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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?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 12-Jul-19 10:54:54

I think the OP's username together with the subject matter raised some suspicion, along with the discrepancy between the first post and subsequent ones about the layout of the showers - initially there were cubicles, then they disappeared.

Dollywilde Fri 12-Jul-19 11:05:12

In fairness @HappyLoneParentDay this is right up the street of some recent trolls. Factor in that some of the schools have broken up already... It definitely pinged my bullsh*t-ometer.

In the short term OP, I'd be buying a swimming costume or moving into other accommodation. Longer term, I would be putting in a formal complaint to my employer.

BarbedBloom Fri 12-Jul-19 11:07:02

If this is exactly as you say then YANBU. I would be leaving. I would not be showering in front of other women or men. I wouldn't use a gym or stay at a uni with this set up either. I can't believe any work place would be okay with this, has anyone complained to your employer yet?

If you do stay the only sensible solution is a shower rota so everyone has the chance to shower in private, but i would be making an official complaint

Rosielily Fri 12-Jul-19 12:07:23

I can't believe that nobody has spoken to the employer about this. I'd just go home and deal with it later.

Alsohuman Fri 12-Jul-19 12:13:21

I’m not getting this. Showers were in individual cubicles when I was a student 30 years ago.

Rumplesmoothskin Fri 12-Jul-19 12:24:45

I did have to ask DH if he'd be willing to use a communal shower with other men after the OP said the men have been showering together. He said yes, he's come to terms with his body. Personally, no way would I blush

OP, if this can't be resolved, I'd be telling the group that we need a rota. Half an hour each etc. Set up a WhatsApp group and let each other know if you'll be using it at any other time so they can stay the hell away.
I would also call your Union rep.

Rumplesmoothskin Fri 12-Jul-19 12:25:57

@Rosielily, I'd assume that the employer is aware, they put the clients in en suite rooms!

glueandstick Fri 12-Jul-19 12:30:11

Even my boarding school in the 90’s has separate showers!

trackingmedown Fri 12-Jul-19 12:38:42

I read the OP and thought you were being unreasonable. Now you have explained the shower situation I agree with you entirely. I would not stay there.

Fyette Fri 12-Jul-19 12:56:15

Mixed sex is completely irrelevant here - and makes this all seem goady. I wouldn't shower in front of female colleagues either.

managedmis Fri 12-Jul-19 13:15:22


Any thoughts?

leasedaudi Fri 12-Jul-19 13:32:51

OP is probably staking out the bathrooms, wrapped in a towel and trying to work up the bravery to make the dash under the shower

CherryPavlova Fri 12-Jul-19 13:56:18

Sorry, this is so funny and unless the poster is staying in some random centre in a small Russian town, it’s untrue.

Boarding school showers have doors.
University accommodation have doors.
Activity centre showers have doors.

Are they writing some sort of story that men get excited about, perhaps? That would figure with the username.

Rosielily Fri 12-Jul-19 14:18:01

@Rumplesmoothskin of course - I hadn't thought of that!! I'd just go home then. Seriously!! 😂

ChristmasFluff Fri 12-Jul-19 14:55:19

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BigChocFrenzy Fri 12-Jul-19 15:05:39

Many gyms have communal showers without any cubicles
e.g. all the ones I have belonged to over the last 20 years

However, only once have I had communal showers on a work trip and that was in my first job back in the early 80s,
when workers had fewer rights.

I was attending an academic conference at iirc a single sex college
It was a mixed sex conference of course, so some of us agreed to stick an "occupied" sign on the outside door, to shower alone
It was only 2 nights and afaik the other folk just stayed dirty

It was very old-fashioned even then and would be totally unacceptable nowadays

BigChocFrenzy Fri 12-Jul-19 15:07:19

"mixed sex conference" may have made it sound more exciting than the science conf it actually was ! grin

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 12-Jul-19 15:19:31

In your OP you said the showers had cubicles.

I'm still bewildered as to what your question actually is...

BlueSkiesLies Fri 12-Jul-19 15:56:45

Even single sex boarding school houses have cubicles.

This thread is clearly total bullshit, or at the very least a massive exaggeration.

There is no was that accommodation modern enough to have some ensuites, doesn’t even have shower curtains or cubicles.

Rachelover40 Fri 12-Jul-19 16:27:59

Chochito isn't a controversial name, is it? Seems an OK nickname to me, lots of people have odd names on here.

Re-reading the opening post, Chochito said there were ,"shower cubicles, toilet cubicles", but I think she just made a mistake and meant to only say,"toilet cubicles". Easily done.

I don't know why people are so suspicious, there's nothing in this thread that could be misconstrued or insight intrigue.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 12-Jul-19 16:31:35

You do know what her nickname means?

Rachelover40 Fri 12-Jul-19 17:43:47

No! Wait while I google it.

Done: Gross. Never knew that. It's horrible, yeuch.

I wonder why she chose that for a nickname, perhaps she heard someone say it but didn't know the meaning.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Fri 12-Jul-19 17:44:51

You can see why people were a bit hmm

ReanimatedSGB Fri 12-Jul-19 18:08:21

I have encountered group showers (and used them) in the last couple of years. As I said in a PP, I go to some small folk festivals which often involve camping in the grounds of sports clubs, where there are team showers. OP might be staying somewhere like this. So I don't think the story's implausible.

Unless OP works in the type of industry where freakish 'initiative tests' occur, the most likely explanation is that whoever booked the accommodation just saw a cheap deal and nabbed it, without thinking to question the bathroom arrangements. TBH I was initially more sceptical that a fuss was being made over men and women having separate rooms but on the same floor of a building - hotels do not generally segregate floors by sex (or gender) because most functional adults are all right with the idea that someone Not Like Them might be staying in the next enclosed, private room.

But, again, a lot of people wouldn't like to have to shower with colleagues or be seen naked by colleagues. Most women, unfortunately, have taken on board the bullshit that their bodies are 'inadequate' and something to be ashamed of whatever their bodies actually look like, and certainly anyone who has eg had a mastectomy and previously had seen no need to share that information with colleagues, would dislike this idea. Even if all you have is a sexy tattoo somewhere normally covered by your work clothes, you might not appreciate such a lack of privacy.

CharityDingle Fri 12-Jul-19 20:28:01

Unless OP works in the type of industry where freakish 'initiative tests' occur, the most likely explanation is that whoever booked the accommodation just saw a cheap deal and nabbed it, without thinking to question the bathroom arrangements.

OP is a teacher, I think.

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