Dear Fellow Gym Members:
Funny thing about the gym locker room: It’s not your private bathroom and/or dressing room. Less funny thing about the gym locker room: You treat it as such, and, for the life of me, I cannot understand why. Perhaps you are new to our little gym community. If so, allow me to take you on a guided personal tour.
Over here we have the bathrooms, complete with walls of showers, toilets, and sinks, as well as the steam room and sauna. Notice what’s not here? Your mom. In fact, no one’s mother is here, and even if someone’s mother were here, she’d be at the gym on her child’s guest pass, not acting as the cleaning lady in the women’s locker room. Remember when you were growing up, and your dear mother used to nag you about cleaning up after yourself. Well, here at the gym we don’t nag, but that messaging still holds true. Please don’t make us have to hang up one of those annoying printed signs that read: If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat. We like to think we’re above that sort of thing, but please tell us if you’re not.
I know what you’re going to say. But doesn’t the gym have a cleaning staff that takes care of all of this stuff for us? The gym does in fact have a cleaning staff. But you know the nice lady who’s always in the locker room picking up your wet towels off the floor and sweeping up errant toilet paper from within the stalls? Well, she’s not actually paid minimum wage to follow you around as your personal valet. She’s paid minimum wage to wipe off the sink countertops, replace the shampoo, conditioner, and body get dispensers in the showers, put more toilet paper in the toilet paper thingies, restock the locker room with fresh towels, and rescue any morons who accidentally lock themselves in the steam room or sauna. She’s not your slave or indentured servant, or even your well-paid personal assistant. Don’t get in the way of her doing her job, or one day you may find yourself in dire need of tee-pee, but none within reach and no one in the neighboring stall to help you.
Step this way. Have you enjoyed our showers yet? Here’s something we never enjoy: When the hair that’s on your head (or elsewhere) takes a detour on its way to the trash bin, and instead lodges itself in the shower drain beneath our feet in a hirsute blockage. Actually, it doesn’t really lodge itself. It’s more like: You clump it together and drop it down there without a second thought. This kind of behavior makes us want to revoke your gym membership in the spirit of making a kind of citizen’s arrest. Or, at the very least, it makes us want to tell your mommy on you.
Now, look down, if you please: All around us we have what’s called the locker room floor. I don’t know how things went down at your last gym (and I’m sure I don’t want to know), but here we use the floor for walking on, not as a receptacle for dirty wet towels, used tissues, and discarded ponytail holders. Which brings us over to these handy, built-in laundry hampers. Have you ever seen an invention like this? Ingenious, really. These conveniently located large wooden boxes lined with rectangular plastic trash cans become a temporary resting place for all those small, white gym towels that are one of the perks of membership here. Use as many as you like! Observe as we simply drop our damp towels into said laundry hampers on our way out of the locker room. It’s so easy. And we’re confident that, with practice, you’ll be able to master this task as well as we have.
If you’d kindly turn your gaze over toward the lockers, we’d like to show you something truly inspiring. See that woman over there, who has clearly just finished swimming in the pool? Look at what she’s doing. She has spread out two gym towels on the floor in front of her locker so as to prevent a semi-freshwater lake of water from forming all around her and her fellow lockermates. How novel. She’s really something, isn’t she? And I just know that her sopping wet towels will end up in our thirsty hampers when she’s done. If you try really, really hard, someday you may be lucky enough to be like her.
All around the locker room you’ll spy these things called trash cans. They exist purely for your convenience, so that you can place all your unwanted objects and belongings in them. Simply insert the piece of trash into the can. Voila! You’re done. Cool, huh? Unfortunately, we can’t take credit for inventing the miraculous trash can, but we can take credit for knowing how to use one.
Well, this concludes our little tour, which is completely free of charge, by the way. We hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot from it; and we hope it will (immediately) change the way you treat and experience the gym’s locker room. If nothing else, we hope we have inspired you to go home, call your mom, and, in between ashamed sobs, tell her how sorry you are for never having learned to clean up after yourself properly.
See you on the elliptical! (I know you wouldn’t even think of leaving that crappy old tabloid magazine on the machine when you’re done.)