Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And now For Something Totally Different

Yesterday, I had an unusual experience.

Something that has never happend to me in my ten years of experience as a tactical firearms instructor. I was working with some agents from a different agency, helping them and their instructors through pistol and shotgun qualification, when I noticed something. Something important.

Most of the agents, and their lead instructor were women.

It's not unusual* to be shooting with female officers and agents... I work with quite a few women, but generally speaking, women do not make up the bulk of the agents I work with.

Of the seven shooters I had yesterday, five were women.

On top of that, they were all very young... the youngest was only 21! They made me feel very old... especially as I was giving instructions... they were all calling me "sir". I'm not sure if the sir business was a matter of respect for my skills and position or just because I'm an old dude (probably the latter).

Most of them were at least decent shooters, which was a plus.

ADDENDUM: I am self-aware enough to realize that I am probably most-bothered by the fact that they were women... not girls, not teenagers... Adult women, calling me sir.

Friggin' middle age!


*Hat tip to Tom Jones

16 comments:

Bubblewench said...

i'm favoriting this one too, think i'll skip the sport one though til football season.:)

Nice Tom Jones reference...

CableGirl said...

"sir" lol. I had a kid call me "ma'am" the other day. It floored me. It was like a "you're old" slap in the face. lol

Gunfighter said...

The thing is, that I don't mind being called sir... it happens fairly often, but this made me feel old.

I am self aware enough to understand that it probably had to do with the fact that they were women. Young women.

Freakin' middle age...

soccer mom in denial said...

First of all "femalie" - is that the grown up version of "girlie"?

Secondly I teach my kids to say "sir" and "ma'am" even though we are up north. They have to say it to anyone old enough to drive. It is a sign of respect.

Fourier Analyst said...

Now GF, in the military your age did not matter, you called your senior in rank or position "Sir" or "Ma'am" (except for the sargents, but that's a different breed). You were their superior in this instance and especially as you were holding a gun, I can't blame them for calling you sir! Just a matter of respect, nuthin' to do with age. Still today, if someone asks me a direct "Yes or No" question, I respond with sir or ma'sm, it's just the Southern upbringing. As for there being more "Women in Blue", I can only hope this is a comforting trend!

super des said...

I read "sir" as a sign of respect. You are fully trained with a firearm. They are not. They don't want to piss you off.

:)

Gunfighter said...

Welcome Bubblewench and Cablegirl!

SMID,

Thanks for catching that. I would like to think that it was about being polite, but...

Ambassador said...

GF - Growing up in VERY northern NY State, our high school still had a Rifle Team in the late 1970's. The range was in the school basement, and was well coached and safely, too. As part of life on the farm, all five of us kids had the opportunity to learn about guns (rifles and shotguns), but it was my sister Jo Ann who was the family sharpshooter - Captaining the team her Junior and Senior years.

State competitions were always a strange, funny time - macho dorks making cracks like "You've got a GIRL for a Captain? How much do you guys suck?" Then she would proceed to wipe the floor with them.

Sir.

Fun post! Ken

Jenn in Holland said...

Um, I definitely think it's 'cuz your an old fart. hehe.
You know I am teasing, and you also know it was a respectful thing, not ageism. You're great GF!

PT-LawMom said...

Any man packing heat would automatically be "Sir" to me, younger or not! ;)

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Ugh...middle age...fun fun fun...


I used to be in love w/ Tom Jones... when I was 7 or 8 ... I was glued to his TV show.

Janet said...

I definitely think you should take it as a sign of respect. But I also feel compelled to gloat that I was carded in DC the night before we went to breakfast. Still getting carded at 40 is a pretty nice feeling.

Real Life Drama Queen said...

I get ma'am all the time. It makes me feel old until I remind myself how I make my kids say it. Even my four year old says yes ma'am and no sir. It always shocks the people we meet. I am a HUGE enforcer of manners.

I like to shoot. I remember when my ex came home from the Marines and decided it would be fun to take me to a range. He was shocked when I out shot him. Looking forward to going to the range again. This time with my dad.

Thanks for the welcome!

Almost forgot to say, "Middle Age Sucks!" I agree with you. LOL

Queen Heather said...

Yeah, teenage boys "yes, ma'am" me now. When it starts happening with 20 year olds, I'll know to start coloring my hair.

Desert Songbird said...

Well, sir, I think I've you on age, but a woman could use "sir" not only as a sign of respect, but also because she's doing a bit of teasing or flirting, you know.

Just a thought...

Gunfighter said...

Songbird,

I am rather certain that there was no attempt at flirting going on.