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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)

AnnieLobeseder Sat 09-Feb-13 15:49:00

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?

SauvignonBlanche Sat 09-Feb-13 15:50:31

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.

Sparklingbrook Sat 09-Feb-13 16:08:50

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>

Sparklingbrook Sat 09-Feb-13 16:12:05

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!

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