Thursday, October 10, 2013

Unzipped

School board meeting. The other trustees and I greet each other for small talk, as is our custom, before the start of the meeting. Fourteen men in the room, all in suits, and two women; me plus the other woman trustee. She and I sit and read through our packets for the meeting while the other trustees and admnistrators finish their conversations.

A handful of people there for the public forum segment of the meeting trickle in and find their chairs.

Just as the men are being seated, the other woman and I notice it at the same time. One of the men, an area superintendent, is pulling out his chair and glaringly and undeniably in front of us is this: his zipper is unzipped, and not just that, but it is so egregiously open that the tail of his shirt is jutting through the opening.

Momentarily paralyzed, the other female trustee and I can only lock our wide eyed gazes on each other. On the agenda is a presentation he will be giving, one in which he will have to cross the room to reach the podium.

Because of the seating configuration, the other female trustee and I are the only ones sitting in our vicinity and apparently the only ones who have noticed the situation at this point. The president calls the meeting to order.

My friends, what would you do? Keep in mind the meeting has already started and he and the others are seated nowhere near you. 

 I will share what ended up happening, but I want to hear your ideas first. Hindsight is always filled with wisdom.



98 comments:

  1. Oh yes the old unzipped debate since the beginning of time OK not really ...since the beginning of the invention of zippers not buttons on men's pants woman all over this part of the world have been wondering how to handle this situation:) I look forward to your solution. I think I would have handed a note over to someone who handed a note over to someone saying the barn door is open...but that is just me. I am sure there would be no detention for passing notes in class because of the urgency. It would be funny to see how after reading that note how he would handle the spot he was in. B

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    1. Buttons: Yes, it is something that has been around forever! I wonder if someone could invent a sensor in pants that could alert you when all is not fastened securely...

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  2. I would whisper to him if at all possible that the Cadillac is out of the garage!! I'm sure he'll understand.

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    1. HOOTIN ANNI: I'm sure he would appreciate the reference to the Cadillac...but he was too far away to be in whisper-shot-

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  3. As a prior executive admin, I advise what I actually did. I write it quickly on a sheet of paper, cross the room, and hand it to him with what I can only call a "significant" look on my face.

    Should he choose not to open it, he does so at his own peril.

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: How I could have used your voice of experience on Tuesday!

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  4. I would rush over to where he was and quickly write him a note stating 'your flies are undone, do not stand up but my apologies for interrupting'. I can't wait to hear what really happened. What a classic moment.

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    1. Rum-Punch Drunk: I think at one point the other female trustee and I resembled Lucy and Ethel from I Love Lucy in our frenetic rush to do something...

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  5. I would subtly pass a note down to him informing him. He would definitely want someone to tell him. I sure would want someone to tell me LOL

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    1. Optimistic: My rule of thumb when debating whether or not to tell someone something like is always what you said- would I want it told to me if I was the one being observed? And it's usually yes!

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  6. Hi, Shelly! Wow, this is one for Ann Landers or Dear Abby. (LOL) The good news is that "the tail of his shirt is jutting through the opening." It could have been much worse, know what I mean, Vern? (LOL)

    My best answer is this. I would have grabbed a stack of papers in front of me, jumped up, excused myself for delaying the start of the meeting and walked briskly over to the man under the pretense that I had some important last minute business to discuss with him. When I got within close range I would have whispered to him notifying him of the wardrobe malfunction, thereby giving him the opportunity to correct the problem before he crossed the room to speak.

    My only other idea would be to pull the fire alarm! (LOL)

    Happy Thursday, dear Shelly, and have a great weekend.
    P.S. - I received your postcard from the edge of paradise - far away Orlando, Florida. Thank you! :)

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    1. Shady: I'm so glad you got the postcard- it had to travel from Florida to Texas and back to Florida! And your diversionary tactic sounds great- wish we'd thought of it!

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  7. Yep...pass a note or hold up a sign since you are sitting opposite from him? LOL then of course I'd excuse myself from the room cause I would be erupting in laughter. Then again if it was a pompous type of fella why I'd be tempted to just remain silent? Well I can't wait to hear the 'Rest of the Story'...

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    1. Sush: Oh, I don't know if you remember and older post I did about laughing inappropriately, but I was thinking of everything painful I could so as not to lapse into it. Ohhh- it was so hard!!!

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  8. I'd pass him a note and let him know his zipper is afraid of heights.

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    1. Sherry: Ha! Afraid of heights it definitely was~

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  9. I would write him a note and deliver it with a whispered, "Sorry - but you must read this". Can't wait to hear what happened, especially given your Lucy and Ethel reference!!

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    1. jenny_o: I'm glad there weren't cameras on us recording it- and yes, the note solution seems to be a calm one, unlike what we did.

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    1. The Chicken's Consigliere: My table wasn't connected to his- but I thought about it~

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  11. I think if he was somebody I saw on a regular basis at the meetings, I would have slipped a little note to him saying "barn door open."

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    1. Nonnie: That was the first time meeting him, which made it even more awkward!

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    2. We are waiting for the rest of the story!

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    3. Nonnie: I will post it tomorrow morning before we head out of town!

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  12. If you have paper and pen pass him a note telling him that his mouse is about to come out of its house.

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    1. Stephen: Now that I think about it, it might have been fun and taken a little of the awkwardness off if I could have come up with a little poem about his mouse and its house...

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  13. This is so funny! What is wrong with men..and boys..that they cannot zip their pants?!? (ok.It has happened to me shhhhh)
    I like the note idea.

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    1. Christine: I am used to kind of giving a signal to boys in my classroom if they had the problem, but I wouldn't do it to a grown man I didn't know. And yes, I don't think it's just a male problem- ha!

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  14. I think your readers have pretty much offered up all the really good ideas. Me, I am wearing over halls (that's whut we call 'em over here) and the struggle of unbuttoning is a keen reminder to button back up. A pox on zippers.

    Also, Mrs. vanilla and I thank you so much for the nice postcard from Florida!

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    1. vanilla: So glad you got it! And yes, I think more and more, a pox on zippers.

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  15. I would probably write a note telling him to close the barn door. Years ago a reporter I didn't like was standing in front of a printer in the newsroom. He had one pants leg tucked into his sock. I didn't say a word.His last name was Buttki. It was almost too good to be true. If his pants had been unzipped, I would have laughed, but I still wouldn't have told him – not even if we'd had a tour group going through the newsroom.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie: Ha! What an unfortunate name, and it sounds like he had a personality to fit the name. I do hope you are feeling better, my friend~

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    2. I am changing my name to Snot Nose, but thank you for your kind wishes.

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    3. Janie: I'm just going to keep calling you Janie, or Grammar Queen. They are much prettier than Snot Nose.

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  16. Are we sure it was the tail of his shirt poking through?

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    1. Missed Periods: Oh, how I hope it was...

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  17. In that situation, I would have sat quietly and waited for one of the guys to tell the fellow. The news might have been more easily received if it had come from a guy type.

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    1. Lorna: That's what I was so hoping would happen~

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  18. I would either send a note - or make a pretense of having to tell him something. Can't wait to hear what you did.

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    1. Sandie: The note seems to have been the best idea- wish we'd thought of it!

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  19. Reading your other readers comments, I too think that passing him a note would be the way to go.

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    1. Dawn: It does seem the wisest- too bad we didn't think of it!

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  20. Not reading through the other comments, I'd pass a note to another man on the board and see if he could somehow get a note to the man unzipped. That would be a dilemma indeed. Looking forward to how it got solved

    betty

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  21. Dearest Shelly;
    OMG!!! Although I feel sorry for that man, I cannot wait to read the up date, either. It seems really hard situation to deal with(^^;) I wonder if passing note succeeded and reached him in time.
    We use the word "social window" for "barn door" in literal translation. Gave me a little smile to know :-) "Hindsight is always filled with wisdom" Thank you very much for this phrase, I cannot agree more(^_^)v

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. orchid Miyako: I like social window much better than the barn door we use here, my dear friend! I only wish we had thought of passing the note- it might have worked better than what we did! xo

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  22. I am shy in meeting type situations, and almost always have to deal with my inner flight response. I would have sat quietly waiting for the embarrassment to happen, unfortunately. I would like to think I'm kind, but people, especially men, in dress attire intimidate me.

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    1. Jenny: Oh, it was such a move out of my comfort zone to do anything since the meeting had already started and anything we did would have required at least a minor amount of disruption. I hope to never run into this type of thing again in a meeting~

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  23. I would write a note on a folded paper and send it to him.

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    1. Lydia: That would have been a great option- wish we'd thought of it!

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  24. I would have attempted to convince my friend to tell him, but chances are, it would have been me breaking the news in the least awkward way possible. I will forever be the person telling others they have something stuck in their teeth, or offering a tissue. Last week, I yanked the skirt back in place of a coworker who had somehow gotten hers hiked up over her rear. These things are best handled swiftly, calmly, and without too much laughter. Sometimes the last part is difficult. I can't wait to hear how it turned out!

    PS The note idea is probably best, but I wouldn't have thought of it at the time. You have very tactful readers.

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    1. Amy: You are a good friend! I would love to have you around~

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    1. Theresa: We weren't even thinking straight- I wish we had been!

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  26. This is where a quick text sure would come in handy--if you have his number. But maybe sneaking in a text under your desk will get you in trouble with the teacher. :)

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    1. Felt Family: In trouble with all the head hookie-doos of the district! Ha!

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  27. I think I'd just say nothing. Sounds like a cop out I suppose, but it's a terribly difficult situation.

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    1. Maria: No matter what, there's going to be embarrassment~

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  28. I'd try to pass him a note. Can't wait to read what did happen!

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    1. Maria: That seems to be the consensus best answer~

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  29. I think I would have gone over and whispered to him taking along an empty folder as a prop.

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    1. Carol: I didn't even think about using something as a prop~

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  30. DEar Shelly, I'm not sure what I'd do, but perhaps as "Carol Kilgore" suggested, going over and whispering to him to take along an empty folder as a prop seems like a good idea. But really the first thought that came to my mind was that I'd raise my hand and say, "Mr. Chairman, perhaps you'd like to look down just for a moment." Then he'd look down see the problem, turn his back on the room and zip up. And if he had a sense of humor, he'd say something like, "I'm getting so forgetful!" And everyone would have laughed and the men would all think about the times they've done the same thing. Now that was my first thought. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I wasn't that brave- wish I had been!

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  31. And what happened is this: The other woman trustee and I exchanged a note between ourselves since there was no way to discretely get a note across the room to the other table.We decided to text some of them men since I had one board member's cell number, and she had two others. I dropped my phone to the floor in my haste and then banged my head on the table trying to get it, while she fumbled in her purse and her phone clattered all over the table.

    We sent texts to them asking them to let unzipped know before he had to get up. My text went through, but evidently the one I sent it to didn't quite understand because he looked down at his own zipper and then looked at me quizzically. While I was shaking my head, one of the other men my friend texted understood, and whispered into unzipped's ear. Instead of quietly taking care of business, he jumped and and almost ran out the door, causing everyone to look and wonder. He came back in red faced, but zipped.

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  32. If I had been able to pass a note directly to unzipped, it would have been much less chaotic~

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  33. I would have asked on of the men to go and let him know, this way it would be a man to man thing and I would not have to face any embarrassment.

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  34. I have not read the comments yet, so someone else probably said this, I'd tell another man about it and ask him to tell him.

    Passing a note somehow would make him worry about who sent it and who had seen, and If it were a woman telling him, he might be more embarrassed...

    Can't wait to see what really happened...

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    1. Jamie: All I could think was to somehow let him know while minimizing the embarrassment, which, had it been me in that predicament, would have been substantial!

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  35. OK, I read your answer!! Yay! Funny! I never even thought of texting!!

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    1. Jamie: Modern phones are a God send!

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  36. I know I would have to burst out laughing...
    Then I would have walked over and whispered in his ear to take a look at his fly...
    I'd say, "you have nothing new, BUT, I thought I should tell you."

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    1. Crystal Mary: I had to think of painful things to not burst out laughing... oh, it was hard!

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  37. Oh no!! How terribly embarrassing! I've been frantically thinking of what I would do in a similar situation. And if it was me with, say, my skirt stuck in my knickers or my blouse undone too far I'd want to be told!
    A hastily written note as others have said ... or a hilarious impromptu game of charades while his presentation was going on?!!

    Can't wait to hear what you did!!

    xx Jazzy

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    1. jazzygal: I would definitely want to be told, too, and I don't care by whom, as long as they save me from further embarrassment!

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  38. And what happened is this: The other woman trustee and I exchanged a note between ourselves since there was no way to discretely get a note across the room to the other table.We decided to text some of them men since I had one board member's cell number, and she had two others. I dropped my phone to the floor in my haste and then banged my head on the table trying to get it, while she fumbled in her purse and her phone clattered all over the table.

    We sent texts to them asking them to let unzipped know before he had to get up. My text went through, but evidently the one I sent it to didn't quite understand because he looked down at his own zipper and then looked at me quizzically. While I was shaking my head, one of the other men my friend texted understood, and whispered into unzipped's ear. Instead of quietly taking care of business, he jumped and and almost ran out the door, causing everyone to look and wonder. He came back in red faced, but zipped.

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    1. If I had been able to pass a note directly to unzipped, it would have been much less chaotic~

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    2. Oh my....what a fiasco, but still funny.

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    3. I felt like we were two of the Three Stooges~

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    4. Your head banging the table, the other woman's phone... What a ruckus! And VERY funny!

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    5. Anita: It was truly unplanned slapstick~

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  39. Cadillac out of the garage, barn door open, mouse out of the house... LOL Funny comments!
    Gosh, I don't know what I would have done. That's a "you have to be there" one.
    I feel sorry for the man, but I'm laughing as I'm picturing it. You painted the picture very well.

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    1. Anita: Oh- I did feel so badly for him!

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  40. Hi Shelly,

    I'd just look away. And do nothing.

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    1. Editors At Work: I have a habit of laughing inappropriately and then being unable to stop, so I was worried I was going to burst out into laughter just thinking about it!

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  41. Wow, you guys did the best thing you could have done by texting the men around Mr. Peekaboo. I would have never thought of that! I was thinking what I might have done in your position, and I think I would have caught his attention and mimed zippering a zipper high up in the air as I whispered the word "zipper." Not discreet, but subtlety is not my forte!

    You ladies did a good job, and I loved how you worded this post. Be well. :-)

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    1. Janette Dolores: I just wish we could have done it a little more quietly and in a less confusing way! Thank you, my friend~

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  42. Shelly - oh my, I think I would have been too embarrassed to do anything except stare at a distant spot on the wall - in the opposite direction from him ... and try not to laugh out loud. Isn't it an awful dilemma - whether to embarrass someone now - or let them embarrass themselves even worse later on?

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    1. Marsha: There was going to be embarrassment no matter what the solution, I think. Kind of one of those unwinnable situations...

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  43. I would had pretended I saw nothing but that is me a chicken..................

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    1. Jo-Anne: That is what I SO wanted to do...

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  44. If everybody knew each other, I'd probably make a comment about feeling a "draft" in the room.

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  45. Pat: Subtlety is always the route I choose, too, if I have a choice!

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