Cameras in the Locker Room

redhatI have finally gone back to the gym. Everyone said I was ready and with support and a good trainer to help, I could do this. I agreed and so off I trotted. I like my trainer, she and I have worked together before, she isn’t body perfect and she has had some injuries, she understands.

What does she understand you ask, rightly. She understands if I say I can’t do that I am not being a whiny itchy baby, I am saying my injuries won’t let me do that particular movement. When I say that she modifies the movement and we work through it. That is why I like my trainer. We are working to rebuild me, from the ground up. We are working to rebuild my balance, my strength and my confidence. She isn’t asking me to step on a scale, she isn’t measuring my waist, my ass or my thighs. She gets I feel miserable in the layers of fat I am wearing today and don’t need reminders. She talks to me about food, nutrition and other programs my gym offers and we look for things that might work for me.

I like my trainer. I usually like my gym, but this is a Red Hat, so you know there is something that must have stuck in my craw, something that has me sideways.

I meet my trainer in the morning on the way to work, specifically I work out at 7am. This means I must change at the gym. I must shower and dress at the gym, this already grosses me out. I must use their facilities, their locker room. When you walk into their locker room there is a great big sign, you can’t miss it unless you are blind it:


Obviously not the actual sign, but a close

facsimileDespite this very obvious sign you cannot miss unless you are blind, women are casually carrying on extended conversations on their smart phones. Listening to music on their smart phones. Playing games or something on their smart phones.

Unless I am mistaken, all of these phones have cameras in them. I am fairly certain, I am not mistaken.

What I am most annoyed with is many of these women have walked directly by the locker room attendant with their phones plugged directly into their ears, nothing was said. Then there are the women who are sitting on the benches casually chatting on their phones, carrying on conversations as the attendant walks through the locker room without saying a word.

What the hell? Which one of them can’t read the sign? The member or the attendant, this is the question I want answered.

Yesterday, my patience finally reached a boiling point. Maybe it is me but the locker room at the gym is not a tearoom or a bar, especially first thing in the morning. I don’t want to navigate around body perfects standing in the middle of the aisles discussing last night with each other or the person on the other end of their smart phones. I don’t want to try to dress while other women are sitting on the benches with their phones to their ears carrying on complete conversations. I certainly do not give to tinkers damn, who they did or in what position they did them.

Can I just say…..You are not that important!!

It is unlikely there is anything going on in your life that is so important it cannot wait for the one hour it takes you to work out. Leave your phone in the car. I do.

If you want to work out to music, buy a $49 IPod. Yes, I am well aware your smart phone does everything today. Tough, it isn’t allowed in the locker room and it makes others very uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable.

In fact, it makes me so uncomfortable I thought about it all day. I stopped at the gym on my way home and talked to the Operations Manager about it, he wasn’t there yesterday morning. I told him about my experience of the morning, including his own staff not doing anything. He is apparently new to this gym.

He promised to talk to the staff.

He suggested I say something to offenders first. I explained, it isn’t my job to enforce gym rules but that I would be happy to do so politely once. The problem with this is I would be doing so to ¾ of the women in the locker room and I really didn’t have time to police the locker room. It was the job of his staff to prevent members from entering with their smart phones.

I suggested his staff do their jobs at the front end, at the door of the locker room instead and that if I had to do it for them it would only be polite once. We talked about the maliciousness of humans, women in particular. I reminded him of the pictures we have all seen on the Internet from time to time, those terrible pictures we all laugh at of Wal-Mart customers, Fat Girls and others. I asked him where he thought they came from, did he really believe people posed for them.

My next work out is Thursday morning. I will give him an opportunity. If things aren’t better, I will politely say to other members their phones aren’t allowed in the locker room, point them to the sign at the entrance and ask the attendant to deal with it if necessary.likemycamera

If things aren’t better, next Tuesday I will pack my 35mm film camera (without film) into my gym bag and when I am dressing, I will put that empty camera on the bench next to me. What do you think, might the important ladies of smart phones cadre be a tad discomforted by my camera?


  1. do you ever just stop and think about exactly how damn HUGE the universe is? Not just our galaxy, but the entire universe? When you think about the scale of it all, you can help but wonder how we as humans have decided that we are so important that we have to be available 24/7. Great post! That drives me nuts too!

    • I frequently stop to think just that. I frequently also draw the same conclusion, I often ask those silly women in the locker room with their phones just exactly why they believe they are so important they can’t be without that device for some brief moment in time. I leave mine in the car!

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Did you consider taking a stack of business cards of an optometrist, and hand them out to people on cell phone? “Here’s a card of a good optometrist. I thought you might need it because there’s a huge sign about cell phones which you probably didn’t see clearly.”

  3. singleworkingmomswm says:

    Valentine, can’t wait to hear what happened today. I (secretly) hope the management handle the perfect people and their perfectly (annoying) smart phones!! 😉 And, I’m so happy for you hitting the gym and getting the guidance you need to work out in a healthy way. Hugs and love. XXOO-SWM

  4. I take a Zumba class. There are no rules re cell phones and cameras, but with all that dancing and moving, there’s no way anyone would have time for using one, anyway. Thank goodness, because you wouldn’t want to see me shaking my flabby arms or anything else for that matter. Yikes. Scary thought.

  5. I am more mad at the manager who asked you to deal with it than the phone talkers. Looking forward to hearing what happens.

    • I am not mad at him for telling me to ask the offenders to put their phones away, in fact I am sort of glad he gave me permission to do so!

      We will see what happens. Wait, this one may well get a follow up.

  6. My gym has the same policy. I think they all do. Yes, it’s an unfortunate side effect of cell phone technology; some people think they must have it at all times. Otherwise, they are not whole and complete as human beings. I’ve heard men in stalls talking on their cell phones; others while standing at a urinal. This post makes me realize it’s not exclusively a male phenomenon. Either way, I can’t imagine why some people think their conversations are so important they must engage in them at all times. I think it’s especially rude and even grotesque in a bathroom or locker room. By the way, Val, I hope you wear flip-flops and carry extra towels (relatively small ones) to pick up your dirty clothes.

    • No, this seems to be a problem that crosses gender lines. Weird isn’t it? I leave my phone in the car, just don’t need it. When my dad was ill it was glued to me. When my daughter in law was about to give birth it was glued to me, other than that; hell, I am just not that important and nothing anybody has to say to me is either.

      As for shower manners and germs. I have shower slippers and I don’t let my gym clothes hit the floor.

  7. Definitely act like you are taking pictures of the women on the phone..haha

  8. I’m cheering for you to win! Keep us posted! Some people don’t think the rules apply to them.

  9. Excellent, I think you are going to enjoy those workouts once you get into the swing of them, and if any of those phone carrying loons get in your way just use the infamous roundhouse kick and nudge execute, that will spoil their fun and if you accidentally on purpose step on their phones as they scramble around on all fours looking for them at least it will prompt them never to bring them into the locker rooms again 🙂

    After all there isn’t much point in offering a warning sign that forbids the use of phones, videos and cameras if they are blatantly ignoring it, I guess those ignorant types are just too thick skinned to care but you are right to challenge them and I hope that someone listens to you 🙂

    Okay enough on the morons of society Val, so that is thirty sit ups, a cartwheel and forty press ups. And if you are still feeling chirpy after those there is a pool available 🙂 Twenty lengths should cover it unless you can do more? 🙂 😉 After this new regime I know that you will be fit as a fiddle in no time and probably as thin as a rake also, but don’t be overdoing it, remember just small workouts to start with, oh and there is no rush either 🙂 lol

    Have a wonderful rest of morning and a superb afternoon followed by a relaxing evening 🙂 xxxx

    • No, I don’t believe I will ever, not in one hundred million years ever enjoy them. But I will do them because they are good for me.

      Unfortunately, those ignorant types seem to be the norm.. So I will simply take things to a new level, see how they enjoy it.

      As for thin? No, don’t even want to be thin. Thin doesn’t look good on me. Just want to be healthy.

  10. Great that you are getting back into the Tread of things! and hope you are all smiles for the Camera! 😀 and show us how its done! ….. Sending you lots of Positive Energy Val… and will be looking to your Youtube link LOL 😉 ..

    Be Good and Enjoy your Exercises……. sending you a Hug. xox

  11. About two years ago I was in TJ Maxx schleping up and down the aisles and wasting time while my daughter was at a gymnastics class. I was carrying on an animated conversation with a friend, oblivious to anyone and everyone around me. A lady tapped my on the shoulder, and kindly but firmly told me how rude I was being. She was right. I was incredibly embarrassed, and keep my conversations to myself whenever possible. You go girl (and congrats on your commitment to living a healthy life)/

    • I talk on the phone, a great deal. Sometimes, when necessary I talk in stores or other public places if it cannot be avoided. But usually I keep my phone in my car. I also keep it on vibrate. There is simply nothing that bothers me more than hearing other peoples conversations.

      People scream about invasions of their privacy then put all their business on the street. I was once at a Starbucks, sitting outside enjoying my coffee and a book. A woman about my age was having a conversation about her previous evenings escapade, in vivid detail. I could not help but overhear. It was better than the light porn I was reading so I put my book down and listened. When she noticed she glared at me and said “Do you mind!!”. I replied, “Not at all carry on, please I am enjoying this.”

      She stomped of to regale others with her sexcapades.

  12. The last time I worked out in a gym (except for hotels), there weren’t any cell phones with cameras. Yuck. Who would want that in the locker room? And why don’t people recognize how impolite it is to talk on the phone around others? Call me old-fashioned, but I still step out to a quiet place when I have to take a phone call.

    I feel for you, and I’m with you–it is not your place to have to enforce the gym’s rules. I think that’s absurd. I hope they take your complaint to heart. But I agree–your trainer sounds great!

  13. And therein lies my eternal question…What keeps their skulls from caving in?

  14. Geez, what part of locker and people changing don’t these people understand huh? if they are in such a hurry to gossip they should do what they have to do and go outside to chat. A locker room is no place for waving around a smartphone.

  15. How about getting a a poster made up saying “SMILE! YOU’RE ON CANDID CAMERA!”

    Half of them will scurry out the exits, the rest will pose. Oy. I have a treadmill …

    • My problem? I know me, I wouldn’t use a treadmill if it were in my home (except as something to hang tomorrows outfit on). I need the discipline of the gym and a trainer, at least for now. I also like my gym, it has a indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa and lots of classes. It also has massage, nutrition classes and even a cafe with lots of wonderful healthy choices. I like my gym! I like my trainer.

      I am going to take the smart phone ladies on though. They simply don’t know who they are effing with. ❤

      • You go girl!

        I have learned to use the treadmill, except in the last few weeks when I have been sick. I blog on it (when you see all those typos in my comment, picture me trying to hit the right keys).

        Your trainer sounds like she should be cloned.

  16. My gym (I think most) has the same policy AND the same problem. And it is annoying. And intimidating. AND RUDE. I can’t quite figure out why people can’t just get off their darn phone, stash it, and take it out again when they leave to workout. Just Monday I was in the locker room changing and there was this lady who was just sitting there staring. Granted, no phone…thus no attempt/possibility of pictures, but just sitting and staring.I looked her in the eyes and she just smiled…as if her sitting and staring was normal. I not so politely told her that if I wanted someone to stare at my ass and smile, I would walk naked in front of a construction site. She looked confused, as if she hadn’t been sitting there stare at me as I changed for 5 minutes.. People are stupid. There are ‘unspoken rules’ for locker rooms…and they all entail giving people a bubble in to feel safe in all their naked and uncovered glory between changes. In all honesty, I LOVE my gym and the locker room has almost a spa-like feeling. But – I GET the cell phones. I don’t want the risk of me being ‘shared’ on the internet by any of the local dipshits I share the locker room with. Between being known locally as teaching at the community college and the not so gentle rumors of my job as a prostitute being passed around town by my ex, the last thing I need are students, parents and attorneys looking at my naked ass from the locker room.

    Apparently, I needed to wear a Red Hat for a second there too.

    Everything you said is so justified. People don’t get it and they don’t get that they aren’t so important they can’t put their phones away for the 10 minutes they are in the locker room.

    This is a good fight to fight….it’s one you aren’t the only one battling in.

    • This is a fight I will gird my loins and fight. I will by damned have the privacy that sign guarantees me. Those stupid unimportant women will put their effing phones away when in the locker room. I don’t have the patience for their ignorance!

      I also have no patience for them making me uncomfortable. Want discomfort? They really haven’t seen me in a full blown come and get it rage. I am quiet but my tongue is razor sharp and they truly do not want to feel the edge.

      By the way, you are welcome to Red Hat moments, any time. That is what the Red Hat series is all about. Want to guest post, let me know.

      • I’d agree…lack of patience for their ignorance and the overabundance of apathy for the staff and management. This is a problem all over…the difference here is that we are talking about people making us uncomfortable in a VERY vulnerable place…and because of basic human dignity, it should be STOPPED. hopefully management will step up because I doubt ignorance will leave the locker room.

        As for being part of the Read Hat, wow! It would be an honor and a privilege. I’ll be in touch 😉

        Hang in there and FIGHT ON! You have a herd of supporters out here rooting for you.

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