My husband, the Center of the Universe (CoTU) has been blessed to work with some wonderful people over the course of his career. This is a little story about a secretary who worked for him several years ago. Her name was Jane. No, more accurately, this is a story about CoTU, and, shall we say, his 'management style'.
CoTU was running international marketing at the company he worked for many years. Jane moved to town when her husband's military career brought him and his family here. Jane was a real find-- she was smart, had great job skills, was bilingual, and to top it all off, she was good looking, with a great sense of humor.
CoTU and Jane got along really well. He wanted something done, Jane did it. He bounced an idea off Jane, she batted it back, and they solved problems together. He called her Jane, she called him by his first name, too.
Except. When. They disagreed.
CoTU might say, "Let's get that memo out before the widget and the gizmo coincide at the 93d parallel." (I have no clue what marketing people say. Obviously.)
If Jane didn't think that was the way to go, she would suggest something else. Like, "Maybe we should do it after the widget and before the gizmo, because of the offstand on the 42."
If CoTU didn't agree, they'd kick it around till they either came to a different decision, or till CoTU finally insisted that it was to be done his way.
At this point, Jane would say, "Yes, sir. If that's your decision, sir."
That's when CoTU would pause, processing her comment. "Jane? When you say 'sir', are you using that as a substitute for a**hole?"
Ya gotta love that Jane!