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Background

I cycle to work on a daily basis and will use the same clothes on the way to work and on the way back. I have overactive sweat glands and they can get quite damp, so I leave them on a clothes hanger, hanging on a single hook, to dry in the changing rooms. I also leave my towel to dry and my cycling shoes under the bench. I can't bring a change of clothes to use others, as there isn't enough space to bring all my items to work, especially during wet weather where I need things like waterproofs, etc.

Most of the time, I have no issues and will come back to find my items still there. However, twice I've had something weird happen. The first time I came back to find my clothes had been removed from the hanger and thrown on the floor behind some lockers (The lockers have since been removed and have now been replaced by a bench as no one was able to use them correctly). I thought it was odd, but maybe the clothes fell off and been accidentally moved around. The 2nd time, was on Friday where I came back to find my clothes missing. The clothes hanger, towel and shoes were still there, but my clothes had been taken off the hanger. I searched and couldn't find them, I spoke to our security guards to see if anything had been handed in, nothing. I checked our other changing rooms (We have two, one for the gym and one that was installed whilst waiting for the gym changing rooms to be ready, as we've recently moved to a new building. The 2nd one is nowhere near the gym or fitness room), in case someone had moved them, nothing. I went back to the gym changing rooms and thought I'd check the bin, and lo and behold, my items were in the bin. Someone had taken my items off the clothes hanger, left everything else (The hanger, towel and shoes) and thrown them in the bin. There was no note, no sign as to why, it was just done. I spoke to our security team and they didn't know what I could do. There are no cameras in the changing room, however to access the area you do need to swipe your key fob to open the door. This means anyone going in would have been recorded, as long as people didn't hold doors open for each other, which happens often.

Reasons as to why they did this, I can only guess they were not a fan that I was taking up space in the changing rooms whilst not using the facilities (Gym, fitness room). People regularly come in, use the gym and leave their items lying around and don't appear to have any issue.It's funny because in the 2nd changing room, people are leaving their items there all the time.

Because of this, for the future I'll use the 2nd changing room, as it appears no-one cares about items being left there. But I would like to find out who put my items in the bin.

Question

I would like to find out who did this and why so I can understand what their issues were with my clothes hanging in the changing rooms. Security have been little to no help so far, so what is the best way to go about this?

I'm thinking of posting on our local intranet site a question and seeing if anyone either owns up or contacts me with further details about it. Is that wise?

I'm also thinking of asking our security staff for the logs of who used the gym on that day so I can narrow down the search.

Is there anything else I should do?

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, Michael Grubey, Mister Positive, WorkerWithoutACause, gnat Apr 30 '18 at 18:43

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  • What kind of changing rooms do you mean in your post? Do you work in a fitness studio? Most offices don't have changing rooms. – BigMadAndy Apr 29 '18 at 11:33
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    Could it have been the cleaning staff? – Anne Daunted Apr 29 '18 at 14:56
  • What's your goal here? Recovering your clothes? Finding ways to stop losing them in the future? identifying the specific person? – enderland Apr 29 '18 at 15:45
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    @enderland It sounds like OP's goal is to identify the specific person. He has already found his clothes, and a way to avoid losing clothes in future (although I am a bit skeptical about that, but if it works for him ...) – Masked Man Apr 29 '18 at 17:01
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    @JoeStrazzere No, not really. I want to understand their reasoning and find out if there is something either I could do different or they should do different. I'm not a child who needs to yell at people, but I would like to learn from this experience on what caused this to happen – Draken Apr 30 '18 at 8:06
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It's unlikely that you're going to find out who did this - even if you did get a list of suspects from security, you still need to have a difficult conversation with each one.

The solution is pretty straight forward. You get an email sent from the people who administer the changing rooms politely asking people to respect members belongings and that any issues should be directed to the changing room administration team (who should them pass on the concern to the person involved).

It's the same thing as someone who leaves dirty plates in the departmental kitchens - the action is to inform everyone (via emails/posters) to be more respectful of others.

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The most obvious would be to write a company-wide email noting someone did this, explaining why you hang your clothes the way you do, and asking if people could be careful when moving clothes as you would rather not find your clothes in the bin.

This only really works if the only people with access to the change room are company employees (along with security/cleaning people).

Make sure the email is polite, does not cast assumptions on the intent and explains why you leave your clothes hanging.

Whoever is doing this is probably a lunatic of some sort, but they near-definitely won't respond. But at least this way you've made it public so if it occurs in future management can be alerted and take action (eg checking the security logs for who accessed the area etc).

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    Consider the outcome of this email when your co-workers see it. You're telling everyone in your company that you suffer from excessive sweatiness to such a degree that someone threw your clothes away... – Snow Apr 30 '18 at 10:23
  • If someone threw the clothes away because they were smelly, the probability OP will find this out by email is 0. Just as nobody would tell a coworker they smell, no sane person would answer an email to which the truthful answer would need to be "I did it. Your things smelled. Sorry!". Similarly, if someone is bullying OP, they won't come forward when asked whether it was them. Basically, that's not a viable solution and if the email is not formulated really carefully OP is risking making his (possibly smelly) things a subject of a company-wide discussion. – BigMadAndy Apr 30 '18 at 11:42
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    Please don't send out a mass email to the entire company for something so petty!! Everyone gets enough emails. Talk to the cleaning staff and/or the actual person in charge of the changing room. Maybe they can put a sign. Also, don't expect a resolution on this, if someone is a germaphobe and a jerk, that person is not going to necessarily admit it. Also, consider that those clothes may have fallen to the floor because of one person and then that a different person who saw the clothes on the floor put it in the bin. In other words, you may be looking for two jerks, not just one. – Stephan Branczyk Apr 30 '18 at 15:32

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