Now come on, the both of you. I call most everybody sir or ma'am. I see it as a form of politeness and respect, even for strangers that hold the door for me (yes, that happens around here, even in the city, maybe the door slamming thing happened to you ONCE, but city folk tend to me more rude.) Only on about two or three occasions has a woman said "please don't call me ma'am, it makes me feel old," but they said it with a smile on their face.(Men have never complained-- for calling them sir, not ma'am. Once called a girl "sir," but hey, with your shaved head and baggy sweats, you can't blame me!)*applause*
I had no idea using it could be seen as rude.
Of course, I had doors slam in my face up north whilst entering buildings....can't believe basic manners and treating people with a modicum of courtesy is seen as rude or unnecessary to some.
So I think you two are over-reacting.