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Wife and I are in Jackson, she want’s Starbucks. Cool with me, I’ll get a hot chocolate. I don’t care for coffee, and never have, but I do like hot chocolate, and Starbucks makes a really good one. Hadn’t been there in a while, but it was still in the same place, so I head inside thinking ‘I got this’.

I didn’t got it.

The place was full of people hanging out for the free wi-fi, some even eating meals brought from fast food places. Well, no skin off my nose, it’s not my place, right? And some looked like students, who probably needed the caffeine in those small cups. I remember trying to get through college, and it takes all nighters and then some.

So we go to order.

“Hi, I’d like a large hot chocolate, a small hot chocolate, and a pumpkin spice coffee.” (friend waiting in the car wanted the small, I wanted the large, wife got the coffee.) Now, there was absolutely nothing wrong with what I said. I said it just like that, in clear, intelligent, completely understandable english.

The guy at the register looks at me, grins like he’s looking at a four year old, and says “you mean a grande?”


“If that’s a large, then yes, that’s what I mean,” I assure him, smiling politely, despite now being completely pissed off in an instant over that attitude. There’s also some ‘whoo-whoo’ music playing in the back ground, like some kind of stringed instrument that we normally don’t hear much of in the south, and that’s not helping.

“Well, do you want the tall cup or the short cup?” Smarmy (I didn’t get his name so I’ll call him Smarmy Little Self Possessed Prick, and call him Smarmy for short, okay?) asked. I looked at him for a moment, breathing before I answer.

“Is the tall cup the large one?” I asked, now returning the favor, and speaking to him like he’s a mildly stupid fifth grader.

“That’s called a Venti, sir,” Smarmy said, all prissy.

“I don’t care what it’s called, if it’s a large, that’s the one I’d like to see being filled with hot chocolate,” I informed him.

“Well, it’s a Venti,” Smarmy just doesn’t know when to let something go, you know? I mean c’mon, man, get over yourself. This isn’t rocket science, or brain surgery. It’s coffee. No, not even coffee, but hot chocolate.

And by the way, what the hell do you have to feel superior about? Talking down to me because I don’t care what ‘your’ name for large is? You’re not even making the coffee, you’re working  a register. Time to grow up, and maybe consider moving out of mom’s basement into the big world. I mean this guy might even be my age, for crying out loud, and I’m no spring chicken.

At this point, my wife, sensing the near end of my patience, and the coming eruption of my anger at being treated like a moron by this little jackass, takes over.

“Yes, he want’s the Venti, and the Tall,” she smiled sweetly.

“That’s all I needed to know,” Smarmy smiled his little piss ant smile. At that point I was ready to erupt, but my wife expertly guided me down the counter to await my Venti hot chocolate.

I’m all about people taking pride in their work. I take pride in mine, especially when I’m making something. I want whatever it is to be done right. I want to look at any project I’ve done, and be able to say I did the absolute best possible job.

What I don’t do is treat other people who aren’t familiar with what I’m doing like an idiot because they don’t know everything I know about the subject. They in turn will know a great deal about things I don’t.


To have some geeky little basement dwelling dweeb who thinks it’s still the sixties talking down to me is toeing that line pretty hard.

I take comfort in the fact that his own insecurity about himself is what keeps him at his post, irritating customers long after he should have advanced in position.

You know, like actually making the coffee, instead of making change.

So here’s to you Smarmy, you raging little jackass. Have yourself a Grande day!