Jeff, your situation is very similar to that of many, myself included
before I retired from the corporate world. I learned to do two things in
most of those circumstances, be humorous and intimidate without acting as
if I were doing that. I cannot explain the intimidation part. My friends
tell me that I have a presence that tells people to do as I say when and
how I say it without having to repeat myself or raise my voice even a
little. Perhaps is that I have a strong and fairly low voice. If that is
true, then Neal should be a world ruler. [grin]
The humor part is very disarming to people. I was once feeling the bark on a tree and a smartass, thinking he would get my goat, said, Dan, it's a tree." I turned to him and explained that at least, the tree held still for being groped and wouldn't slap me in the face.
Back when I could see, I could only see a bit, and had my nose against the science fiction area in a bookstore, looking for a likely target. Somebody came up behind me and said, in an unkind voice, "Do they smell good?" I turned jerkily, started to lurch towards them with my hand held out in a Bela Lugosi kind of reach and moaned and drooled. They made tracks out of the store at the speed of light and I got a round of applause from the bystanders.
To the lady offering me the up elevator, I might have said, "I'm sorry, last time I went up in an elevator, I vomited all over everyone in the cab. Or, you could stare at her direction, take out your wallet and start talking to it, "I know, she is trying to be nice, but she just doesn't understand those of us from Alpha Centauri."
To the person who made the remark when you were feeling the Braille on the door, say, "I am having a spiritual experience with the dust mites on the door." That should either shut them up, or give them the terminal giggles.
Don't get mad, get even. [grin]