I used to have a Sniglets Desk Calendar that gave me a chuckle each morning.    According to Wikipedia, Sniglets are made-up words defined as “any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should”.    The term was created by writer/actor/comedian Rich Hall, who first created a series of Sniglets while he was a performer on the 1980s HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News. One of my favorite examples of a Sniglet is an Expresshole, defined as someone who uses the Ten-Items-or-Less Express Lane at the market with more than ten items in their cart.    Another is Ignisecond, which is the interval of time between closing the car door and thinking, Oh, %$#$^, the keys are in the car.

I had a similar experience yesterday.  I pulled up to the drive-by mail box at the post office to mail the payment for my health insurance and the instant I let go of the envelope and it disappeared into that blue behemoth on the curb, I knew … no stamp.   I suppose the interval could be called a Postasecond.    Given the U.S. Post Office’s sometimes well-earned reputation for surly employees, my first inclination was to drive away and wait for it to come back with Postage Required stamped across the envelope.   But it was a bill that was already marginally late, so I decided to go in and ask how long it would take to come back to me.     There was a line of about seven people waiting, one of them a Mary Kay lady with twenty flyers that had to be individually stamped.  Impatience was thick in the air but I hummed a song I’d just heard in the car to keep from catching it.   When my turn came, I explained what had happened with a smile and asked when my envelope would come back.    Two days, the woman behind the counter said, hardly looking up.   Are you sure? I asked in my best can-you-help-me-please voice. It’s a bill, my health insurance.  I’d hate to have it be late.   She cocked her head to one side, looked at the growing line behind me and with a small smile said, If you’ll wait until I clear this line, I’ll go get it for you.    Ten minutes later, she went to the outside mailbox and retrieved my envelope.   I put a stamp on it then handed it back it back to her with a big thank you.

As I’ve grown older and less impatient, I’ve learned that people will do amazing things to help you out if you treat them courteously, especially when everyone else around you is snarling and snapping.     If I sound like a Pollyanna, you should know that the cranky, impatient, the sky-is-falling voice of my younger years is still alive inside my head.   I could still snap and growl and demand service.    Most of the time, I can tell the youngsters in my head, Be quiet and watch this … when I act as if people are going to be helpful, they are.  I get to smile and the youngsters are impressed, therefore more inclined to be good next time.   Sometimes, people can’t help, but I get treated with respect and others, they’ve been worn down by their day … they’re the grumpy ones.    That’s when the youngsters really clamor to have their say but at sixty-five, Older Eyes is the boss.    Even if I walk away unhelped and annoyed, my side of the street is clean.   Some time later, that’s good for a smile, too.

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2 Comments on “Sniglets”

  1. Wolfbernz Says:

    That is so true about people… It all in how you treat the them and the situation.
    Have a good weekend!

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