I religiously attend a 24 hour gym, morning and night, where I sweat to my hearts content. In conjunction with my workplace, I spend 90% of my waking hours at these two locations, home is but a place to eat, prepare for the next day, and sleep.
The gym is a public place and as such, there must be a certain degree of etiquette; social rules that should be adhered to. For example, whilst I can walk around my home in my birthday suit, ie. naked, somehow I don’t think I would garner much support doing so at the gym; I won’t test it out. Similarly, I can sing to my heart’s content, pick my nasal passage, play my music at any volume and go to the bathroom without closing the door in the sanctuary that is home. I wouldn’t entertain the idea of embracing this level of freedom at the gym.
Unfortunately, some people do, and this rant is an expression of one such recurring act; the unlocked bathroom.
I’m not sure whether this is something that occurs more frequently in the winter season, but within the last week, I have had the displeasure of walking in on male gym goers in the bathroom/toilet.
How can this be? No, I do not use the male lavatory, rather the three bathrooms at my gym are unisex. All are a bathroom and toilet combination and all have LOCKS! Hence, when I push a partially ajar bathroom door open, I expect to see an empty lavatory. My expectations have not been met.
Incident number one involved the bathroom door being closed, but bearing the green, ‘vacant’ symbol. My natural assumption was that the last user may have left an unsavoury scent, thus closing the door to prevent it infusing the rest of the gym. With held breath, I opened the door. I was met with a solid unit of a man sitting on the bowl, scrolling his mobile phone screen. I can only hope he was on Facebook, rather than date hunting on tinder.
As expected, I naturally closed the door and returned to my cardio machine in order to prevent further embarrassment, for both me and him. Incident two took place two days later. This ‘exposure’ was somewhat less ‘accidental’ in nature. Walking through the unlocked AND partially open bathroom door, I was met with another male standing at the bowl, taking a leak. The guy clearly didn’t have any confidence issues as he continued expelling his free flowing stream even after acknowledging my presence.
Now I understand the first incident as potentially accidental in nature, Mr. Phone swiper may have simply forgotten to turn the locking latch; understandable on account of his excitement at checking his mobile device. But what justifiable grounds are there to exonerate Mr. Open door pisser? Although I’m known to attend the gym at ungodly hours such as 4am, this incident did not take place during such ridiculous time frames; it was 5 p.m.
Is it legitimately that difficult to close a door, to turn a latch? Both offenders had ample, functional hands, the first evident by his dexterity when swiping his phone, the second clearly having no trouble grabbing his appendage.
The final incident was a strange shower debacle. This time I was approaching the bathroom door, again closed but unlatched. I could hear the shower water running and assumed the occupier had simply overlooked locking the door; an understandable error. After about a minute of waiting, the apparent occupier walked out of the bathroom, dry to the bone, no towel, bag, or other washing implements in sight. He closed the door behind him and the water continued it’s flow.
The situation left me somewhat perplexed, as I reeled through a host of potential explanations. Was there a water leak in the bathroom? Had he simply forgotten to turn the shower off? Was he some sort of wasteful jerk that got a kick out of incredulously using our precious resources? I debated whether to enter the bathroom, and just as I placed my hand on the handle, I heard a jovial whistle emanating from the room. There was another person in there, my suspicion confirmed some 5 minutes later as another bloke walked out of the steaming room, water dripping from his hair, towel in tow. I could only imagine what had transpired in that room some 10 minutes earlier. Was dude number 1 taking a dump while dude number 2 showered? Was dude number 1 involved in some lewd acts with dude number 2 prior to having a shower? The possibilities were unlimited, my imagination wondered.
In any event, the point I would like to convey is that the above scenarios are not okay. Sure, the offender may have a limited, or rather, a non existent degree of shame, but the poor victim, ie. ME, has been embarrassed and inconvenienced. When I open the unengaged toilet door, I expect an empty lavatory. Is this not my entitlement, a human right? Think of the elderly, the weak, the socially susceptible. Surely, grandma Betty would be heinously frazzled if met with the likes of a naked body upon entering the lavatory after her morning treadmill crawl. Little Jenny would surely bawl her eyes out if she found the said offender upon opening the door to tinkle after her midday kinder gym session.
So, my friends, if any of you are offenders, please reconsider your actions. Take the time, that extra second, to turn around and verify that the door is indeed locked as you enter the unisex bathroom. Compliance would be greatly appreciated.