WIBU to ask them to let me in? Or complain to reception?

(44 Posts)
Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 15:45:29

Every Monday I like to go to my gym for an exercise class, and time in the sauna/jacuzzi bit. I have a back issue and so it helps me to stretch out afterwards.

At the same time, there are swimming lessons on and my class ends just five minutes changeover point between two swimming classes. The communal swim changing rooms just have cubicles to change in. By the time I get to the changing room to put on my swimwear for the sauna, every single cubicle is unoccupied, but the parents of the children in class have "staked their claim" to each cubicle with bags/towels etc. Now, I don't have children but I can fully understand the need to get children showered and warm quickly after swimming lessons. I can also understand that parents don't want the stress of lining up and waiting for cubicles to come free when there children come out of the shower. I fully get that. The layout of the changing rooms is such that there is no logical place to queue for a spare spot anyway.

I don't have much time after my class before I need to get back home but it is important for me to stretch out in the heat, as I say. It would take literally two minutes for me to nip into a cubicle, change and be gone. However, none of the parents are prepared to ever let me use "their" cubicle, even if their child hasn't left the pool yet. I regularly have to wait at least 20 minutes for a space. It's really very annoying. AIBU to think that they are being somewhat selfish in the circumstances? I genuinely want to know hence posting on a parenting website, what the consensus is.

Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 15:46:43

"their" children out of the shower, not there. (Sigh)

I would say that laying claim to a cubicle you aren't actually using is unbelievably selfish and I'm surprised your gym allows it. Are there people actually in there guarding the space? If not, I would probably just go into one and get changed, ignoring their stuff. But yes, I would speak to the gym management about it.

sppp Sat 09-Feb-13 15:50:14

If there is nobody in the cubicle then just go ahead and use it. If someone has to wait to retrieve their belongings it might make them think next time.

Goldmandra Sat 09-Feb-13 15:50:30

Presumably the parents concerned are on the poolside while their child is swimming so can't stop you using 'their' cubicle.

I have always put my children's belonging in lockers or taken the bag with me. It's selfish to block all of the cublicles for that time and TNB most younger children are OK with changing outside cubicles.

Have you spoken to the staff about this?

In the circumstances, I think you should complain.

LineRunner Sat 09-Feb-13 15:51:50

I would get changed outside a cubicle with a big towel. They can hardly complain if they won't let you use one.

Are these mums actually sat in the cubicles guarding them, then?

Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 15:54:44

Thanks for the replies! Not spoken to the staff about this... Yet. Don't want to cause a fuss if IABU, especially as I am in there every week. Parents aren't always at the poolside, some are in the changing area, but hovering near the pool entrance. There isn't any direct access from the spectators bit to the changing room, only down a few corridors. I thought I would ask on here for opinions, and if the overall view was I am not unreasonable, I would probably have a quiet word at the desk.

The gym staff probably don't know. There's not usually much demand for the sauna bit at those times because the pool itself is closed for lessons.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 15:56:02

Saving a cubical whilst your child is still in the pool is utter wanker type behaviour.

It should be law that anybody who does this automatically consents to there clothes being chucked in the pool.

Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 15:56:37

Is a weird "mixed" changing room arrangement - men and women use the lockers, separate cubicles. It's a local authority run gym, I should add. Not a posh expensive gym at all.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 15:59:57

YANBU. It's really not reasonable for people to stake claims in unoccupied cubicles. I'm sure the staff would agree.

But...can you exercise in your swimming costume them just whip off your trainers and leggings (?) and jump in the sauna? Just a thought if the claim-stakers win this one hmmgrin

Labradorwhisperer Sat 09-Feb-13 16:04:42

Haha! Tried it once, Kalidanger... Got very very warm. Also, the swimming costume was not as "supportive" as my shock absorber sports bra. Not my most dignified hour. I have been tempted to arrive early for my class and use one of the big "reserved for families only" lockers in the pool bit as a pre emptive revenge. However I thought that would be the swimming equivalent of sneaking into a parent and child space at a supermarket. Which I absolutely never do, even when grocery shopping at 2am with insomnia!

Floggingmolly Sat 09-Feb-13 16:05:23

I always simply removed the items and placed them outside the cubicle. Have had plenty of dirty looks, which doesn't bother me, but haven't been shoved into the pool yet.
Isn't the protocol a bit like - don't reserve a table before buying your coffee in cafes? People do it regardless, but I've no qualms about calling them on it.

nickelbabe Sat 09-Feb-13 16:06:24

I think you should complain.

In our leisure centre there isn't room to do that and we have lockers for while you're in the pool.
It's wrong as well as a security issue.

YANBU. They are being really cheeky. Complain to Reception.

evilgiraffe Sat 09-Feb-13 16:09:17

YANBU. I hate it when people do this, especially if there's limited space. It's so rude and unnecessary. Just ignore their clothes and get changed in a cubicle anyway - if someone has to wait, tough. And definitely mention it to the staff, it's really not on, and it's easy to put clothes away in a locker during the swim class.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 16:09:34

Ah, supportive bras <understands>

You're being very nice, OP. You sound lovely. That's why you haven't got anywhere to change angry Complain/explain to the centre staff or just help yourself to an 'occupied' cubicle. It's not like you're going to make it wet etc.

catnipkitty Sat 09-Feb-13 16:10:22

YANBU I think you should complain to the management. How ridiculous of the parents to 'save' a cubicle. What's wrong with using a locker? And the children are fine wrapped in a towel once out of the pool, and if needs be getting dry outside a cubicle <shock>

Yes I was thinking that catnip. Why do the children need a cubicle at all? confused

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 09-Feb-13 16:13:17

Yam I and I would just use a cubicle with items left in it infact it wouldn't even enter my head that it was "saved".

5madthings Sat 09-Feb-13 16:14:30

Yanbu just use a cubicle and out the contents on a bench in the changing area.

Do have a word with reception.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 09-Feb-13 16:16:15

Both complain to reception and move "abandoned " items from the cubicles.

willesden Sat 09-Feb-13 16:58:02

Start handing in all the unguarded belongings to Reception as 'lost property'. It is totally wankerish behaviour. Little ones don't need a private cubicle to get changed in.

WorraLiberty Sat 09-Feb-13 17:02:52


If the cubicle's empty, I'd just use it.

jamdonut Sat 09-Feb-13 17:08:22

I would complain to the management. Our pool has changing rooms exactly like that. The only difference is with swimming lessons the parents get the children changed around the edge of the pool (there is a seating area with tables....these are "bagged" in the same way your changing rooms are!

nancerama Sat 09-Feb-13 17:21:04

I swear, some formerly rational people have a chunk of their brains removed when they have a child and it almost always manages to manifest itself at the swimming pool.

DS goes to classes at the local hospital. I regularly see parents park in the disabled bays by the pool "because no one needs them at the weekend". There are 8 kids in the class and 8 cubicles round the pool. Regularly I have to contend with stroppy parents when DS gets out of the pool because I dare to use "their" changing room. DS has just got out of the pool, their DC is just getting in. They will get their cubicle back long before the lesson ends. I don't know what they expect me to do in the meantime.

OP, YANBU. Have a word with the leisure centre. You have just as much right to use the facilities.

13Iggis Sat 09-Feb-13 18:28:01

The changing layout sounds the same as my local pool, OP. I take my 5 year old to lessons there weekly, I just keep his stuff with me while I have a coffee. Or if I'm swimming with the baby I use a locker. No-one 'reserves' a changing room.
Maybe it's one of those things were because a couple of parents started doing it, now everyone things they'd better jump on the bandwagon. Very tempting to just knock them onto the (wet) floor. You have been very patient.

Slipperyslopin Sat 09-Feb-13 18:36:09

I was allways a bitch about it. Used to do a diving club when I was a teen and there were specific changing rooms for us, a large room with 4 cubicles. But we shared it with a swim team who finished an hour after us. They would allways WITHOUT FAIL leave bags and towels in the cubicals, so we couldnt use them EVEN though they weren't going to finish until be were long gone. We used to take them out and dump them in the showers, but they never learnt, so one time my friend and I took them out and put each individual bag, towel, shoe, basically anything that was loose, in different lockers throughout the changing room, with a lipstick message on the mirror telling them what would happen next time. Never had that problem again, however looking back i realize it was very mean and immature. But then I was a teenager.grin

My gym only had two cubicles, so I always got changed 'in the open', in the communal changing room - are you not allowed to do that, labradorwhisperer? If there is nowhere else people can change, the parents shouldn't be allowed to 'bag' cubicles.

our swimming pool has signs all over it saying not to put clothes into the cubicles before there is someone to go in them. The sign says not even to put clothing in them while waiting for your child to get out the showers and that clothing will be removed if found in an empty cubicle. I dont get the kids stuff out the locker until they have finished showering and think others are very selfish if they hog the changing rooms. I would complain.

I would make sure I was as wet and drippy as possible and stroll towards a chosen cubicle, when parent starts flapping say "oh did you want to get your stuff out first or shall I just push it to the side or hand it to you?" when parent claims her childs clothes indicate his/her sole use, I would just continue to go in the cubicle. Surprising how quickly some people will remove the clothes once they realise they are going to get damp.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 18:57:48


You are being very kind to these parents. They are behaving very selfishly.

I would be calmly, smilingly insistent. "I'll just nip in here, do you want to leave your stuff in here or shall I put it outside for a few minutes"

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 18:58:53

... or if the parent isn't there, I'd take the stuff out.

AmIthatWintry Sat 09-Feb-13 19:01:27

Well, by the law of averages, some of the people that do this must be MNers.

Would be nice if one of them came along and explained why they do it grin

lljkk Sat 09-Feb-13 19:04:47

Can't you change in a toilet cubicle?
Or wear bra under your swimsuit under your exercise class gear?

yanbu BUT it will be difficult for management to enforce and some of those yummy mummies will remember you for years as the pushy Sauna lady.

bluer Sat 09-Feb-13 19:05:19

Yanbu! How very rude of them all...not a great example to set for their children who will grow up having no respect for others.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 19:06:21

I'd say, because by the law of average some people are self-absorbed twunts, and having children doesn't changed that (in some cases it exacerbates the condition) wink

BillyBollyDandy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:06:37

Just go in and get changed. If their stuff gets wet, put on the floor, then tough.

I wouldn't ask or move it. Unless I had to dump put in on the floor while I dripped all over it got changed.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 19:07:32

Or you could pretend you hadn't seen it. Smily and breezy is the way to go. They smell fear

wintertimeisfun Sat 09-Feb-13 19:09:24

this used to drive me nuts when dd was learning to swim. made me want to get their shite and dump it on the floor outside the changing cubicle. mind you, it used to equally piss me off the parents who used to hog the shower heads shampooing and conditioning their kids hair, more annoying still when they would take ages training their youngest ie 3/4 how to wash their own hair. meantime other shivering kids standing there for about 15 odd minutes. showers are to rinse off the chlorine, not a bloody hair salon. makes the mothers life easier ie kids can go straight to bed but doesn't make the life easier for the other poor shivering sods. some people have no awareness for other people's needs

Tanith Sat 09-Feb-13 19:13:25

This comes up a lot on Mumsnet and posters are always fairly united in condemning it as selfish behaviour.

That is why I firmly believe these parents can't possibly be Mumsnetters
[polishes collective halo and glares at the other sites]


ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 09-Feb-13 19:26:53

Well I am going to fess up as a cubicle-leaver. When DD1 (PFB) was a baby and I used to take her for swimming lessons I used to leave our stuff very neatly squished in the corner in the family changing rooms next to the pool while we had the lesson. But it was always super-quiet (pool was closed except for one lesson) and it was an arse to manage stuff in and out of lockers with a babe-in-arms. Also if someone needed to use the room it was never a problem because they'd either be getting dry after their lesson at the start of ours or getting ready for the lesson after while we were still in the water.
So not the same situation at all, really, but felt a need to confess my anti-social behaviour!

BillyBollyDandy Sat 09-Feb-13 19:28:01

shock shock shock Arfur

I hope you namechanged for that revelation wink grin

ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 09-Feb-13 19:29:48


Wow. That felt really good grin

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