
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9/20/12 10:58 A

Well, a bit of a resolution.

After not doing it for about two weeks, the lady put her stuff in the shower half hour into her workout. When she got out of the shower, I went up and said, "Could you please not put your stuff in the shower before you're ready to use it?" She threw on a massive 'tude, and pointed to one of the other two showers. "You can use that shower." I said, "It's really inconsiderate to everyone else." "You can use that shower!"

I walked away, since my plan had been to nicely ask, and if she kept doing it, to start taking her stuff out. Another woman in the locker room did not like her giving me attitude, when I was being nice, and she added that she thought the woman was being inconsiderate. Woman A got an attitude with Woman B, who got an attitude right back, and dropped the F bomb, which infuriated Woman A, who then got up in the face of Woman B. I REALLY thought there was going to be a fight. BUT, Woman A realized Woman B was not going to back down, and finally went back and finished getting dressed and left the locker room.

Woman C, who had been in a bathroom stall, and heard the entire thing came out, and we all talked. It had not been the first time that someone had talked to Woman A. The three of us are going to send the person who runs the gym an email and we all agreed to start taking her stuff out of the shower.

So..., tomorrow should be interesting.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/9/12 12:03 A

Feel like I should clarify that I meant wait while someone is already using it. :)

Nobody should be 'reserving' any shower at all while they're working out. I'd move her stuff out and just use it.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,517
9/8/12 8:49 P

If someone "reserves" a handicapped shower for themselves while they work out, this makes it unavailable for a handicapped person to use until the selfish woman finally returns and takes her own shower. So the handicapped have no option except to wait for her to return?
No, her stuff should be removed. PERIOD!
Taking this to its ultimate silliness. What if everyone had a favorite shower for whatever reason and just put their stuff in there to reserve it? Then no one can shower until they're done? Sorry, no patience with rude people. Maybe if they weren't coddled, they would stop being rude.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
9/8/12 3:58 P

Handicapped showers and loos are 'priority' not 'reserved'. I agree 100% with Heather.

CINEMAVEN has pointed out that not all handicaps are visual. She is very claustrophobic and feels extremely uncomfortable in a smaller stall. That should be sufficient for a right to choose to use that one anyway. Any handicapped person who sees an apparently able-bodied person come out of a handicapped stall and says anything at all about it should be reminded that a wheelchair is NOT the only "handicap" and told to mind their own business.

Even if you're not actually disabled in any way and using the stall purely for preference, they can wait. What, YOU never had to wait for a shower in your life? It's part of life. Certainly if 4 people are waiting while all thee showers are used and there's a disabled person there, they can absolutely have the big stall next. But yes, they can wait if it's engaged.

TECH-ANGEL SparkPoints: (4,785)
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9/6/12 9:29 A

First off, let me state that I am rather sure the lady in question is not handicapped. Especially after seeing her grooving to her tunes while on the treadmill.

The day after I initally posted this, my migraines flared up again, and my doctor banned me from working out. I was just cleared to start back this week. Today, she did not put her stuff in the shower beforehand. I'm not sure if someone else talked to her, or what, but if she does do it again, I do plan to ask her afterwards to not do it again, and if she doesn't listen, I'll start taking her stuff out and putting it on the bench in the locker room.

Thank you to everyone who responded!

MISALINDA SparkPoints: (22,236)
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8/19/12 2:54 P

But, the able bodied person is not stopping the inconsiderate handi-capped person from using the shower. She is only upset that she cannot enjoy the extra space while the handi-capped person is using the shower as a locker.

There are many types of handi-caps. Not all can be seen with an untrained eye. Not all are physical, even. Not all handi-caps require a special parking spot or wheel chair, but that hand rail sure does come in handy if you have a vertigo issue, for example, or a bad back or knees, or claustrophobia for the extra space, etc.

LARISSA_NY Posts: 200
8/19/12 9:47 A

I kind of can't believe the number of people in this thread who are like "Pfft, handicapped people can totally wait while an able-bodied person, who is entirely capable of using *any other shower stall in the facility*, uses the only one the handicapped person is able to use instead, just because they feel like it."

No, they're not incapable of waiting. And you're not incapable of using any one of the multiple other stalls that were designed for your use, instead of hogging the only one that's designed for handicapped use.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
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8/19/12 7:12 A

Personally, I would leave handicapped place for handicapped people and never use it unless I'm sick or temporary handicapped.

But I think handicapped place is priority place for them, but not just for them. Everyone should be able to use it, and everyone has to stand on the waiting line. But when a handicapped person shows up, s/he be added to the top of the waiting line, and able to use that place next.

Actually, every place should be like that. But for some handicapped people, it's difficult to ask for help, and some non-handicapped people are having difficulty to show their courtesy to others. So, sadly we have to make such places to remind what we are supposed to do.

Edited by: CHIHAYA at: 8/19/2012 (07:15)
EBONYSOL Posts: 2,384
8/19/12 5:54 A

I would take her stuff out of the shower and put it close by. If that doesn't work, I would talk to her politely about not tying up the stall when she is not there to use it. If that doesn't work, I would take her items and put them in a not so visible location :)

MISALINDA SparkPoints: (22,236)
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8/18/12 11:03 P

You don't have to be a card carrying handi-capped person to have a need for the extra space and railings and such. Personally, if a handi-capped stall is open, I take it. I need the extra space. I have bad knees and need the railings. However, I am not technically handi-capped, just fat and unhealthy. (though desperately working on it!)

Only once in my life have I ever opened the door to find a handi-capped person waiting, all of 3 minutes maybe, and she didn't seem to mind.

Three stalls for a gym full of women? She is being beyond inconsiderate, regardless of whether all three are claimed at once. If she's working out, she has no clue how often someone *does* have to wait.

TIZSLIM Posts: 1,133
8/18/12 5:57 P

I agree bookworm. Someone who is handicapped has the right to expect that suitable facilities are available. That doesn't mean they have rights over and above anyone else. We all have to wait a few minutes sometimes. No big deal.

Tech-Angel, have you made any decision/taken any action as yet?

BOOKWORM87 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/18/12 4:33 P

Couldn't the handicapped person wait a couple minutes if someone else was using the shower? What if another handicapped person was using it? They'd have to wait. I don't see why it would be a big deal....I've used handicapped restroom stalls and showers before and I wasn't aware I was doing anything wrong, since it didn't say "handicapped only" anywhere....

SCAREWALDORF SparkPoints: (0)
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8/18/12 11:09 A

To be honest, if I was using the handicapped shower because the others were being used, and I got out and a handicapped person was waiting to use it, I'd just ask if they had been waiting long and apologise, same as if I got out of the regular shower and a non handicapped person was waiting to use it. Because, as a previous poster has said, handicapped doesn't mean they are unable to wait. I wouldn't use the shower if I could see someone who was handicapped was waiting to use it, but to suggest that people should wait longer for two showers when there are woudn't happen.

KFWOHLFORD SparkPoints: (3,013)
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8/18/12 10:38 A

I wouldn't move her things, that can be misinterpreted as passive aggressive. I'd simply tell her that the lockers are the safest place to keep her things if she doesn't want them lost or stolen. If she does it again after that, you have every right to bring them to the lost and found so she gets the idea.

I agree, however, that it's poor ettiquette to use the handicap shower all the time. How would you feel if you got out one day someone in a wheelchair was waiting their turn to use it? Not so great? I know that's a what-if scenario and it wouldn't happen often, but you should really split your time between that shower and one for able- bodied people to reduce the odds.

CLRWILLIAMS25 SparkPoints: (34,625)
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8/17/12 2:00 P

I would use one of the other showers. If the handicapped one is more popular because of it's size, it probably gets use a lot more, which would kind of weird me out. We have 6 stalls in the bathroom at my work, and 1 that is at the end of the row that is essentially it's own room (with real walls). And I never use it because everyone else uses it so much.
Enjoy the cleanliness of the other shower stalls :)
Or stick a note on her bag. I would probably do the note if I were severely bothered, as I am not really confrontational.

CHEETARA79 SparkPoints: (102,692)
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8/16/12 10:15 A

So there are 3 stalls and 1 is handicapped. All 3 are unoccupied but for this ladies stuff in the handicapped stall? I would just pick one of the other open showers and git-r-dun. It's just a shower. You don't need the handicapped stall any more than this lady does. What she's doing is annoying but not worth any conflict, IMO.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (1,660)
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8/16/12 7:50 A

I agree with moving her things to a bench. That will keep her stuff safe and enable you to use the shower. If she says something to you about it maybe just try to nicely say that the showers are for everyone and not reservable. If she doesn't want her stuff touched she should not leave it out in a public area.

As for the people complaining that only the handicapped should be using a handicapped accessible stall -- I don't know how long you take to shower, but when I am at the gym I take about 10 minutes. From what I have seen being a gym member for 3 years this is more of the norm (but I can only speak to my own personal experience). If during your workout you can clearly see that there are no handicapped people in the gym I can't imagine how there would be a problem using the handicapped shower. It's not like a handicapped person is going to come in, complete a workout, and need the shower in the 10 minutes that it would take for another person to finish showering.

Edited by: SARAHANN01 at: 8/16/2012 (07:53)
CINEMAVEN Posts: 338
8/15/12 10:43 P

I totally agree with everyone who says move her stuff out and I agree with Heather that the shower is for everyone's use but is adapted to make it easier for those who are handicapped.
Speaking as someone who is very claustrophobic, I go into panic mode if there isn't a handicap bathroom and I happily wait for the adapted shower at my gym.
Only once in my life has a person in a wheelchair come in while I was using the bathroom and she was very rude about having to wait ( less than a minute) and very unsympathetic about my claustrophobia so she made me much more comfortable about using the larger stalls. (lol ...if she'd been nice and polite, I'd probably felt horrible about making her wait a minute!)

That said, if someone is waiting to use the shower I'm in, I always make it super quick.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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8/15/12 10:16 P

Handicapped doesn't mean "incapable of waiting a few minutes while someone finishes using the shower." Seriously, this is NOT a big deal. It would be the same if a mother had to change her baby's diaper. Sometimes, we have to wait. I'm all about respect,accessibility, and fair access and equal rights. But we do not have to avoid the use of unused spaces on the off chance that sometime in the 10 minutes or so we're using them someone might come in with different needs. They'll survive. Really.

SALONKITTY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/15/12 6:51 P

I'd either just use another shower or simply speak to her. I don't think one needs to go to management unless you've spoken to her and she's refused.

I wouldn't use a handicapped facility as I'm not handicapped and would want to leave that restroom/shower/etc. available for people who are. I don't feel entitled to those spaces.

PATSYB7 SparkPoints: (161,806)
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8/15/12 6:27 P

I've had this same thing happen at my public gym with a person leaving their things in a dressing room. I agree it's annoying and thoughtless of the person doing this. I haven't had to move their stuff but it is something I considered.

Regarding the handicapped stall--if a handicapped person were using it and another handicapped person needed to use it, they'd have to wait. I agree with a previous poster that it is handicapped accessible, not reserved.

I'd like to know how handicapped people feel about this?

AMANDAREB SparkPoints: (4,069)
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8/15/12 6:18 P

My two cents? The mature thing to do is talk to her, that you don't think it's fair she reserves the shower before her workout. The non-confrontational thing (and what I would probably do myself cause I'm a coward) is take out her shower stuff so you can take your shower. Maybe it's just part of her routine to put her stuff in there before her workout, and she doesn't know if's been noticed by anyone.

About whether or not to use the handicap-accessible shower or bathroom stall, agree there's a difference between accessible and reserved. I would never park in a handicap-reserved parking space. However, I don't see anything wrong with using a larger stall or shower if there's no one using it, and of course it there is someone with a handicap present, deferring use to them. I use larger stalls all the time, and can't think of one instance when I got out and there was an angry person with a handicap waiting on me. In fact, the handicap-accessible stall is where a lot of places put the diaper changing table.

HOLLY228301 Posts: 148
8/15/12 2:55 P

i understand that it isn't a handicapped RESERVED shower, but what if the poster is taking a shower and a TRUE handicapped person was to come in and need the shower... is she going to need to wait for the current showerer to finish, when that shower was designated for the handicapped individual? there are 2 other showers that are usually NOT in use... i can understand that if all the showers were taken that THEN the poster was only left with one option... but she CAN use the other showers, when perhaps the handicapped individual can not...

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
8/14/12 6:29 P

so if you are using this handicap shower and a handicap person shows up are you stopping your shower and letting them use it........? Showers are not to be reserved but why make a stink over something so petty. I believe we choose our battles. What is worth fighting over.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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8/14/12 6:20 P

I disagree. Restrooms and showers are handicapped *accessible* - not handicapped *reserved* - if someone who is handicapped is present, I absolutely agree they should have priority access since they are likely unable to use regular facilities, but there's no reason to avoid using something if no such person is present and needing it.

Handicapped parking spots are a different matter altogether. They're legally reserved for those with permits.

You don't need a permit to use the handicapped stall. :)

Oh, and regarding the work gym thing: If the matter isn't resolved by a polite discussion or simply moving her things, go to HR. Any company large enough to have a gym has an HR department. It doesn't have to be a formal complaint, just a "look, there's someone who is using the shower for something other than showers, and they're not willing to change this. I did XXX already to try and resolve this on my own, but it hasn't helped. Could you please take care of this?"

Because frankly, that's what she's doing; she's using the shower as her own personal locker.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 8/14/2012 (18:22)
TIZSLIM Posts: 1,133
8/14/12 5:34 P

Broadly speaking, I agree with what you are saying Zorbs but, as this is a work gym rather than a public gym, it kind of depends on whether any handicapped people are currently using the gym doesn't it?

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (176,439)
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8/14/12 5:25 P

I agree with everyone saying that you can't reserve a shower, but I also think that unless you are actually card carrying handicapped, you shouldn't be using it either. I never use the handicapped bathroom stall or parking spot OR shower.

TIZSLIM Posts: 1,133
8/14/12 5:20 P

Well as you can see, though there have been various suggestions as to how to deal with it, pretty much everyone feels it's wrong to 'reserve' a shower. I'm assuming obviously that no handicapped people are wanting to use the shower and being stopped. That being the case, it's fine that you 'prefer' that shower. I'd still go for the friendly chat option though. Who knows, you could land up being good friends, after all, you clearly have some likes in common. emoticon

TECH-ANGEL SparkPoints: (4,785)
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8/14/12 5:10 P

Thanks! You guys are making me feel better!

I haven't (yet) run into the problem of the other two showers being used, and I guess that's why I'm afraid I'm making an issue out of nothing. I LIKE that shower better than the others. :)

THERESAMARIEM SparkPoints: (77,909)
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8/14/12 4:55 P

I agree with the rest of the responses. I don't think its right. You can't reserve a shower.

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
8/14/12 4:40 P

Next time it happens, I would move her stuff somewhere (nicely - on a bench, or another chair outside of the shower) and take my shower. I would leave her stuff where I had moved it, and let her know. Nicely, something like (Hey Mary, I just wanted to let you know I moved your gym bag to the bench next to the showers. The other two showers were full, so I had to move your things so I could take my shower, and left them out as the showers are so busy right now. I hope you don't mind.) If she gets snotty about it at that point, then I would tell her I don't think it's fair/appropriate for her to leave her things in the shower that way.
I don't think it's petty of you, or that you're focusing on something insignificant. It's probably bothering others as well. Good luck!

HOLLY228301 Posts: 148
8/14/12 4:37 P

i thinkit is poor etiquette in itself to use a handicapped shower when you're not handicapped.... just as it is to take a parking space designated for the handicapped... but you are right... she can't take CLAIM to a shower... but remember its not your's either

TIZSLIM Posts: 1,133
8/14/12 4:32 P

Have a chat with her. Don't moan or 'accuse'. Just explain that you also like to use the larger shower and if her stuff is in there, you feel awkward about using that shower. A case of 'owning' your feelings to avoid making her feel defensive.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
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8/14/12 4:27 P

I think that it's poor etiquette for her to leave her things in the shower stall when she isn't there. Have you thought about asking the people that work there about what is going on? You wouldn't have to come right out and ask but you could let them know that people are leaving their things in the shower while they workout and people are unable to use the shower. I understand where you are coming from though. My initial reaction would be to move her things and if she said anything to you about it, tell her to take it up with the management.

I'm not sure how I'd really respond though. I am fortunate that the gym at my university has a family shower in addition to the men's and women's locker room. I prefer the family shower because I have the extra privacy, space, and I don't feel as rushed when I am in there. Besides, the pool doesn't feed into the family shower like it does in the women's locker room so it isn't as humid (so I feel drier in the end).

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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8/14/12 4:26 P

Take her stuff out of the shower. You can't "reserve" a shower you're not using. She's being presumptive and rude.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 8/14/2012 (16:28)
TECH-ANGEL SparkPoints: (4,785)
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Posts: 19
8/14/12 4:19 P

Alright, first I'm going to preface this with the statement that I do have a bad habit of fixating on small things and blowing them out of porportion. So, feel free to tell me to let this go. :)

In the womens' locker room at the gym at work, we have 3 showers. One is a "handicapped" stall. It has a larger area between the door and the shower stall and maybe a bit larger shower stall. The other two are fairly small.

I, of course, prefer the handicapped shower. There's a stool in there for me to put my gym bag on, and handrails in the stall that I hang a bathtub caddy from with my shampoo and stuff.

Due to some medical stuff, I had to take almost a month off exercising. It seems during that month, someone new started using the gym, and decided she could just put all her shower stuff in the larger shower BEFORE her workout. I'm calling foul on this. There's no reason to tie up one of 3 showers, especially when your workout runs through the busy time for the showers.

So, what's the best way to handle this? There is no "managment" at the gym to whine to.

So far, I'm trying to decide which is the better option. Ignore it and go on with my life, Ask her to stop, Take her stuff out of the shower and putting it on the bench in the locker room.

I really don't know which is the best option.


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