Bonnie Siegler | Dear Bonnie

Unbuttoned at UC Berkeley

Dear Bonnie is our weekly truth-telling advice column. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and invite our readers to submit their questions directly to: [email protected]

Dear Bonnie

How do I tell a client his fly is open?

Unbuttoned at UC Berkeley

Dear U,

If you’re a man, unzip your own fly and let him notice. I have it on good authority that the first thing a guy does when he sees someone else’s fly open is make sure his isn’t open too.

If you’re a woman (or a guy nervous about that suggestion), and it makes you uncomfortable to address the situation, let it go. Just avoid looking. Later, he’ll discover it on his own, won’t know how long it was open, and hopefully assume it only just happened.

If, on the other hand you feel comfortable and confident enough to tell him, it could actually work in your favor. It may foster a sense of trust, and communicates that you have his best interests at heart and are on his team.

This is especially true if you are saving him from further potential humiliation, like going on stage or television. Of course, it’s best to tell him quietly, one-on-one, in a confidential whisper and avoid broadcasting the situation.

Telling him insensitively could backfire and create a sense of public humiliation, which could haunt you like a giant black cloud until it poisons the relationship forever.

The same advice goes for food in teeth, schmutz on face, and especially a dress or skirt tucked inadvertently into tights.

Earlier on Dear Bonnie: How to write to a complete stranger 

Jobs | February 23