What do you say when you have to tell someone of the opposite sex (whom you don’t know very well) that their fly is open? This goes both ways. See, there’s this sense that you’re invading someone’s privacy by having looked “there.” There’s a whole sexual issue that gets raised, when in some cases, it’s just a casual glance that got diverted by the blue shirttail popping through. And what if you’re about to make a big presentation or a small meeting?
What if you like to cross your legs???
This situation can bring up some anxiety issues. You hope that all someone saw was your underwear…and that there weren’t extra holes. But for guys, there could be the protection of a tucked in shirt. Women wear tighter pants…and more interesting underwear. All of a sudden, shy Sally in Accounting has announced she likes a little red lacy fun on Fridays.
I imagine that there’s someone who’s job it is to do the wardrobe check before a celebrity goes on the air for a guest spot. Producers for a show might even have code words on giant cue cards, or something as simple as “Check yourself during commercial.” In day-to-day settings, what do you do?
I know for me, it’s a little hard. I have this feeling that every time I even talk to a man in Minnesota, they think I’m trying to sleep with them. I’m a young single woman when I should be very married by this age, so I MUST be looking to entrap some poor executive because I asked about his job while at a networking event. If I happen to notice that he prefers boxers with smiley faces, what do I do? Even if this businessman was about to get up on stage and say a few words to thank people for attending, I don’t know if I would say anything about his fly.
What about when you know the person? The male colleague who actually posed this question to me brought up a good point: even when you really know someone, it’s weird to say anything! “Check yourself” might mean “You have salad dressing on your chin.” And if you do a little nod or glance in that direction to, ahem, explain what you mean, then there’s the whole looking-down-there issue again. Sure, you could run down the hall, find another person of the opposite sex and say, “Hey Joe, Ryan’s fly is down. Will you let him know?” Then you’re just spreading the news. Joe has to go tell Ryan that his fly is down and he’ll KNOW that you said something. And the circle of humility continues.
But is it worse to just let him go? Get on stage or be in that important meeting all exposed? Ok, maybe not all the way, but I’m sure Ryan will feel like that once he realizes why no one would actually look him in the eye. Is it just as bad to NOT say anything?
What’s your experience with this? Do you tell? Do you find someone else to say something? Are there ways to make it NOT sound like it’s got to do with sex?