Going Head to Head with Ms. Snarky

Posted on November 1, 2013 by Robert Ringer Comments (12)

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I’ve written about Ms. Snarky many times in the past.  Her most noteworthy traits are that she’s eighteenish, delusional about her importance, and always has her antennae actively searching for a nasty encounter with anyone who carelessly crosses her path.  Even though she gives the impression of being omnipresent, she most frequently can be found in minimum-wage, retail-store jobs.

As longtime readers know, it’s always a dangerous adventure when, on rare occasions, I enter a retail establishment, especially a supermarket.  But the other day, I was in a defiant mood and felt like thumbing my nose at the idea that cholesterol and saturated fat might somehow be linked to such minor inconveniences as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

It was as though Homer Simpson had commandeered my brain … “Umm … cholesterol.”  So, sympathetic soul that she is, my wife let me go to Wegmans with her on the condition that I would behave myself.  (She never seems to learn.)

(If you don’t live in the Northeast, you’re probably not familiar with Wegmans.  It’s a family owned and operated chain of high-end supermarkets that specializes in items that no one can afford but everyone in our bread-and-circus society buys anyway — like $25/pound shrimp!)

Wegmans also has great pizza, which they sell by the slice.  If you prefer, they will also make up a whole pizza for you.  After standing at the pizza counter for a couple of minutes, I told Ms. Snarky that I’d like to order a medium mushroom pizza to go.  (Oddly, since Wegmans doesn’t sell mushroom pizza by the slice, they consider a whole mushroom pizza to be a “special order.”)

Judging from Ms. Snarky’s reaction, you would have thought I had ordered a chocolate-covered Ferrari.  She was so stupefied by my request that, in full panic mode, she consulted with the manager of the pizza section to find out what she should do.  How in the world could she possibly know how to handle a complicated “special order” like a mushroom pizza?

After the manager assured her that it was perfectly legal to special order a mushroom pizza and explained to her how to write it up, Ms. Snarky passed the order along to the Chief Pizza Maker (CPM), who in turn told us it would take about twenty minutes to have our pizza ready.

That accomplished, we ventured into Wegmans’ aisles to marvel at the Trump-size prices.  Twenty minutes later, we were back at the pizza counter, and I had to admit I was looking forward to some great material for another article.  I was totally confident that I could count on Ms. Snarky to come through on her end, and she did not disappoint.

There she was, in all her eighteen-year-old glory, standard scowl pasted perfectly just below her erring-adorned nostrils, and a “don’t mess with me” tone in her soothing voice.  Her snarling expression reminded me of a younger version of Kathleen Sebelius.

As is my custom, and to the never-ending irritation of minimum-wage employees throughout the world, I looked inside the box to see what was wrong with the mushroom pizza.  (Based on decades of firsthand experience, I always begin with the assumption that when it comes to ordering food, whatever an employee hands me will not be what I ordered.)

Again, Ms. Snarky did not disappoint.  Lying inside the box was what was essentially a cheese pizza with a few mushrooms scattered about.  To my wife’s chagrin, I immediately said to Ms. Snarky, “This isn’t a mushroom pizza.  It’s a cheese pizza with a handful of mushrooms tossed on top.”  Fortunately for me, she did not have an AR-15 rifle close at hand (that I could see).

Ramping up her snarkiness, she then proceeded to inform me that the amount of mushrooms used on my pizza was standard for Wegmans.  Shamefully, I then entered into a jousting match with her, letting her know that I had purchased mushroom pizzas at Wegman’s many times in the past — probably before she had even advanced to middle school — and that they always had about three times the amount of mushrooms that this sorry looking pizza possessed.

As we both drew our spears in preparation for battle, workers began diving under counters to avoid what appeared to them to be a certain bloodbath.  But, being the gentle soul that I am, and being particularly sensitive to youths with mental disorders, I decided to reach for my peace pipe instead.

In a pleasant voice, I said to Ms. Snarky, “Okay, let’s put all this nonsense aside.  Forget the past, and just go ahead and add a lot more mushrooms to my pizza.  No reason to make a big deal out of it.”

Whereupon she handed the controversial pizza to the CPM and told him to mushroom up.  Before you could say snippety, snarkity, snipe, Ms. Snarky was handing me my spruced-up mushroom pizza.  (Still not enough mushrooms, mind you, but more than the first time around.)

But, wait — I noticed that Ms. Snarky slapped some kind of sticker on my box of pizza before handing it to me.  “Why,” I asked her, “did you just put another sticker on the box?”

“Because,” said the loathsome lass, “I had to charge you for the additional mushrooms.”  Really?  And here I was thinking more of an apology for inconveniencing me and perhaps a bit of a discount as a way of showing contriteness toward a loyal customer.  But, knowing I was on thin ice with my wife, I kept it to myself.

The sad part of all this is that there’s a Mr. Wegman somewhere who probably has no idea that this kind of thing goes on in his stores.  Which is mainly because most customers are probably like me and don’t want to lower themselves, or take the time, to report such incidents to customer service.

Also, the guy working behind the customer-service counter could be Ms. Snarky’s boyfriend, and he doesn’t like old guys who hassle his snippy little princess over in the pizza section.

Hmm … I think I’ll make life easy on my wife and stay home next time.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

12 responses to “Going Head to Head with Ms. Snarky”

  1. Wade Gardner says:

    Mr. Ringer, you are my favorite author! I enjoy reading your books!

  2. Robert THIS is classic and I SWEAR to you nearly near identical to an experience recently encountered in a supermarket here in the Northeast, over "extra-cheese.”

    Snark. Coast to coast. Contagious and ultimately costly to consumers.

    I am glad I read it. Thanks for the chuckle
    djs
    (An old longtime 'reader' and fan)

  3. tonyscfa says:

    Mr. Ringer;
    I attribute much of her attitude/outlook to her liberal upbringing where everyone got a trophy for just showing up instead of winning, everyone was always outstanding in school, sports, etc, and if her Royal highness ever got less than an A in class, her parents bullied the teacher and principal until they gave in. If you want to see a major difference and lack of Ms. Snarkys, go to In and Out Burger, based out of CA. The first time a friend took me to one in San Diego years ago, when I when to the counter and asked for more ice for my soft drink refill, 3 teens raced from behind the counter to get me a full cup of ice and refill my drink for me. My friend explained that all employees are on profit sharing so if they get any Ms. Snarkys, they force her to quit so her bad behavior does not effect their pay.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      When I lived out West, I used to love In and Out Burger. Along with Five Guys, which is here in the D.C. area, one of the two best burger places in the country. I have also been to other retail establishments where the employees are great. It's obvious they are either highly paid or part of a profit-sharing plan. Capitalism is the root of all good.

  4. patricia says:

    Thank you for a the laugh. So true; so true. I started reading your books 40 years ago. I still do. You were hip before it was hip to be hip LOL.

  5. Phil says:

    Why do these Snarks always end up as govt. supervisors, lol?

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      You mean the high-levels Snarks – like Lois Lerner, Kathleen Sebelius, Michelle the Magnificent, and the Qheen of Snarkiness, Hilla the Hun?

  6. lonny says:

    I just smile when I meet these types. The entitled youth. Princes and Princesses. So sure of themselves, like lambs heading to the slaughter. No clue of what's ahead for them when they are truly out on their own and mommy and daddy are no longer their to powder and diaper them.

    Reality is like a bad never ending storm for them.

  7. Scott theczech says:

    You nailed it again! We're not just experiencing this kind of thing vicariously through your experience[s], we suffer them as well.

    In re In-and-Out, Five Guys, etc., it is true that monetary reward motivates better, profitable behavior. It is also true that fear motivates – just not long enough. When people, even young people, are taught that good, honest work is its' own reward they often benefit personally and financially.

  8. Cesar Hurse says:

    Very nice write-up. I surely appreciate this site . Keep writing!

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