I have noticed that whenever I rattle someone (either voluntarily or otherwise), they tend to call me "Sir." Of course they immediately correct themselves after realizing the mistake.
I encountered that before… me on the the receiving end of the pressure. I was first year then at St. Scho. I was late for my first class. Had to go to the Principal’s Office to get a pink slip so that my teacher would let me in. Yep. It was a bad day. I’m not used to getting reprimanded and it was my first time to meet the Principal… and she didn’t have an appearance that was in any way comforting.
Growling and humiliating me for being late, she still handed me the pink slip. I was so nervous I kept making the mistake of calling her "Sir." I kept reverting to "Ma’am" or course, but I inadvertently made that mistake three times within the five mins she was talking to me.
As I grew older and got to do the growling, snapping, glaring and hissing at incompetent mortals (yah, I’m bad), I notice that they make that same mistake with me. "I’m sorry, Sir… I mean, Ma’am." "Opo, Sir… ay, Ma’am."
At a meeting facilitated by a Project Manager (who flew all the way from Texas) last Thursday, I simply wanted to clear out all details with him regarding the Telecoms testing that will be held this week. For some reason, he got rattled by my questions and had to say sorry for not answering me directly. (Wow, didn’t think I had it in me to put the pressure on a hotshot like him.) I meant him no harm, of course.
As he concluded the meeting, he was looking at me while saying "Okay gentlemen…" then a long pause like he was sure he was missing out on something. "… and Lady… I’m sorry, Boom." he continued.
It’s no longer a man’s world! We women are stepping up… with poise, cleavage and all (okay, I may be lacking in the cleavage department, but you get what I mean)… so stop calling me "Sir!"