An unhelpful or otherwise disagreeable bureaucrat. A humorous play on the phrase "civil servant"; serpents are typically depicted as evil or villainous. I can't deal with any more civil serpents—they just keep sending me from office to office.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
n. a civil servant. You have no idea the kinds of things “civil serpents” have to put up with.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.