The Lifetime Fitness in Sandy, Utah has been doing some minor renovations in the locker rooms lately. Specifically they’re replacing the carpet that exists in certain areas with tile (don’t ask me whose idea it was to put carpet in a locker room in the first place).
Now, to fully appreciate how the events I’m going to describe to you could have happened, you have to appreciate how I get to my preferred locker spot in the locker room, which is the group of lockers nearest to the swimming pool. If one enters the normal way, one walks through the gym, enters the front of the locker room, walks the entire length of the locker room past all the lockers and sinks, and only then arrives at the last group of lockers. This group of lockers is more enclosed than any of the others, offering more privacy–not that privacy is my concern, proximity is, but I bring up the privacy aspect because it will be relevant shortly.
The alternative way to enter the locker room is to, instead of walking through the gym, enter the family locker room, walk through it, exit into the pool area, and then enter the men’s locker room. Upon entering, one walks past the hallway of showers (not through it, but past it), and then the last group of lockers is right there. I think it saves me a few steps getting there, plus it’s closer to the pool, as I mentioned, so I generally enter this way, although sometimes I go the other way just to throw anybody off who might be waiting to ambush me, like a terrorist or IRS agent.
Today, I entered in my normal way, that is, the alternative way, through the family locker room and pool area. As I turned to go into the locker room, I noticed a large sign place prominently near the front of the entrance, but I figured it was another promotion for some product or some event Lifetime was having, so I ignored it. Later I would realize I had indeed read it, but just didn’t process it.
I entered the locker room, passed the showers, and went into the last group of lockers. I chose one, undressed, put on my swimsuit, got everything else ready, and went into the showers to take a rinse off. In retrospect, I already felt that something was a bit strange, but my first real clue that something was wrong was when I noticed what appeared to be a woman’s swimsuit hanging over one of the glass shower doors. My second clue was the blurry figure through the glass that did not look very manly. Now what were those words I had seen on that sign outside? I think some of them were “temporary”, “women”, and “locker room”.
I dashed out of the shower stall and quickly exited into the pool area, probably looking a bit pale. A male gym employee happened to be standing there, and as I came through the door he looked at me a bit strangely. I looked at the sign again, which clearly read “Temporary Women’s Locker Room” and something about apologizing for the inconvenience. There was a separate sign in front of the women’s locker room explaining that it was temporarily the men’s locker room.
The gym employee assumed I had just walked into the women’s room after swimming, had quickly realized my error, and had done a rapid about face. I explained that no, I had indeed been in the women’s locker room for a good five minutes, had been naked for at least a few seconds of that time, had entered the shower area where there was at least one woman taking a shower, and only then had realized my mistake and come darting out. He seemed unfazed and not very amused, and expressed some disbelief that I hadn’t seen anyone else in the locker room sooner than I did. I explained that I was in the group of lockers that is more private, right next to the exit, so I couldn’t see anyone while I was changing, nor could they have seen me unless they had walked into that group of lockers. He said he would find a female employee to go inside and retrieve my belongings, which a few seconds prior had been merely a step or two away, but were now completely inaccessible to me.
Long story short, it all got sorted out and nobody will be pressing charges, but a few hours later I’m still a bit jittery.
Now, you might ask why the locker rooms were switched? Because of the renovations. You see, having completed the tile work in the men’s locker room, they had moved to do tile work in the women’s locker room, but I’m guessing the contractor they hired doesn’t have any female tile layers, and since the tile is being laid during business hours (which are 24/7) they had to move the women out temporarily.