Stuck in an Awkward Situation? Here’s What You Need to Do

If you were walking around the office with your underpants showing or spinach in your teeth, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you? We sure would. So bite the bullet and do your colleagues a favour — the right way.

Unzipped Fly

Appropriate Response: As with all potentially embarrassing situations, the trick here is to be discreet. Pull the offender aside if you can and give him the news in a conspiratorial voice, or if that’s not possible try the old moth-the-words-and-pantomime trick — provided its not obvious to anyone else in the room. If all else fails, a text message could be an effective last resort.

Food in Teeth or On Face

Appropriate Response: If a more direct approach isn’t possible, dabbing your mouth with a napkin while making eye contact has proven to be an effective method of alerting someone to food on his face. For food in teeth, the offer of a toothpick, along with some direct eye contact is the best course of action. If he doesn’t clue in, wait for your opportunity to pull him aside and let him know.

Female Co-Worker Wardrobe Malfunction

Appropriate Response: One woman’s embarrassing slip-up can be another’s risqué fashion statement, so proceed with caution. The best approach is direct, matter-of-fact and brief. “I think you missed a button there,” for instance, followed up by resuming work and never speaking of it again. The key to preventing embarrassment is pretending like it never happened.

Reply-All Mishap

Appropriate Response: May god have mercy on the soul of the poor sap who replies-all by mistake. If you know the offender well, a quick note to alert him of his misstep could be useful. If not, steer clear. Due to the nature of this embarrassment — that there’s pretty much no way anyone could have missed it — the best course of action is to pretend like nothing happened.