4

I was in line at a coffee shop and a very animated, friendly group (2 guys, 2 girls) was just in front of me. They were talking away happily about what seemed like work-related issues - so I assume they are all work colleagues.

I noticed that the one guy's fly was down, and I was torn as to whether to tell him, or not.

I did not want to:

  • interrupt a festive conversation
  • admit that I had noticed his crotch
  • embarrass him

Is there a lifehack that can help this situation?

closed as off-topic by holroy, Adam Zuckerman, CRABOLO, TIO Begs, michaelpri Sep 6 '15 at 21:03

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Does not seem to need a life hack — A "life hack" is a seemingly intractable problem that can be solved by thinking outside the box. Unfortunately, everyday "How to…" questions about learning a craft or new skill are outside the scope of this site. See about Lifehacks. If the author can show how this needs an "outside the box" solution, edit and 'flag' to reopen." – holroy, Adam Zuckerman, TIO Begs, michaelpri
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 10
    I realise you're looking for a way to do this discreetly, but I've never understood the stigma of the fly-unzipped thing. I've always just approached the other person directly. Wait for a lull in conversation then say something like "Excuse me, sorry for interrupting, but your fly is undone mate". He'll adjust it, say 'thanks' and go back to whatever it was he was doing before. – Robotnik Sep 4 '15 at 3:42
  • 2
    You could say something like "There are 15 guys and 7 gals in this room, and you are the only one with their fly down". This will make it so he doesn't think you were singling him out by only looking at his crotch, just that you look at everyone's crotch indiscriminately. BTW this question is off-topic for lifehacks, since it's a "mind hack" and not a hack about physical problems, like "how to get a stuck fly up or at least close the viewing area" – CRABOLO Sep 5 '15 at 17:53
10

You can be discreet about it.

Generally, the most effective, and discreet, way to tell him would be to place one hand on his shoulder, and whisper it in his ear so that the others can't hear. This gives him the opportunity to make the judgement call as to whether or not he should fix it. You should lean in from one side, and potentially block the view of him from the others with your body. Make it look like you are just delivering a friendly message.

You don't have to be blunt, you can keep it discreet while conveying the full message (in a safe manner):

Hey man, couldn't help but notice your fly is down. You might want to fix that.

You should definitely tell him. Personally, if I were in his shoes, I would want you to tell me somehow. (Discreet or not, I don't need any bits flopping places they shouldn't be.)

  • 2
    Another discrete way is to make eye contact with him, with an intent look on your face, and use body language to indicate that he should check his zipper. You could glance down pointedly, or subtly point, or perhaps something else. Whatever you do, make sure the communication is subtle and just between you two. – BrettFromLA Sep 3 '15 at 19:14
  • Maybe write a note and give it to him or show it to him discretely, in a way his friends don't see. Slip it in his coffee, for example. – xdhmoore Sep 3 '15 at 22:33
  • 2
    This is bad advice, where I live you would probably get punched in the face for touching a strangers shoulder. – FiringSquadWitness Sep 4 '15 at 5:32
  • @JustAnotherDotNetDev The "hand on the shoulder" part is not required, but I've always used it and it's always worked for me. – Der Kommissar Sep 4 '15 at 13:02
8

One way would be to tell the barista that your name is JellaShuhr FlaiDown (assuming he's wearing a yellow shirt). Then you just walk straight out of the coffee shop and go on with your day, knowing in 5 minutes or so they will announce that to the whole store. By then, you will be long gone. You sacrifice $5, but it's for a good cause. If you can overhear his first name from his coffee order, even better.

  • 1
    I'd like to clarify this with a "don't actually be a jerk and do this"... – xdhmoore Sep 5 '15 at 18:23
  • @xdhmoore You made my day :D I guess I'll have to check my fly before going into a coffee shop just in case someone didn't read your comment :P – Wilhelm Erasmus Dec 10 '15 at 19:15
2

You could write a note saying that his fly is down on a small piece of paper and then hand it to him. Just say that he dropped it or you think he dropped it and make sure to put it directly in front of him so he reads it. You can put:

" YOUR FLY IS DOWN. I noticed but did not want to embarrass you."

You may want to say your pants are unzipped if fly is not a term used in that area. If he is polite he make take it and say thank you. This has worked me.

Something from my youth we used to say is "X,Y,Z". This means examine your zipper. Not all people may get that though.

  • 1
    We used "XYZPDQ" (examine your zipper, pretty darn quick). – Der Kommissar Sep 9 '15 at 13:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.