Who is ever ready for constructive criticism? My boss frequently asks me to rewrite or retool letters and articles he has written.
“There is absolutely no pride in authorship, so edit away.” He says to me.
I take the stuff back to my office, read it and wince. Then I set about doing whatever I can to
a) shorten it
b) eliminate at least 3 exclamation points per paragraph
c) try to remove all: “really, really”s from the piece.
I inevitably have a moment when I think, “What the hell are you doing, girl? He’s your boss. You can’t tell him that this is awful. You can’t say people will stop reading before they even start.”
In his case he means it, or at least he has never let on to me that he doesn’t. He warmly and enthusiastically accepts and embraces the changes I offer.
Last night when Sean asked if I was ready for constructive criticism I braced myself, smiled weakly and said sure, hoping to maintain the kind of attitude my boss has.

“Quit saying ya all the time.”


“You say it over and over again.”

“Is that all?”

“It’s just over and over again. Ya, ya, ya.”

Ok. I can do that.”

“You write ya this and ya that. Ya, it comes off as either valley girl or north country hick.”


“You shouldn’t be saying ya, it should be yeah.”

“Well, but I thought yeah was like Yeah team. Go. Yeah. I thought ya was like Oh, ya, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.”

Heaven help me, I have no idea why the examples of what I thought things sounded like are so not anything I would ever say…Yeah team. That’s what I am talkin’ about. And for that matter the referring to myself as “girl” bit up top. What the hell? Sorry.

“No. Yay team would be written: Y-A-Y. Yeah is:Y-E-A-H, and that spells Yeah, let’s do that.

“Y-A-Y? Are you serious? That’s not really a word is it? Yay?”

“Honey, I’m just telling you, what you are writing, this ya thing, that is just either Like totally, ya or Ya, so we went fishin’ up’n der and it were cold’n shit.”

“I had no idea.”

“Well there you have it. Constructive criticism.”

“Ya. I mean yeah. Now I can do it right. Yay!”