When the Bastards Criticize You

I recently logged onto 1099 from my local public library's Internet terminal. The webzine is much more entertaining than your old site, and I found myself reading San's inSANity column, "When The Bastards Criticize You." I really have to file a complaint.

When I got to "Option 1 - Kill them all," I started laughing so loud that I got a stern glare from the Librarian In Charge Of Keeping The Silence. Rumor has it that if you receive three of these stern glares in a 12-month period, they'll confiscate your reading glasses and forbid you to use the Internet for anything other than downloading the listings for the local public television station.

In view of this problem, would it be possible to insert a warning at the top of San's columns such as, "The following is absolutely, hilariously, truly funny and could cause uncontrollable laughter. Please read at your own risk." I believe a brief warning such as this will greatly increase my chances of being able to keep using the library's services.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Margie Sejbl

San's inSANity column "When the Bastards Criticize You" hits home for me, and I want to mention another type of critic I have come across -- the one who thinks he knows everything. I used to work with a character like that. Let's say I needed to use a graphic file that I knew would not print very well. I wouldn't know if I should modify it to make it work, or to let it go, so that the guy I worked with (the critic) wouldn't cry out, "That's the client's almighty, sacred file! How could you have changed it! Now they are going to whine about it to me and they might not pay their bill because of you!"

But, of course, if I did nothing, it would look terrible when it printed and the client would complain anyway. That was the course I chose (not to change the file). Naturally, the client complained and my snoopervisor got mad. He idolizes the people who put the money in the bank; the work they send is sacred to him. What could I say -- that I was afraid to "desecrate" the sacred file by modifying it even slightly so it would print properly?

Really, I just wanted the know-it-all to learn a lesson, which I'm not sure he ever learned: either trust my experience and judgement, or don't. I've been doing this for a living for a long time and I know what I'm doing. If you are going to depend on my advice when you have a problem you can't figure out for yourself, then you have to listen to me.

I wonder whether this guy would try to tell a surgeon how to perform an operation on him. He probably would. I just hope that the surgeon would be smart enough to ignore him and do what he thought best, instead of reacting the way I did.

Michael Woods