OT: Weird experience at gym

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Joined
Feb 26, 2023
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Location
Woodinville, WA
Yesterday at the gym, as I was getting out of the shower, there was a group of four construction workers waiting for me. The employee (female) stood between us with her arms spread and shouted back at me, "They're just taking measurements; they'll only be a minute!" I was so angry and embarrassed. Shocked, didn't know what to say.

I called after I left and asked to speak with the manager. The young woman who answered said tersely, "I'm a GM. I can help you." So I told her what happened and how uncomfortable that made me. She gave me the following excuses. "We're planning a big remodel, and are at the mercy of the construction company. They show up when they do. They just had to take a couple of quick measurements. They were only in there for a few minutes. There were quite a few other women in the locker room at the time. I called out to the shower area." Maybe there were other women in the locker room, but they were all dressed. I was the only one in the shower.

I had been in the furthest back shower, so when she "called out" I must've been washing my hair. I never heard her. I can't believe they think this is okay. And after I was dressed and walked out, the men were congregated around the locker rooms, so I had to walk by them on my way to my car. I'm so angry and shocked. I have been going to this gym for 2 1/2 years and have always had a good experience. I do my business, and that's it. There isn't a similar gym close by or I'd already be gone. I don't know what to do.
 
That is completely unacceptable behavior! 🤬🤬🤬

Were I in your shoes, I would write a letter with the facts and hand delivery it with my monthly membership dues. Then send that same letter up the management chain. Then talk to the management chain. Then, get the local news involved if I wanted to go nuclear.

But, that's just me

Edit: we're -> were
 
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@justsomeguy Thank you, I may do something like that. They auto-deduct my monthly dues, so I may as well just ask for the manager next time I'm in. My hubby is buddies with the owner of the gym. We are waiting for a response. I just need to hear that this was a terrible mistake and that it won't happen again. Meanwhile, I'm researching new gyms. I'm unlikely to go to the local news. I'm a private person and I don't want to be splashed all over TV. I just want to feel safe.
 
@justsomeguy Thank you, I may do something like that. They auto-deduct my monthly dues, so I may as well just ask for the manager next time I'm in. My hubby is buddies with the owner of the gym.
Great! Their response will tell you a lot. There needs to be groveling that goes with the apology. And some kinda penalty for the employee who thought that was acceptable🤬🤬🤬
 
Yesterday at the gym, as I was getting out of the shower, there was a group of four construction workers waiting for me. The employee (female) stood between us with her arms spread and shouted back at me, "They're just taking measurements; they'll only be a minute!" I was so angry and embarrassed. Shocked, didn't know what to say.

I called after I left and asked to speak with the manager. The young woman who answered said tersely, "I'm a GM. I can help you." So I told her what happened and how uncomfortable that made me. She gave me the following excuses. "We're planning a big remodel, and are at the mercy of the construction company. They show up when they do. They just had to take a couple of quick measurements. They were only in there for a few minutes. There were quite a few other women in the locker room at the time. I called out to the shower area." Maybe there were other women in the locker room, but they were all dressed. I was the only one in the shower.

I had been in the furthest back shower, so when she "called out" I must've been washing my hair. I never heard her. I can't believe they think this is okay. And after I was dressed and walked out, the men were congregated around the locker rooms, so I had to walk by them on my way to my car. I'm so angry and shocked. I have been going to this gym for 2 1/2 years and have always had a good experience. I do my business, and that's it. There isn't a similar gym close by or I'd already be gone. I don't know what to do.
They provide a service to the public and should take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously. This is a problem that could’ve been solved before it happened, by closing the immediate area to allow the workmen to do what they needed to, without making customers feel uncomfortable, awkward, and unsafe.
 
Thanks, All, for your kind support. I looked up the owner and wrote the following letter, which I put in the mail today.


June 1, 2024

(Owner name and address of club withheld)

Dear {name}:

On Friday, May 31, I was in the shower in the ladies locker room. When I stepped out, there was a group of four men standing there. They were being blocked by a young woman with a long, brunette ponytail, who shouted at me, "They just have to do a couple quick measurements and then they'll be out." I was so embarrassed and shocked, I didn't know what to do. Normally, when men need to work in the women’s locker room, the locker room is emptied and a sign is put up to let us know. This happened around 11:00-11:30AM. I don't remember her name, but based on my description and the time you can probably figure out who she is. I will recognize her if I see her.

The men finished their task and walked out, but stood by the locker room entrance casually chatting amongst themselves. After I was dressed, I had to walk by them on my way out of the building to my car. It was so humiliating. I can’t believe Management at {XYZ Gym} thinks this is okay.

Around 3:00PM I telephoned and asked to speak to a manager. The young woman who answered the phone said she is a GM. I related my experience and was given the following runaround: "We are preparing for a big remodel. We have no idea when construction workers will show up and need access to the women's locker room. I shouted out to the shower area to warn you.” (I was in the furthest back shower and washing my hair - didn't hear her.) “They just needed to take a few quick measurements. There were quite a few other women in the locker room then.” This is true, but all of them were dressed, not wrapped in a towel.

I've been a member at your club for a few years. I've been happy there. I'm quiet, I work out, I mind my business, I leave. Dues are paid by auto withdrawal. I even added my (adult) daughter to my membership.

I need to know this won’t happen again, especially considering your upcoming remodel. I want to go back to just enjoying my time at {XYZ} Gym.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

{Me}
 
Every time I go to the gym now, I would stop at the front desk and ask if it is “safe” to use the showers. If they get snarky, just tell them that, apparently, they have little respect for the privacy of their members and so you will continue to check on the status until the remodel is done. I would also mention what happened to my friends - maybe all of you could start inquiring about personal safety/privacy.Tthat should (1) wake them up and, almost better, (2) drive them nuts! Suit up, show up, and hold them accountable.
 
I think the “manager” is about the same age as my kids - 25-ish. Probably this is her first management position. So for her I’d like to offer a learning experience she could grow from and be actual management material one day. I think she may have been put on the spot in the moment and didn’t know how to say no.

Who I do think should be fired is the construction company. Why is it that they can’t book their guys in advance, so much so that they need urgent and immediate access to the women’s locker room? Who’s in charge of this mess?
 
I think the “manager” is about the same age as my kids - 25-ish. Probably this is her first management position. So for her I’d like to offer a learning experience she could grow from and be actual management material one day. I think she may have been put on the spot in the moment and didn’t know how to say no.

Who I do think should be fired is the construction company. Why is it that they can’t book their guys in advance, so much so that they need urgent and immediate access to the women’s locker room? Who’s in charge of this mess?
Also though, why did your gym allow that unannounced visit by men to a women's area?? Lack of preparation by the contractor doesn't remove the gym's responsibility to its clients.

(And what if there'd been deaf clients showering etc as well? Shouting from the manager is not a reasonable accommodation.)

Blocking off the showers and posting a sign that there would be contractors in the room for the next however long, is imo the way it should have been handled. If that made the contractor wait, well... they should have called ahead.
 
Also though, why did your gym allow that unannounced visit by men to a women's area?? Lack of preparation by the contractor doesn't remove the gym's responsibility to its clients.

(And what if there'd been deaf clients showering etc as well? Shouting from the manager is not a reasonable accommodation.)

Blocking off the showers and posting a sign that there would be contractors in the room for the next however long, is imo the way it should have been handled. If that made the contractor wait, well... they should have called ahead.
100% Thank you @paradisi !
 
I agree this never should have happened to you! The Y I go to doesn't even allow people to use phones in the locker room to protect privacy (ie, someone taking photos). I think @paradisi said it all best. If the contractor needs access to the locker room during times members are there, they need to call ahead.

I think you have handled this perfectly. Giving the benefit of the doubt to the employee who let them is very generous of you and shows a lot of grace on your part. Hopefully, the employee learned something valuable here.
 
That's just unacceptable behavior on not only the Manager, but also the Gym owners. It's against the law!

Go to the Police station and file a complaint. Get that report on paper. Has me wondering if that has happened before to other women in that Gym? Probably something similar. It only takes one person to stand up. The sheep will follow.

They will get the idea it's wrong as soon soon as they see that a complaint has been wagered.
 
Thank you, everyone. I'm not sure that it is illegal here in Washington State. My hubby went down there and spoke to the owner yesterday. It makes me angry that I have to have someone speak up for me in order to get any response. Front desk guy who checks me in every time knows me and spoke up for me, so there's that. But really, I enjoyed my time at the gym. I mind my business, I'm clean, the bill is paid. I should have no problems...in a perfect world. Owner does want to talk to me today and I've provided my phone number. But I still feel so hesitant just to walk in the place. A cloud hangs over my head instead of happy sunshine. Maybe I just need to get over it and move on, but this has been a difficult experience.
 
Thank you, everyone. I'm not sure that it is illegal here in Washington State. My hubby went down there and spoke to the owner yesterday. It makes me angry that I have to have someone speak up for me in order to get any response. Front desk guy who checks me in every time knows me and spoke up for me, so there's that. But really, I enjoyed my time at the gym. I mind my business, I'm clean, the bill is paid. I should have no problems...in a perfect world. Owner does want to talk to me today and I've provided my phone number. But I still feel so hesitant just to walk in the place. A cloud hangs over my head instead of happy sunshine. Maybe I just need to get over it and move on, but this has been a difficult experience.
Do what you feel is best. Decide that for yourself.
Do what you need to to get back to your joy.
Whatever that is. You're the only one who's opinion matters in this instance.
 

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