Kovalev felt so upset that for a while he could decide upon no course of action save to scan every corner in the gentleman's pursuit. At last he sighted him again, standing before a counter, and, with face hidden altogether behind the uniform's standup collar, inspecting with absorbed attention some wares.
"How, even so, am I to approach it?" Kovalev reflected. "Everything about it, uniform, hat, and all, seems to show that it is a State Councilor. now. Only the devil knows what is to be done!"
He started to cough in the Nose's vicinity, but the Nose did not change its position for a single moment.
"My good sir," at length Kovalev said, compelling himself to boldness, "my good sir, I—— " (2.13-16)
Kovalev believes in social status so much that he might as well be a seventh grader at recess. He immediately buys into the idea that the nose now outranks him and is crazy stressed about how to start talking to this much more important individual than with anything else… like say the idea that this is his nose!