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to feel uncomfortable (mixed sex accommodation)

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Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 22:37:40

I'm on a work project for a month with 9 colleagues from different parts of the company. I knew one of them before as I worked with him on a 6 week project last year. I don't know any of the others.

We are all staying in university halls of residence style accommodation. The building is usually only occupied by men but as we have it for private use we have the women staying on the 1st floor rooms and the men staying ion the ground floor. There are 3 women and 8 men on the project.

Some of our clients are also here and staying in the same accommodation. There are 3 women and 4 men. The female clients are staying on the 1st floor and the male clients on the ground floor.

The clients have en suite rooms, but 9 out of the 11 workers share communal bathrooms (shower cubicles, toilet cubicles). There is also a communal kitchen, on the ground floor, which can be accessed by the corridor with the men's bedrooms or by another door from the outside of the building.

Everyone has access to all parts of the building apart from people's bedrooms and there are no doors apart from to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen.

2 of my colleagues are married (man and woman) and have been given an en-suite room on the first floor.

Is this odd or am I overreacting?

thetimekeeper Thu 11-Jul-19 22:39:32

Odd how?

Wagonwheelsandjammydodgers Thu 11-Jul-19 22:40:33

So men are on one floor, women are on the other (other than the married couple)....
Are there bathrooms on each floor? If so then I think it's fine.

MrsJamin Thu 11-Jul-19 22:40:43

I don't get what your concern is?

Devondoggydaycare Thu 11-Jul-19 22:40:46

I'm surprised they are even segregating adults on different floors. Why are you so concerned?

user1471449295 Thu 11-Jul-19 22:41:09

I would expect to be able to share a room with my husband

Treaclesweet Thu 11-Jul-19 22:42:32

What is strange about it? Where else would you like there to be doors...?

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 22:42:59

Yes you are massively overacting

BillywilliamV Thu 11-Jul-19 22:43:07

Do you demand single sex accommodation in hotels? Not all men are rabid rapists, most of them need their jobs and wages for a start!

Grobagsforever Thu 11-Jul-19 22:43:07

Communal bathrooms meaning several showers in one room? That's awful in a work scenario. But assuming you mean a single shower with a lock it's fine

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 22:43:54

What do you think people do in hotels! I mean they might be next to a man!! shock

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 11-Jul-19 22:44:09

Can you clarify what is worrying you about the scenario? Because I honestly don't understand. Everything you describe seems utterly unremarkable.

ConfCall Thu 11-Jul-19 22:44:57

Sounds ok to me

EllenEyewater Thu 11-Jul-19 22:45:40

I’m not seeing the issue here. If the couple have an en suite, why would the man be using the communal bathroom anyway?

999caffeineplease Thu 11-Jul-19 22:45:43

Massive overreaction

Littlechocola Thu 11-Jul-19 22:45:45

I think you are overreacting

kmc1111 Thu 11-Jul-19 22:46:43

As someone else said, I’m just surprised they separated the sexes onto different floors.

JocastaJones Thu 11-Jul-19 22:47:01

I think ensuite accommodation should be the absolute minimum for a work trip.

Aridane Thu 11-Jul-19 22:47:10

Don't understand the problem

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 11-Jul-19 22:49:04

How is it odd?

stucknoue Thu 11-Jul-19 22:49:03

What's the issue? - hotels used to have shared bathrooms (occasionally they still do!) I'm sure the toilet has a lock. You aren't sharing a bedroom and they (despite you being adults) segregated by sex as much as possible. If what you are really saying is you should have en-suite accommodation take it up with your bosses but honestly when I was a kid you shared a bathroom with complete strangers in hotels

Cleanmywindows Thu 11-Jul-19 22:49:22

What is odd about it in your view?

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 22:50:35

In most hotels I would not have to share a communal bathroom and if I did I would not expect to share it with men.

I also think it's odd that they have separated the sexes onto different floors except for one man who is on the "women's floor" because his wife is here.

TarragonSauce Thu 11-Jul-19 22:50:35

Do you have control over who enters your sleeping space and can you ensure your privacy whilst showering, using the toilet and dressing. If so, you are over reacting.
This seems no different than staying in a continental city hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, where you would be expected to use a communal breakfast room and serve yourself, even making your own pancakes etc.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 22:51:51


No privacy whilst showering; it's like a gym / swimming pool set up (communal shower, anyone can enter). Toilet has cubicles.

Private bedroom (not en suite).

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 22:53:51

stucknoue I don't want en suite, I just find it weird that I have to share the showers and toilets with men, who are my colleagues, especially after they have gone to the trouble of separating our bedrooms onto different floors.

Purpleartichoke Thu 11-Jul-19 22:56:08

if The man on your floor is not allowed access to the bathroom, then that aspect doesn’t bother me.

I am very concerned that the showers are not private. They are expecting you to shower in front of co-workers? That is crazy, regardless of sex.

EllenEyewater Thu 11-Jul-19 22:56:17

Are there bathrooms on each floor or is there one bathroom that everyone who doesn’t have an en suite shares?

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 11-Jul-19 22:57:09

The showers are just in a big row and unisex? Really?

Iltavilli Thu 11-Jul-19 22:59:09

In my first week at a start up, we stayed in dorm rooms at a youth hostel. Women in one room, men (over the corridor) in another, but we were total strangers.


CherryPavlova Thu 11-Jul-19 22:59:44

Which university halls still has communal showers without doors? Seems somewhat odd if you are suggesting this is U.K. - even in single sex accommodation.

Ontheboardwalk Thu 11-Jul-19 23:00:59

I’m not understanding the shower situation.

Are you saying it’s one big open shower that you all walk into?

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:01:25

Purpleartichoke Everyone has access to the bathroom and toilets.

The individuals with en suites (the clients) don't use the communal bathroom or toilets, but the couple with an ensuite do as they want to shower / shit at the same time as each other (e.g. before we go out for a dinner, etc.)

User8888888 Thu 11-Jul-19 23:01:37

I wouldn’t like that I. I wouldn’t expect communal showers for work accommodation. I don’t think you are unreasonable given the set-up you describe. I’ve stayed in university accommodation for conferences or training but it has always been en-suite.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:01:53

EllenEyewater Yes, one bathroom for everyone.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:02:53

It's not an actual university, but it's that style of accommodation.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:04:03

Are you saying it’s one big open shower that you all walk into?

Yes, like at the gym or a swimming pool.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 11-Jul-19 23:04:24

You can't possibly be expected to shower in a communal OPEN shower in front of women and men!

It's not prison !

I'd have just moved into a hotel by now

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:05:12

Sorry, just realised I made a crucial typo in my OP which has confused everyone.

The toilets are like standard toilets in an office or pub etc. with one room and then various cubicles, and then the basins and hand dryer in a communal area.

The showers do NOT have cubicles, it's a communal shower like at the gym.

Datun Thu 11-Jul-19 23:05:23

But do you all use the bathroom at the same time?

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:06:16

LaurieFairyCake I can't afford a hotel and I don't think there are many around here (hence work giving us this accommodation - in many other ways it's quite luxurious so I don't think it's that cheap).

I have been showering at 4.45am.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:07:27

Datun Most people want to shower at the same time because we will come back from meetings at the same time then say have an hour's turnaround time until dinner, for example. And in the morning's we start our meetings at the same time so most people will want to get up at a similar time and shower then.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:07:38


leasedaudi Thu 11-Jul-19 23:07:53

What the hell is this place? Are you on a mining site in Australia? Sounds bloody horrific.

EllenEyewater Thu 11-Jul-19 23:08:12

OK, I’ve changed my mind and YANBU if it’s one bathroom for everyone and communal mixed sex showers. Think the couple are a bit of a red herring, though, as presumably even if they weren’t there you’d still be having to share bathroom facilities with your male colleagues, from your description.

lyralalala Thu 11-Jul-19 23:08:56

Communal showers is unacceptable for a work trip.

At the very least one set of showers should be designated as female and one male. Anyone going in the ‘wrong’ one should face the sack.

JaniceBattersby Thu 11-Jul-19 23:09:28

There is no way on God’s green earth that it is acceptable for anyone to have to shower in front of colleagues, and especially not colleagues of different sexes.

I’d just go home and put in a massive fucking complaint to work.

Flashingsilver Thu 11-Jul-19 23:09:29

I would check out, and move into a budget hotel. Or a decent hotel.

I couldn’t live like this..people walking into showers ..ugh

Move out. Let work know, but move out, it’s unacceptable.

We used to have to book hotels from an approved list, with my old employer, do this if you can.
Regardless of whether the firm will foot the bill, I’d leave this place and get a cheap hotel.

steff13 Thu 11-Jul-19 23:09:32

So you and your coworkers are expected to all line up naked in the shower together like in prison? That's not acceptable.

Letthemysterybe Thu 11-Jul-19 23:10:00

One big all together sharing shower is very odd. Has anyone showered together? So weird.

Flashingsilver Thu 11-Jul-19 23:10:57

Goodness, if you can’t afford to move out, put signs up... women only, men only .. for goodness sake.

Flashingsilver Thu 11-Jul-19 23:11:17

And all of you have a quick meeting about it.

merlotqueen Thu 11-Jul-19 23:13:07

I would really hate this. It would make me very anxious as I am a very private person. How cheap to put you and clients in this position. shock

steff13 Thu 11-Jul-19 23:13:12

And all of you have a quick meeting about it.

Do it at your next group shower. 😂

Wearywithteens Thu 11-Jul-19 23:13:33

YANBU. I was in similar work situation and spoke to the accommodation manager to request a change. I’m no spring chicken and my days of slumming in student digs is long gone. I’m a grown woman, a mother of 3, not a teenager. I need my privacy and dignity. If they have en-suites for some there are probably more - if you are going to be there much longer I would definitely see about getting something different. Get a bit moany and awkward about it and see what happens...good luck!

Orangeballon Thu 11-Jul-19 23:15:16

I would not want to wash my fanduff in front of anybody.

martinidry Thu 11-Jul-19 23:15:52

I'm with @JaniceBattersby
Fuck that, I'd be straight out the door and on my way home.

Do you get paid enough to be treated with this level of contemptuous disrespect?

Datun Thu 11-Jul-19 23:16:26

Do you mean like this, OP? And is everyone naked, or wearing a swimsuit?

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 23:17:41

Well you really didn’t make that clear and you’re analogy to halls is stupid. Because they have private lockable showers.

You’re basically in a low rent council run gym.

No in that case, I wouldn’t stand for that.

SapphireSeptember Thu 11-Jul-19 23:18:08

Nope, YANBU.

Where I'm going in August has a shared bathroom but the showers are in cubicles (thank goodness.) I would not want to be showering at the same time as other people. Just nope, not a chance in hell.

IhaveALooBrush Thu 11-Jul-19 23:19:00


Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:19:14

The men tend to shower together, I sneak in and shower before everyone else gets up and think the other woman also does it at random times when no one else is around. I think she skipped lunch one day to go and shower, as she had dampish hair in the next meeting.

Justgivemesomepeace Thu 11-Jul-19 23:19:38

Communal showers? What sort of place is this? I cant believe students or anyone would be happy to have communal showers. Ive just imagined having to see some of my colleagues naked in a shower and its really not a nice thought and the images won't go away....i cant imagine theyd be too pleased to see me in no clothes either. My naked body is something i dont even look at if i can help it. Who the hell thought that was ok? You'll have to get a rota and guard the door for each other or something.

Applejack5 Thu 11-Jul-19 23:19:48

I don't think the accommodation set up is a problem, except for the showers! But I would feel that way whether they were open to both sexes or not... there is no way I'd be accepting having open communal showers with any of my colleagues, male or female. What a joke!

How many shower rooms are there, and can you lock them / take it in turns so you get privacy?

HelloyouKant Thu 11-Jul-19 23:20:18

You’ve got to be fucking joking am I showering, naked with my work colleagues. Morning Pauline, nice muff. I would resign in a heartbeat if anyone even suggested it. It’s medievil.

Chochito Thu 11-Jul-19 23:20:41

Flashingsilver There's only one set of showers and toilets so we can't put up signs.

Datun Yes, like your photo.

C8H10N4O2 Thu 11-Jul-19 23:20:46

Why are staff not in en suites as well as the clients? Whatever type of organisation do you work for?

Datun Thu 11-Jul-19 23:20:59

Is it like my picture Chochito?

And what do they expect you to do? Shower with other women and possibly a man ? Naked?

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 23:21:26

Get together and have a sign on the door saying occupied. For each individual and work put a rota.
Then get home and find another job

Datun Thu 11-Jul-19 23:21:45

Sorry, crossed posted. No, you are not being in slightest bit unreasonable, in that case.

I've never heard anything like it.

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 23:22:39

I mean the main door. Each person takes the whole space for 10 mins each.
That’s unless there are hundreds of you,

Is it amazon btw. Sounds like the kind of thing they might do!

EustaciaPieface Thu 11-Jul-19 23:29:17

I go to a cheap council gym but we have shower cubicles!

GrandTheftWalrus Thu 11-Jul-19 23:29:39

I'm away with work and theyve split married couples because there are no ensuite. So all female and all Male to a block and all days or nights.

We are in uni accommodation as well.

Thump Thu 11-Jul-19 23:30:23

No, I wouldn't like that.

Ontheboardwalk Thu 11-Jul-19 23:30:31

No fuck that shit. I’d be out of there YANBU

Thump Thu 11-Jul-19 23:32:18

All gyms I've been members of have shower cubicles with lockable doors.
All youth hostel accommodation I've been in in the UK have the same.

What country are you in?

AmeriAnn Thu 11-Jul-19 23:33:23

You should have explained in your OP that it is one row of open showers and everyone can see other people's tits and dicks. Your explanation of 'showers like at a gym' made no sense to me because I've never used gym showers and I suspect many gyms allow people to keep their dignity.

I would go home of I was expected to shower naked in front of work colleagues - even same sex.

Those are like prison showers, although I've never been to prison either.

olympicsrock Thu 11-Jul-19 23:34:03

Just wait to use the bathroom individually. Surely there is a lock?

ReanimatedSGB Thu 11-Jul-19 23:35:41

I wouldn't care all that much, but I appreciate a lot of adults don't like this level of communal showering, even in a same-sex situation. It's pretty unusual to have open-plan showers on a business trip. (I'm used to them at folk festivals but they are not actually that common these days, even when you're camping in the grounds of some rugby club.)

ReanimatedSGB Thu 11-Jul-19 23:37:42

And I think the fact that it's potentially mixed sex is rather less the issue than the fact that professional colleagues are in a situation where they are expected to get naked in front of one another, which most people are not going to like, because we are not a country/society that likes group nudity very much.

AmeriAnn Thu 11-Jul-19 23:38:33

lol You got 68% YABU because you didn't explain yourself clearly!

notapizzaeater Thu 11-Jul-19 23:41:22

Is it In the UK ? Can you not lock the door to the whole room whilst you ar,e in the shower ? I hated communal showers at school, I'd not use them at work !

lyralalala Thu 11-Jul-19 23:43:32

If there’s only one other woman then there must be at least one en suite spare that you could share the shower so at least then there’s a male and female space.

That’s ridiculous though. Your employer are actually leaving themselves wide open id something happens in that set up

Anyonebut Thu 11-Jul-19 23:44:02

YANBU at all!
On a different note, I really dislike your username.... Are you aware of what it means in Spanish and how it's used?

Justbreathing Thu 11-Jul-19 23:46:03

Omg you’re username! I just googled it

ThistleDownHair Thu 11-Jul-19 23:47:00

This is not acceptable at all. In fact, even if it were separate male/female communal showers it would still be completely unacceptable.

I’d be in touch with my manager explaining that they either rectify the situation (ie I get a private en-suite) or I’m out of there. If they didn’t re gift I would 100% leave and kick us a massive fuss. It’s not on.

FYI - I’ve done my fair share of world travel/backpacking, stayed in many a hostel, and that kind of set up wouldn’t have been acceptable to me then let alone now!

Datun Thu 11-Jul-19 23:47:37

On a different note, I really dislike your username.... Are you aware of what it means in Spanish and how it's used?

Ahhh. Is this just goady fuckery in that case?

paddlingwhenIshouldbeworking Thu 11-Jul-19 23:49:43

I honestly don't think I've seen showers like that being used for full showering since the 1980s. At university we had individual cubicles in communal bathrooms and every gym I have joined since.

The only place I've seen them is poolside when everyone is wearing swimming gear.

EllenEyewater Thu 11-Jul-19 23:50:12

Actually, I’m confused. I’ve just been reading the “who doesn’t get presents for teachers” thread and you’ve posted that you’re a secondary school teacher. This seems a really weird setup for a teaching related course.

BlueSkiesLies Thu 11-Jul-19 23:52:35

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GrandTheftWalrus Fri 12-Jul-19 00:03:05

There are 6 females in my block and 2 showers but they are behind a lockable door.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 12-Jul-19 00:10:49

Every gym I've been to - in 3 countries - has communal showers, including my current one
I've no problem showering naked with other women

- but I CHOOSE my gyms for other reasons
The OP has no choice, because her employer chose for her

CherryPavlova Fri 12-Jul-19 00:24:30

I’m wondering which schooltakes it’s teachers away to get naked with each other? Most schools can’t afford a twilight session let alone overnights for a month.
A teacher can take a month off with colleagues? Who’s teaching the children left back in school?

koolaider Fri 12-Jul-19 00:26:24

Men shower in the morning, women in the evening or vice versa?

That's still shit though but may be easier to tolerate

DarklyDreamingDexter Fri 12-Jul-19 00:29:21

I wish there was an option to change votes! Sharing mixed sex facilities with separate cubicles is one thing, sharing communal space with no privacy is another. Do they seriously expect you to shower naked alongside male work colleagues?!

cannycat20 Fri 12-Jul-19 00:34:48

Flippin' eck, sounds awful! A few years ago a colleague and I were at a conference and due to booking late (employer wouldn't give us permission until VERY late on), the bathroom setup only accommodation that was available (at a VERY prestigious English university, at one of THE richest colleges, I might add) was not dissimilar - I took photos of it as I couldn't believe, in this day and age, it was still allowed; it was worse accommodation than I'd had as a student in the 1980s where at least we could lock the flippin' bathroom door.

And you're there for a month? Lordy. Not the answer, as it sounds like an affront to dignity apart from anything else (does your institution have a "dignity" statement or anything?) but for your own peace of mind temporarily, could you shower in a swimsuit maybe?? Or, I don't know, team up with some of the other female teachers and arrange shower times or something? You shouldn't have to, but if you're stuck there for a month, there aren't many other options - solar showers? Join a gym for a month and use their showers??

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 12-Jul-19 00:35:59

I think the OP is doing something like teaching a summer school in a boarding school and is in a boarding house that would usually be single sex.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 12-Jul-19 00:38:28

If my guess is right, it might be worth seeing if there are other facilities on site like sports changing rooms that are single sex that you could use.

BinkyBaa Fri 12-Jul-19 01:06:06

Honestly the couple, the mixed genders, the clients and everything else is irrelevant.

That shower situation is bizarre and unacceptable. It still would be even if you were all women!

Is there more to this OP? Because if I were forced to stay in a place with that sort of facility for work, I'd be looking for a new job.

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