Living Steven Covey’s 7 Habits v 1.1

Paradigm Shift: Sir?

I hope I am not the only one and I think this is the second time this has happened to me.

Location: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Date: July 2007

It was just a normal day volunteering at the National Air and Space Museum helping visitors locate the IMAX film schedule, closest bathroom and food court. Quite often there are those visitors that look completely lost, staring at the scrolling schedule on the plasma screen or at the countless brochures on the counter. Usually I cheerfully say “Sir, can I help you?” or “Maam, can I help you?.” So here I go, a visitor staring aimlessly at the countertop approaches from the east…..okay, so I am not being hunted, but you get the idea. Now is my chance…. “Sir, can I help you? SHE looks up and says “No thank you.” OUCH. Haircuts and visitors from all corners make it hard these days. Of course if she had asked for help or said hello before I adressed her, I could have figured it out, (well most of the time).My shift went from “men and women are easy to tell apart” to “when in doubt, leave out.” 🙂 In other words, when not necessary, leave out the “sir” or “maam.”Have you ever made this mistake? Let me know.  

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