Many people I attend to are retired military. Among the eldest of them are a few long retired British Military. Career military gentlemen tend to like to be called by their rank, rather than their names. Many times, this information is not available until the first face to face meeting. This week I had just such a happenstance.

Enter smiling. Me: "Good Morning Mr. Smith."
Large elderly gentleman stands ramrod straight holding the door. A frown passes his countenance, followed by much throat clearing.
I glance at many framed certificates of merit, medals and accolades.
Me: "Would you prefer to be addressed as General, Sir?"
He relaxes visibly, and breaks into a huge smile-
Him: "Now, now, m'dear. don't stand on ceremony. You needn't call me Sir."