Listen. February 20, 2008 2:21 PM   Subscribe

How about when you ask a question, you actually be nice when people respond?

In more general terms, and we've all seen it, posting to the Green with a preconceived notion of what you want your answer to be is never productive. Not least because generally what you want your answer to be is the wrong answer on a whole lot of levels.

I was going to post this over there, but it seems to belong here now. I'd also like to point out that I wasn't being snarky--indeed, apologized when the OP made the mistake of thinking I was.
----
but you'll come in here and tell me that it's my fault based on your own gut feeling

No, I'll tell you it's your fault based on you saying, direct quote, ""I GOT ON THE WRONG PLANE"- what else should it say?!? Yes, I fucked up."

As Mitheral said above, it boils down to two very simple points:

1) You missed your flight. Not the airline's problem.
2) You stowed away (not a judgement) on another flight. Not the airline's problem.

They did not try to go "above and beyond",

Actually, they did, as you yourself pointed out a sentence or so later. Airlines are required to get your baggage to where your ticket terminates, no more. That, by the way, is coming from a colleague with 20 years of experience in the air travel industry, sending people on flights to literally every corner of the globe. So that sort of puts paid to your 'gut feelings' thing.

So. For them to say "Hey, that's too bad, we will try to get it to wherever else you are" is the very definition of going above and beyond.

THEY made the choice to try and deliver it, THEY did not follow the itinerary as described so it was not delivered, and then THEY did not have it waiting for me in Amsterdam as promised.

None of which they were required to do. None. Hell, in North America if you miss your flight, your baggage is pulled from the plane and you have to go pick it up.

Seriously, I empathize with your mistake. It's an easy mistake to make. But you didn't take any actions to ensure that you were, in fact, getting on the right plane. I would absolutely say that you are owed something if the airline told you to get on that plane. But they didn't. An announcement was made that you didn't hear and didn't follow up on. None of this is a personal attack or a personal judgement. It's simply the facts as you stated them.

But the majority of the posts here are operating from some sort of "gut feeling" level and have no backing in facts, the law, personal experience, etc... and THAT'S why I'm not trusting them

"not trusting" is rather different from "heaping abuse and scorn upon." Being this angry, rude, and combative to people who are trying to help is horrifically impolite at best. Hopefully the next time you ask a question you will be more open to receiving what people have to say. I would like to believe that you're a lot nicer in person.

Let's recap: your question boiled down to "Am I owed anything?"

The overwhelming answer is 'no'. The only answers you liked were 'yes' or 'yes but why bother'. If you had such a demonstrable preconception of the only answers you were willing to accept, why ask the question in the first place?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy to Etiquette/Policy at 2:21 PM (145 comments total)

I expected this to end up here. Although I can understand the "don't be so hard on the asker" crowd, he did seem to already have in mind what answers were acceptable, particularly when he pretty much accused all of the "no" answers of being out of the guidelines of AskMe.
posted by owtytrof at 2:28 PM on February 20, 2008


dnab, I agree that the asker in this case was rude and unnecessarily combative. But you already said your piece in the original thread, and the mods have jumped in to delete some noise, and cortex has already told the asker to cool down. What exactly do you hope to accomplish with this callout, other than fanning the embers of a dying fire?
posted by googly at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2008


I once asked a similar question in MetaTalk, what happens when a question (or questioner) disavows an obvious answer.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:34 PM on February 20, 2008


Challahtronix could use a chill pill. Further, if you take time out of your life to help someone out with (correct) advice and they get pissed off, just file them under "asshole" and walk away. It's not worth the aggravation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:37 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once asked a similar question in MetaTalk, what happens when a question (or questioner) disavows an obvious answer.

Best answer: Hand jobs, lots and lots of hand jobs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2008


Challahtronix is behaving badly in the thread. But I do understand his/her frustration with the responses. The question posed is at bottom a legal one, yet the bulk of the answers are really just gut, "what's fair" responses without any legal analysis. I guess part of the problem is that this is a potentially complicated legal question involving application/interpretation of foreign law, which is pushing the limits of what AskMe is equipped to handle.
posted by brain_drain at 2:41 PM on February 20, 2008


It's a weird question in some ways because the OP wants a legalish answer and it's a lot harder to prove a negative in this case [yeah dude, I think you're out of luck] than it would be to say "yes, you have a case here and here's why I think so" Generally speaking, you dont get to choose how your threads go. We'l delete anaswer that just make fun of the OP or are snarky and useless, but we try to leave answers in that seem useful. This is harder both when

1. the OP does not like the answers they are getting and tries to redefine/reassert the original question, especially if they are less than polite about it
2. people can not kep from getting their snark on even when it's clear that the situation in the thread is likely not salvageable.

There's a wrath component here. I know it's tough to walk away giving some angry person the last word, especially when the last word is "you're a jerk" but sometimes that's really the best option here. dnab, I know you were trying to help, but I wish you'd stepped away from that thread maybe one comment earlier.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:47 PM on February 20, 2008


I reckon dirtynumbangelboy's replies were unhelpfully snarky. Was a dumb question though and he shoulda just stayed out of it. And now it's bitter metaffair. Oh joy.
posted by brautigan at 2:52 PM on February 20, 2008


Where the hell was eriko, is what I want to know. He's our resident airport sage.
posted by everichon at 2:53 PM on February 20, 2008


brautigan, for once, I wasn't intending to be snarky. And I apologized for what I said coming across that way.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:54 PM on February 20, 2008


Isn't Jessamyn articulate btw? Must come from days spent surrounded by books and annoying mefites.
posted by brautigan at 2:54 PM on February 20, 2008


Does Transavia owe me anything?

If I worked for Transavia, I'd be sending him a bill for the sneaking onto one of my flights without a valid ticket.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2008


The snark temptation was high in that thread though dnab admit it. I had to get up and take a walk just to refrain from getting tore in.
posted by brautigan at 2:59 PM on February 20, 2008


Tempting yes. But I wasn't being intentionally snarky.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:00 PM on February 20, 2008


I think people are being unnecessarily nasty in that thread. I don't think asserting to the poster how wrong they were, ad nauseam, is very helpful, even if there is technically an "answer" somewhere in there. In threads like this often the answer is clearly only given as a ticket to tell the poster how stupid they surely are.
posted by loiseau at 3:04 PM on February 20, 2008 [10 favorites]


I think some very early ire in that thread was the biggest problem; one poster was really pretty aggressively dismissive, and the asker didn't respond very well to that, and it sort of cascaded from there. I exchanged email earlier with Challahtronix; they were understanding enough of the fact that the argumentative stuff wasn't really helping, regardless of their understandable frustration. Mostly it reads as a bad start to a tricky thread and everybody involved being less gracious than they could have been, in both directions.

It made me think of this great big cluster from a little while back, which was by comparison much more severe and acrimonious than I think this case has been.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:15 PM on February 20, 2008


Really, DNAB? Reading that thread you came across as a massively unhelpful prick. I totally understand the asker wanting you to fuck off—you weren't helping him figure out what his options were, and were basically just chewing him out. Which may make you feel better, but doesn't do one good goddamn for him.
posted by klangklangston at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


Your account of things seems to assign blame to everyone and everything except where it rightfully belongs. Last time I checked, gate numbers, flight numbers and departure times were the same in all languages. Come on. You don't seriously think that your mistake should come out of someone else's pocket, do you?

Agreed with loiseau - there was way to much insta-scorn in that thread.
posted by patricio at 3:17 PM on February 20, 2008


I wasn't intending to be snarky

The comment that you said "got it right" in the original and Cortex subsequently pruned was pretty much "You're owed nothing and why should I give a shit?". You're trying to pretend you were giving "tough love" advice and you weren't helping.

The overwhelming answer is 'no'. The only answers you liked were 'yes' or 'yes but why bother'.

Maybe I liked them because they actually backed up their answers? "No" is a perfectly valid answer but you made a bunch of blanket proclamations in that thread with no supporting evidence.
posted by Challahtronix at 3:29 PM on February 20, 2008


I'm with the asker here and in the one that Cool Papa Bell called attention to again. If a person asks a question, "you are a dumb fuck" is not an answer. In this case Challahtronix wanted to know what his options were. He did not ask what your opinion of his intelligence, reading ability or language comprehension skills were. If you do not know what his options are, don't post in the fucking thread.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:42 PM on February 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


In more general terms, and we've all seen it, posting to the Green with a preconceived notion of what you want your answer to be is never productive.

True. But it's equally unproductive to repeatedly try to cram answers of a type the asker has already dismissed down their throat, even if you think the answers are right.
posted by ignignokt at 3:48 PM on February 20, 2008


It wasn't my intention to be snarky,
Though like a dog I did get kinda barky,
I guess my answers sorta missed the marky,
shoulda gone out for a strolly in the parky.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:54 PM on February 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


That thread is a trainwreck.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:55 PM on February 20, 2008


Really, the best response in any situation is to get angry.
posted by mrnutty at 4:00 PM on February 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Paging the "why do businesses close early" girl... Youre needed at the front desk.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:11 PM on February 20, 2008


Really, the best response in any situation is to get angry.

I get Shorty
posted by Kloryne at 4:13 PM on February 20, 2008


That thread is a trainwreck.

Plane crash?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:16 PM on February 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd agree that Challahtronix lost their cool there, BUT I know I found myself being annoyed by some of the many assumptions that some commenters seemed to be making about his situation which I'd argue might come from only traveling by air in the US. Just last week I flew the opposite route (BCN-AMS) on Iberia and (a) the gate was changed at the last minute and there was no sign indicating destination at the new gate, (b) my boarding pass was only glanced at while boarding, and (c) there was no announcement of where we were going because they were just trying to turn that plane ASAP.

Just sayin' that I've been in a similar confusing context that could have resulted in a similar misfire to Challahtronix's and my sense was that many commenters assumed it was IMPOSSIBLE for anyone who wasn't an idiot child to have this happen to them which, I think, is what started things to get unproductive.
posted by donovan at 4:17 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]




Yeah, the law oftentimes has nothing to do with common sense. There are situations where you can make a bajillion mistakes, and the law is still on your side. This could be one of those situations. I have no idea, I'm not a lawyer.

Just because someone screws something up doesn't mean they have no legal recourse.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:22 PM on February 20, 2008


Okay, everyone's wrong. The immediate snark was a bad liftoff, Challahtronix attempting to moderate the hell out of his own thread by arguing with everyone produced destabilizing turbulence, and the resultant backlash crashed the plane.

Parachute out to a better place and leave your luggage behind, people, before the plane blows up.
posted by desuetude at 4:33 PM on February 20, 2008


brautigan - Isn't Jessamyn articulate btw?

And so clean, too.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:37 PM on February 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


languagehat's Last Post in that thread cortex linked to is just perfect. Sometimes karma really does work.
posted by OmieWise at 4:39 PM on February 20, 2008


Link, OmieWise?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:53 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, my anger was what ultimately prevented me from receiving quality answers.

Part of the problem was that I left a lot of details out of the original post because I just want some answers or additional information about what, if anything, I can or should do next. Anecdotal information, aviation regulatory bodies to contact, and yes, legal advice. Resources. I wasn't looking for sympathy or support or conducting a poll. If someone had said "I don't think so and here's why" and listed actual reasons or conversations with people in the airline industry or something other than "because I think it's your fault" I'd listen.
posted by Challahtronix at 5:12 PM on February 20, 2008


That thread is a trainwreck.
Plane crash?

Well, then it's a good thing he got on the wrong plane, or he would've died in the crash!
posted by Mikey-San at 5:30 PM on February 20, 2008


OmieWise

not that you had not already heard it but I've been wanting to post this for a while.
posted by nola at 5:33 PM on February 20, 2008


Well, then it's a good thing he got on the wrong plane, or he would've died in the crash!

Man, kudos to New Line Cinema; this was an awfully long way to go for a viral ad for Final Destination 7.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:34 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Link. And I stand by every word.
posted by languagehat at 5:48 PM on February 20, 2008


You know, Doc Watson in the background really does make MeTa better. Thanks, nola.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:50 PM on February 20, 2008


I was getting pretty pissed at dnab and others reading that question. Challahtronix asked a valid question with enough details to get an answer and pretty much every answerer jumped all over him for being an idiot and missing his plane. Wtf?

I mean he/she sure didn't do himself any favors by getting defensive but I can totally get where he was coming from.
posted by Skorgu at 5:51 PM on February 20, 2008


You know, Doc Watson in the background really does make MeTa better. Thanks, nola.

Thanks BOP for telling me there was Doc Watson hiding there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:53 PM on February 20, 2008


Why don't people ever ask questions like: "I am looking for a legal answer to the following question, speculation will not be helpful."

Oh, yeah, because people who would do that go to lawyers. So I'm not quite sure why Challahtronix asked the question in the first place.
posted by davejay at 6:00 PM on February 20, 2008


People ask for unspeculative legal advice all the time. Lawyers are expensive and not worth going to for some people if the answer is a verifiable "You are have no legal recourse."
posted by 23skidoo at 6:12 PM on February 20, 2008


How about when you ask a question, you actually be nice when people respond?

Like, if I say STFU, dirtynumbangelboy?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2008


It really wasn't a legal question. (a) The OP admitted the mistake was his/her own, (b) the amount in question was maybe a few hundred bucks, which anybody knows is not worth starting a legal fight about. So the question was, or should have been, can I wrangle a few bucks out of this airline for the inconvenience they were at least partially responsible for? "Legal action?" was asked as an afterthought only. So it was a request for practical advice. Later in the thread the OP finally states clearly what s/he is looking for, and the rather obvious answer is, then ask the airline for that, clearly and specifically. In the rather rambling email s/he reproduced in the thread, s/he did no such thing, but said, "I don't really know what I expect you to do in this situation but would like to make you aware of this and give you a chance to respond." (They did.) The moral of the story is, if you ask for nothing, you get nothing.
posted by beagle at 6:26 PM on February 20, 2008


I didn't meTa, at the time, but this is a perfect opportunity to Vent and on topic,
Regarding Help me find good options to help my sister get out of debt

Here,
jessamyn stated "We'l delete anaswer that just make fun of the OP or are snarky and useless, but we try to leave answers in that seem useful."

jessamyn, your determination of 'seems useful' differs from mine, obviously. What is with the control¿ I ABHOR CENSORSHIP OF ANY KIND [you say you're a Librarian¿] fucking hell. So was my Mother, she was against ALL censorship.

My 2 liner thanking Nelsormensch for pegging the name of a person and program, which escaped my memory from my first response, suggesting the OP in question could stand to watch a tv program, because they may learn something [heaven forbid][I did], was wiped out. You call a 2 liner like that useless enought to flag and delete¿

Thanks, what a waste of my time. What a waste of many responders time too with the whiney OP.

So what that the OP was rather a pissant to many responses. Sure he'd rather a CEO of 'Zero Interest Loans Bank' respond, but didn't fucking show up to the AskMe, awwww.

You know what they say, you get what you pay for. It's only an opinion, take it as such or hire a pro, ungrateful cheapskate whiny bastid cheeseburger.

Pardon the derail of said topic, but on topic all the same.

I would prefer less meddling, chill'en.
posted by alicesshoe at 6:44 PM on February 20, 2008


My 2 liner thanking Nelsormensch for pegging the name of a person and program, which escaped my memory from my first response, suggesting the OP in question could stand to watch a tv program, because they may learn something [heaven forbid][I did], was wiped out. You call a 2 liner like that useless enought to flag and delete¿

Your original nameless mention of the TV show is still there, Nelsormensch's comment with the name of the show is still there. The Asker still has all the pertinent info if he wants to watch it or suggest it to his sister. No information has been censored.
posted by CKmtl at 6:54 PM on February 20, 2008


Gosh people, I've wasted a lot of time today being entertained by this tale and the ensuring histrionics. It cost me a lot of down time and while I admit that it was my mistake getting on this thread in the first place, Challahtronix by his own admission omitted to mention important details in his original complaint. These facts would not have changed the advice he was given, but it would have at least made his original request seem slightly less daft. We'd all have wasted a lot less time and metaspace.

In view of this, and by the logic of the original thread, I'm wondering if we're...y'know...owed anything by Challahtronix.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 7:11 PM on February 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


By your original thread logic it's your fault for paying $5 and clicking on these links expecting something entertaining so nyeah.
posted by Challahtronix at 7:18 PM on February 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm always kind of nervous when people abbreviate dirtynumbangelboy as dnab.
posted by danb at 8:04 PM on February 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


CKmtl, my response thanking Nelsormensch and suggesting the OP watch the show Has been deleted. It originally followed Nelsormensch's post, just before the whine.

Just seemed rather petty to delete and suggested it'd be a useful program to watch.
posted by alicesshoe at 8:22 PM on February 20, 2008


¿Que pedo, alicesshoe? Pretentious punctuation, OMGZENZORSHIPS, a handful of incoherent gibberish, and your comment wasn't even deleted?

How have you lasted this long?
posted by klangklangston at 8:41 PM on February 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well, it wasn't until the MeTa user names thread a while back that I realized I wasn't the only one who read him as "dirty dumb bagel boy", so naturally it took me a few extra posts to figure out who the heck "dnab" was.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:46 PM on February 20, 2008


BUT OMG ANTM IS GREAT.
posted by klangklangston at 8:55 PM on February 20, 2008


funny that mine is the comment that was deleted, given that it was one of the more relatively mild rebukes. I stand by my comment (if you remember what it was)
posted by randomstriker at 9:29 PM on February 20, 2008


My 2 liner thanking Nelsormensch for pegging the name of a person and program, which escaped my memory from my first response, suggesting the OP in question could stand to watch a tv program, because they may learn something [heaven forbid][I did], was wiped out. You call a 2 liner like that useless enought to flag and delete¿

It was banter. Chatter. You weren't adding to the thread, you were being conversational. While that flies just fine in here or on the blue, it's not what AskMe is about, and we delete noisy little bits like that on a regular basis.

That you pick a metatalk thread at random to launch into a dismissive rejection of moderation policy you don't seem even to be familiar with, and then call Jessamyn petty and make shitty implications about bona fides as a librarian, that seems pretty lousy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:30 PM on February 20, 2008


Your comment, randomstriker, was this:

I'm struggling to see how this is not your fault. Shit happens, get over it.

It's not an answer, it's a kissoff; and as one of the first comments, it was a lousy way to launch the thread. There's nothing wrong with explaining to an asker why you think there's something problematic in their premise, but doing so so dismissively and abruptly without any explanation isn't a great way to do business over in the green.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:33 PM on February 20, 2008


Best answer: Hand jobs, lots and lots of hand jobs.

I dissent.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:43 PM on February 20, 2008


I ABHOR CENSORSHIP OF ANY KIND [you say you're a Librarian]

No no no, she's a Liberian, you maroon.
If communication and information is so goddam precious to you, write something other than garbled obtusities. Or is cluttered incoherency your way of throwing teh Evil Forces of Censorship off your trail?
"Well, we could blank some of this out, but I think this guy'd actually benefit from some editing..."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:57 PM on February 20, 2008


What is with the control¿ I ABHOR CENSORSHIP OF ANY KIND [you say you're a Librarian¿] fucking hell. So was my Mother, she was against ALL censorship.

You and your Mother? Well then.
posted by salvia at 10:42 PM on February 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


alicesshoe said: jessamyn, your determination of 'seems useful' differs from mine, obviously. What is with the control¿ I ABHOR CENSORSHIP OF ANY KIND [you say you're a Librarian¿] fucking hell.

alicesshoe, having a comment deleted in an AskMe thread doesn't equal censorship. I'm sorry, it just doesn't. This topic has been discussed many times before. It's not censorship because this is an internet website with clearly stated guidelines that people are asked to follow. Read the FAQ. When you don't follow the rules, there's a great chance you'll get deleted. It's no big deal.

My 2 liner thanking Nelsormensch for pegging the name of a person and program, which escaped my memory from my first response, suggesting the OP in question could stand to watch a tv program, because they may learn something [heaven forbid][I did], was wiped out. You call a 2 liner like that useless enought to flag and delete¿

I didn't see that thread before you brought attention to it, so I didn't see your 2 liner, but if you'd wanted to thank somebody you could have just used MeMail.

I really think you owe jessamyn an apology for that "Vent" of yours up there. It was really off the mark and uncalled for. You were the one who didn't understand how AskMe operates. And you've apparently been here for much longer than I have.
posted by misozaki at 12:27 AM on February 21, 2008


Ulp! What alicesshoe has just done is like... Well, it's like climbing down into a pit filled with fighting dogs, taking a juicy steak from a bag and strapping it to your genitals, and then poking one of the biggest, most loved dogs with a stick... At best, it can be described as a colossal error of judgement, a massive lack of understanding of the situation . And that, from a 16k'er, is surprising enough that I need to fall back to a WoWism for one moment and ask... eBay?
posted by benzo8 at 1:00 AM on February 21, 2008


Going back to the original topic, I'd like to add my support for the OP in that question. dirtynumbangelboy and others were not offering answers, they were just piling on. I find dirtynumbangelboy's protestations of innocence over accusations of snark to be disingenuous at best. The reason the OP didn't like your answers wasn't because they were painful truths he needed to be told, it was because they weren't answers to the question posed.
posted by MrMustard at 1:46 AM on February 21, 2008


I have exclusive videotape that captures Jessamyn in the act of blacking out random text passages in a "History of the Police" library book.

It was revealed during a Sting Operation. sorry.
posted by taz at 1:59 AM on February 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


uhh....what the fuck?

*applauds masterful derail while backing away slowly, marks alicesshoe as 'FUCKING INSANE'*
posted by jacalata at 3:07 AM on February 21, 2008


cortex"That you pick a metatalk thread at random to launch into a dismissive rejection of moderation policy you don't seem even to be familiar with, and then call Jessamyn petty and make shitty implications about bona fides as a librarian, that seems pretty lousy."

Yes, I stand corrected regarding what AskMe is about. Given my assumption, jessamyn's profession and my familiarity with some in that profession is why I hollered Censorship and pettiness.

I apologize to jessamyn for my assumption and understand that you're all trying to keep the threads within the guidelines for those not reading the FAQ's. I stand corrected and schooled.

My rant in two parts,
'Picked a metatalk at random...', not quite, the topic was 'can OP's be nice' when asking. I railed against said OP of my link. I can see how it may have been overlooked, given my attack on jessamyn.
posted by alicesshoe at 5:54 AM on February 21, 2008


Yes, I stand corrected regarding what AskMe is about. Given my assumption, jessamyn's profession and my familiarity with some in that profession is why I hollered Censorship and pettiness.

No big deal really, we've just had the "is comment deletion censorship" discussion here a lot and it always stings a bit when someone says "you're a librarian, and you censor??!" because, I'm aggressively anti-censorship IN MY LIBRARY. However, if someone, say, tells me they're going to "fuck me up" in the comments to my website -- just picking an example at random from my personal website, from yesterday -- I'll delete that comment and not feel at all censorious about it. Usually we use the "take a dump in your living room" example. I would have dropped you an email about it, but your low user number gave me the impression you'd know what was up, my apologies for that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 AM on February 21, 2008


See, I don't even need to read the green or the blue anymore; I just read the gray, and it points me right to the threads and questions where all the action is.
posted by JanetLand at 6:54 AM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh wow I'm in love [or so][but thus I am¿] because that Post was the love child of thomcatspike and elpapacito [but with who as the Mother¿][I suppose] and all METATALK posts should be like¡ Better than gifs¿
posted by bonaldi at 7:32 AM on February 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


I still think that the "you don't get anything because you fucked up" answers in the original thread were answering the question.

For some reason I got particularly worked up about how this thread went, largely because things broke down on both sides of the question. A little something like this.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:33 AM on February 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I still think that the "you don't get anything because you fucked up" answers in the original thread were answering the question.

Yes, it technically counts as an answer, but was it a factually correct answer?

This is probably a poor analogy, but let's say that I was the McDonald's coffee lady. I spill hot coffee all over my lap after getting a to go cup from the drive through. Let's then say that I post an AskMe wondering if I have any legal recourse and get a bunch of responses stating "why should someone else pay for your mistake? I'm struggling to see how this is not your fault. Shit happens, get over it." Yes, that's an answer, but no, it wasn't correct. Am I supposed to take my time to explain it to someone being extremely dismissive and has provided no reasoning or backing for their answer?

While the court (rightfully IMHO) assigned some blame to her it also saw that the company was culpable. I screwed up, so did Transavia, I'm out money, they pay no penalty for their mistake.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:28 AM on February 21, 2008


I do need to point out that we don't make assessments of factual correctness at a moderation level preferring instead to determine whether something seems like a good faith answer/response or not. If answers seem to be trying to be helpful and are not attacking or harassing the poster or just clearly jokes, we'll usually leave them in. It's a fine line to tread, admittedly, but much less problematic than trying to determine if an answer is "right" or not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:46 AM on February 21, 2008


There really needs to be big, bold, italic, underlined, flashing warning alongside "Wisecracks don't help people find answers," that reminds everybody that a helpful answer is one that answers the question the poster has asked, and that before generating such an answer it is sometimes useful to read the fucking question, and actually know the answer.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


jessamyn, nor do I expect you guys to, but I the combination of dismisiveness, condescension, and information presented as factual with no basis for it really angered me. DNAB above provided a cite of friend with 20+ years in the airline industry for some point about "minimum requirements" for luggage delivery that I really don't care about- why couldn't he ask that same friend the question that was in my OP? Putting "my friend with 20+ years experience in the airline industry says that...." would've changed the usefulness and direction of the answers significantly.
posted by Challahtronix at 11:11 AM on February 21, 2008


I got on the wrong plane once. I was seated next to my wife, but it wasn't my wife - it was the wrong wife - somebody else's wife. And I wasn't wearing my clothes. When I got off, I picked up someone else's luggage and I booked into their hotel.

When my trip was over, I returned to their home town. Another man's children greeted me, another man's dog jumped up on my chest and slobbered idiotically.

I took the stragers job. I drank with his friends. It wasn't even my country! I couldn't speak the language - I didn't understand the currency, the television remained an impenetrable mystery, the bookstores were full of volumes upon volumes of cyphers - a silent automaton, I stroked their aging leather spines ... the smell of unfamiliar, acrid spices on the breath of strangers ... my blank eyes reflecting a city of infinite lonliness ...

But fuck it, at least I don't have to live in Canada anymore.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:17 AM on February 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


...with no basis for it really angered me.
Yeh, because we owe you ... oh, wait, we owe you shit, Mr 23 Answers.

Write us a letter, saying you don't know what you expect from us but want to complain, then when we don't reply go to Yahoo Answers and say "I AskedMe, and found myself with completely the wrong answers. The right question was at the gate top. Am I owed?"
posted by bonaldi at 11:36 AM on February 21, 2008


oh, wait, we owe you shit, Mr 23 Answers.
And that's pretty much what I got.

How many questions do I have to answer (correctly or incorrectly, useful or not, that's not the point, right?) before I'm "owed" useful advice?
posted by Challahtronix at 11:51 AM on February 21, 2008


To be fair, 10 of Challahtronix's 23 answers were responses in the AskMe in question, so I'm not sure it's fair or accurate to roll out the ol' Q:A ratio chestnut.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:58 AM on February 21, 2008


How many questions do I have to answer (correctly or incorrectly, useful or not, that's not the point, right?) before I'm "owed" useful advice?
None at all. The question you should be asking is "How many questions do I have to answer before I can throw a gigantic hissy-fit about the answers I get, and am justified in spreading my righteous wrath over two threads like I own this motherfucker?"

To which the answer is "way more than 13, yo"
posted by bonaldi at 12:04 PM on February 21, 2008


...over two threads...

I can't win. I was supposed to avoid my own callout?

I stand by my comment in the other thread (except the "frivilous" part which wasn't deserved):

To an extent I can deal with that (not getting answers I like). While it doesn't directly answer my question "I wouldn't bother unless the money means an enormous amount to you" or "ask yourself if it's worth it?" are decent answers, "Shit happens" or "They ALWAYS follow their own procedures and therefore it's your fault, stupid!" with a touch of "assuming you're an adult" or implying that I'm incompetent to the point of being senile are unhelpful to the point of assholery.
posted by Challahtronix at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2008


DNAB above provided a cite of friend with 20+ years in the airline industry for some point about "minimum requirements" for luggage delivery that I really don't care about

See, that's your problem right there. You "don't care about" an answer that tells you what you need to know. Namely, that your original airline owes you nothing at all, despite your claims to the contrary, suggesting that they owed you getting your luggage to wherever you happened to be. It was nice of them to offer, and it's a pity they screwed it up, but they really didn't owe it to you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:44 PM on February 21, 2008


Challahtronix said: "How many questions do I have to answer (correctly or incorrectly, useful or not, that's not the point, right?) before I'm "owed" useful advice?"

I didn't read the AskMe so I'm not weighing in on whether Dirty Numb Bagel Boy (thanks, iamkimiam) made a solid call-out or not.

But I don't agree with the assertion that, before a user deserves the right to ask a question and receive legitimate responses, we should judge how useful he or she has been as an answerer. I think that goes against the spirit of AskMe.
posted by pineapple at 12:45 PM on February 21, 2008


Oh, and I feel compelled to point out:

1) Never called you stupid. Please stop saying that I did.
2) I explained the "assuming you're an adult" statement. If you wish to continue taking umbrage at it, that's your problem and not mine.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:47 PM on February 21, 2008


See, that's your problem right there. You "don't care about" an answer that tells you what you need to know. Namely, that your original airline owes you nothing at all, despite your claims to the contrary, suggesting that they owed you getting your luggage to wherever you happened to be. It was nice of them to offer, and it's a pity they screwed it up, but they really didn't owe it to you.

I think you need to re-read all of my posts in that thread. I specifically stated that this is about Transavia and not Iberia. I've been content with Iberia's customer service. I have never said they "owed it to me". They offered to deliver it, and I said that's fine IF YOU ARE POSITIVE YOU CAN DO IT, otherwise don't bother and I'll pick it up at Schipol. They didn't deliver it as promised and botched having it available for pick-up as promised. You're arguing that what they did went beyond the "bare minimum" standard, I'm arguing that it's irrelevant because whatever the standard, it wasn't done right.

What I asked (in a poorly-phrased way) was if the airline that I boarded had any legal/financial obligations when they do not follow their own procedures/regulations and strand a traveler in a strange country. My problem is that you're claiming your opinions are facts and that it's something I "need to hear".
"I've heard of kids traveling and having issues with getting on the right plane. In those situations, the airline is responsible. I'm assuming you are an adult, and therefore you are."
And when I ask for a source or cite for this, I get:
"The same reasoning that the cool heads answering your question are using, namely, that your error caused your problem."
So no legal standard, just what the "cool heads" think.

consider 1) & 2) dropped, and note that I was quoting myself from before your clarification.
posted by Challahtronix at 1:26 PM on February 21, 2008


we owe you shit, Mr 23 Answers.

That's a nasty and uncalled-for attitude and should be kept out of all discussions of AskMe. There is no requirement or expectation that anyone "contribute" any answers before being "owed" a decent answer to whatever they might ask, and the attitude that they should can only lead to more of the pointless wild guesses and other non-answers that currently pollute the site.

Or, what pineapple said.
posted by languagehat at 1:31 PM on February 21, 2008


...yeah, I give up. There's no helping some people.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:31 PM on February 21, 2008


...and that's exactly what you provided.
posted by Challahtronix at 1:39 PM on February 21, 2008


I still think that the "you don't get anything because you fucked up" answers in the original thread were answering the question.

They were totally answering the question. But it would be really nice, if before hitting "Post Comment", people would ask themselves "Do I have any evidence that the answer I'm about to post is correct, or do I just really want it to be correct?"

I mean, AskMe is only as good as you make it. Please refrain from jokes, and answers that you are basically pulling out of your ass.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:43 PM on February 21, 2008


pineapple, languagehat: as I've already said, that's not my position in the slightest. But it is my position that someone who has given AskMe virtually nothing is more than a bit out of line to cop the sense of enlightenment we're seeing.

Course, if he'd answered 500 questions, I doubt we'd see it anyway, as by that point he'd know how it works.
posted by bonaldi at 1:44 PM on February 21, 2008


If you say so, Challahtronix.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:50 PM on February 21, 2008


... Dirty Numb Bagel Boy...

This affront to bagels really needs to stop.

He's from Toronto. It's a proven fact that Toronto doesn't know from bagels.
posted by CKmtl at 1:59 PM on February 21, 2008


...over two threads...

I can't win. I was supposed to avoid my own callout?

No, you were supposed to refrain from using this callout as just another opportunity to argue in an increasingly tiresome fashion. You seem to have a talent for focusing on exactly the less-relevant portion of a sentence. You got all hung up on the "two" and ignored the "justified" and the "righteous" and the "wrath" and the "motherfucker."
posted by desuetude at 1:59 PM on February 21, 2008


DNAB, can you truly not see why I didn't like your answer? My problem is that you're claiming your opinions are facts and that it's something I "need to hear". You're acting like you're speaking from a position of authority, but you're not. No cites or supporting evidence. The post that you said agreed with (and I had flagged) was "I'm struggling to see how this is not your fault. Shit happens, get over it." and I somehow took the rest of your post the wrong way?!?

and don't get me started on that "anonymous" guy- he starts a ton of AskMes, but never bothers to answer. Jerk.
posted by Challahtronix at 2:09 PM on February 21, 2008


I agree with 23skidoo. A lot of the answers were really being pulled from the responder's posterior. Not from relevant experience, established fact, or official guidelines. And I think people thought they could get away with it because the asker was partially responsible for his situation.

I don't think those answers should be deleted because they are "answers", but I don't think they're all that helpful and they're annoying. I really think there are too many people who answer a lot of questions. Which is why answer-to-question ratio means little. A lot of people just give the answer that comes to their mind/heart, and there's not a lot behind it. I wonder at some of the people who answer a LOT of questions. Do they really know that much?

I think the asker got some useful answers and some of those were marked best answer, as they should have been.
posted by Danila at 2:51 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


and don't get me started on that "anonymous" guy

um, anonymous is a girl. i should know; we were married for a while.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:57 PM on February 21, 2008


"See, that's your problem right there. You "don't care about" an answer that tells you what you need to know. Namely, that your original airline owes you nothing at all, despite your claims to the contrary, suggesting that they owed you getting your luggage to wherever you happened to be. It was nice of them to offer, and it's a pity they screwed it up, but they really didn't owe it to you."

Says fucking who? Your Calvinist sense of ethics?

Either back that shit up with a fucking cite or fuck off. Jesus. It's not hard.
posted by klangklangston at 3:00 PM on February 21, 2008


I mean, for fuck's sake, you sound like a pissy Steven Den Beste. Is that what you want?
posted by klangklangston at 3:01 PM on February 21, 2008


klang, do me a favour and leave me the fuck alone. Wait, do me a second favour, and actually try reading something for a change.

That information came directly from a colleague with 20 years of experience in international air travel. Every month, she books hundreds of people on hundreds of flights, often with complex routings. Knowing these rules and regs is her bread and butter.

But, obviously, that won't be good enough for you. You've got a hate-on for me a mile wide, and it's becoming tiresome. I try to leave you alone, even when you say manifestly stupid and offensive bullshit. I would thank you to do the same.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:55 PM on February 21, 2008


Hoo Boy, this thing is taking turns I didn't forsee. DNAB, howsabout you re-read my original post, specifically the part about "my questions". Do I mention anything about Iberia? My questions are solely about Transavia. I think I've clarified this several times with you yet to acknowledge. That is why I did not care about your "answer" from your friend and I don't know where you got the idea that I suggest(ed) that they "owed me getting my luggage to wherever I happened to be". That is not the case. They decided on that course of action. Which is sorta moot, as the other bag was lost and didn't materialize til late December. BUT THAT WASN'T WHAT MY ASKME WAS ABOUT.

Seriously, couldn't you have asked this airline friend of yours about my main concern in the original thread instead of bringing it up to bolster some bullshit point I don't care about in the grey?
posted by Challahtronix at 4:27 PM on February 21, 2008


I think everybody should go re-read everything that everyone else has written, ever, and maybe a nice book or two and drink some tea and then, then come back to this and if you still need to tell each other off in front of everybody you'll know at least that you aren't caught up in the moment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on February 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think everybody should go re-read everything that everyone else has written, ever

nah, it's far quicker to use that thingummy algorithm. you know the one i mean. generates text based on peoples' past comments.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 PM on February 21, 2008


"That information came directly from a colleague with 20 years of experience in international air travel. Every month, she books hundreds of people on hundreds of flights, often with complex routings. Knowing these rules and regs is her bread and butter."

Really? Because I just read through your first five or so responses in that thread, and you didn't mention that once. Bit of an ex post facto on the "Yeah, also, this came from my friend who's named J'Onn J'onez and he can read minds and he totally told me that the asker was fucked." If yer friend's such a regulations genius, why don't you ask them for the text of the regulations that govern this? I mean, assuming this isn't just a girlfriend-I-met-at-camp-you-don't-know-her.

"But, obviously, that won't be good enough for you. You've got a hate-on for me a mile wide, and it's becoming tiresome. I try to leave you alone, even when you say manifestly stupid and offensive bullshit. I would thank you to do the same."

Oh, you whiny feeb. Yes, of course I couldn't think that you're acting like a douche! It has to be because I have a secret campaign against you!

Who do you think you are? Nixon?
posted by klangklangston at 5:55 PM on February 21, 2008


J'onzz. It's J'onn J'onzz.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:58 PM on February 21, 2008


DOH!

Well, never mind. Maybe his friend is MODOC. They can't be Brainiac, because Brainiac is evil. Batman?
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 PM on February 21, 2008


ah, found it.

to summarise the thread:

dnab: Yeah, because a bunch of stuff, so I can discount you, what with snow and bloody tired of pandering to these fucking wingnuts. They are KKK members without the MeTa then? Waitress: You mean MeTa MeTa egg MeTa MeTa (crescendo through next few lines) Wife: Could you explain, please, how it's going to be there, not ones who are travel agents? Have them book it through the cup? Sue. Of course, you never stare at women--probably in a mentoring sort of BAM IN YOUR FACE YEAH THIS IS PROJECTS WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT PUNK, while the Post is very important, as we choose a life without outside intervention." Stavros, I usually prefer to return to Israel.

klango: Feh. It's fine. Look at where the album 'All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones' [A title which I might want to rethink that. Otherwise, you're just wrong on some level this is silly). Try Hawkwind, Can, Amon Düul II and Neu. That's a total lesbian, Krrrlson's only into affirmations, Bugbread's been mutated into some bars or in the building, sending a huge pile of CW correspondence for references to Garfield?

"Sure, there's an objective frequency for all "sex offenders" being raped and killed.


Challahtronix: Why does he want the other kids to do- leave the area? Stick around to be arrested/cited? If the latter, secure their boards, tell them to sit against the wall, call their parents, etc... But instead he's screaming unclear commands and threatening them. He escalated a public nuisance into a violent confrontation, and if those kids had wanted to know if that means procedural changes in re-boardings or what. I was lucky we went to a mountain bike with a dock- at least an explanation of what the contracts entail, you have an old Ximeta NetDisk that connects over ethernet but requires software to be installed in order for the substandard version of google maps, IM, GPS software, and other pieces made out of your time unjamming the chain, putting the chain as much.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:46 PM on February 21, 2008


This may be a controversial position, but what exactly is wrong with pulled-out-of-your-bootah answers? If you're looking for legal recourse, and you need legal answers that are certifiably correct, you should go to a legal professional. Everyone already knows this or should already know it.

Asking a question on the internet is, AT BEST, a sanity check or a 101-level coverage of your topic. Sure, you might get an actual IAAL response once in a while, but you still can't assume it's any more accurate than the advice proffered by HannahMontanaFan2007. So "am I owed anything" can and should only be interpreted as "do you think it's reasonable for me to expect compensation under these circumstances?"

Furthermore, Challahtronix, the responses you got were provided for free. Maybe they weren't phrased as gently as they could've been, maybe the answers weren't as relevant or correct as you needed, and maybe they just weren't the answers you wanted to hear. Regardless, you got no less than you paid for and your belligerent attitude simply ensured that you'll receive no more in the future.
posted by Riki tiki at 6:50 PM on February 21, 2008


Hey can we stop the "you don't deserve anything" bullshit? AskMe is, has always been, and I goddamn sure hope always will be run on the premise that the asker gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to questionable, um, questions.

Anyone is allowed to pay their $5 and ask a question. If they get shitty, opinionated and unfounded answers and then called out about it and then "you haven't earned this kind of drama" bullshit gets trotted out, what the fuck?

AskMe is about the answers. As the thread as it lives demonstrates there were informed, interesting and different answers to be given to the question.

You're an idiot and missed your plane is none of those things.
posted by Skorgu at 7:01 PM on February 21, 2008


"klango: Feh. It's fine. Look at where the album 'All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones' [A title which I might want to rethink that. Otherwise, you're just wrong on some level this is silly). Try Hawkwind, Can, Amon Düul II and Neu. That's a total lesbian, Krrrlson's only into affirmations, Bugbread's been mutated into some bars or in the building, sending a huge pile of CW correspondence for references to Garfield?

"Sure, there's an objective frequency for all "sex offenders" being raped and killed."

This is the first Markov that I've seen that seems to really represent my positions on issues.
posted by klangklangston at 7:10 PM on February 21, 2008


I don't want to wade through this thread as well as the original question, so i'll just say this with the knowledge that i may have been proven wrong already:

DNAB, you're being almost as much of a jerk as the OP in that thread. I don't understand why some people think the point of AskMe is to "teach people a lesson"- the point is to help someone. Why the need to come back, and back, and back and get into a pointless argument with the question asker? Saying it once, sure, I can see that. But I don't get why some people have the urge to make sure that the asker gets why they're SOWRONGOMG. It kind of seems like a case of internet obsessiveness. Why can't people just let it go? Sometimes you can't convince someone they're wrong. It isn't worth your time or theirs to argue and argue about it, however frustrating it is for you (and the original asker).
posted by MadamM at 7:49 PM on February 21, 2008


I don't want to wade through this thread... Why the need to come back, and back, and back and get into a pointless argument with the question asker? Saying it once, sure, I can see that. But I don't get why some people have the urge to make sure that the asker gets why they're SOWRONGOMG.

The same could be said of the desire to tell someone they're in the wrong without having read the thread to see if others have already made the same point.

Or posted the same cartoon.
posted by CKmtl at 8:22 PM on February 21, 2008


This may be as good a place as any to mention that I really dislike all the comments (not just in this thread, but generally, and repeatedly) that suggest one cannot expect to get decent answers from "a bunch of strangers on the internet". This is constantly trotted out as an excuse for non-answers and opinion-as-answer - and it's just not true. We see amazing, authoritative answers all the time on AskMe, sometimes on very arcane or needle-in-a-haystack sorts of questions. Not every question gets the perfect answer, sure - but there's always a chance that someone reading the site does know exactly what you should do, or where you should look to solve your problem.

If not, then no big deal. An unanswered question doesn't create a dangerous vacuum that must filled with something at all costs. In this case, it was perfectly possible that there might have been a commenter who could say, "well, I work for an international airline, and our policy is this....", or someone who could say, "almost this exact same thing happened to me, and what I learned was...", or even, "I am a customer complaints rep. for [some kind of business], and my advice as a general rule of thumb in situations like this would be to..." Other good contributions can come from people who know where to look for specific regulations that have some bearing on the situation, such as this user's comment.

On the other hand, it's not a horrible thing to offer with a disclaimer a nonexpert idea or suggestion that you think might be helpful: "I'm not sure if it works like this with airlines, but maybe you could try..." But why come in just to state the obvious: "You got on the wrong plane."? The poster knows that s/he got on the wrong plane; this has been established. Someone else may be able to provide more fact-based information than what simply seems logical to you.

And, in fact, the internet is a great place to potentially find that person. Much, much better than asking 100 random people on the street. The question was not unanswerable, and not nearly as blatantly obvious as many commenters in the original thread seemed to assume. If the question had been "from an ethical point of view, am I owed anything?" then, sure, go ahead and give your gut opinon. But if that's all you have to offer in response to a fact-based query it might be better to forgo answering. And if you don't forgo answering, why not be polite (because it works both ways)? And finally, even if you don't think commenters need to provide useful answers, or that it's perfectly hunky dory for them to be rude while not answering the question, please don't sanction this behavior with the old "well DUH, what d'ya EXPECT when you ask STRANGERS? On the INTERNET?" - because it's really kind of silly.
posted by taz at 1:20 AM on February 22, 2008 [7 favorites]


Excellent points you've made there, taz. Well said.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:24 AM on February 22, 2008


taz has hit the nail on the head there. Repeatedly.
posted by MrMustard at 2:45 AM on February 22, 2008


If yer friend's such a regulations genius, why don't you ask them for the text of the regulations that govern this? I mean, assuming this isn't just a girlfriend-I-met-at-camp-you-don't-know-her.

That comment is beneath contempt.

Oh, you whiny feeb. Yes, of course I couldn't think that you're acting like a douche! It has to be because I have a secret campaign against you!

*sigh* Typically, you're ignoring what I actually said. I dislike you, but when you're acting like a douche I just leave it alone. I was asking you to extend me the same courtesy, as I doubt that you would say anything--or, at the very least, doubt you would say it with so much vitriol--if you didn't dislike me so intensely.

Oh, and speaking of douchebaggery... which one of us was it that's been hurling insults at the other, here?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:41 AM on February 22, 2008


Uh... who wants donuts? I've got donuts here! Let's all have a donut!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:43 AM on February 22, 2008


Pity, I wanted flapjacks.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:03 AM on February 22, 2008


skorgu: they didn't get called out about their answers, they got called out about their drama. It's like throwing a strop that the soup kitchen doesn't serve sirloin. Sure, you can all ride in saying "hey, he deserves the goddamn soup for nothing!", and that's both true and beside the point.

Sure, we aim for the sirloin type answers that Taz is describing, but often the soup of strangers on the Internet is all we got. And hollering "I want the sirloin" isn't going to bring it.
posted by bonaldi at 5:06 AM on February 22, 2008


Pity, I wanted flapjacks.

dnab, for you, brother, flapjacks. Absolutely. Big stack of 'em. Grade A Vermont maple syrup, finest creamery butter.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:12 AM on February 22, 2008


Sure, we aim for the sirloin type answers that Taz is describing, but often the soup of strangers on the Internet is all we got. And hollering "I want the sirloin" isn't going to bring it.

Maybe. But when you've got a bowl of soup -- consommé, really -- and every five minutes a waiter comes along and shoves another bowl of the same weak broth onto the table, a diner has a right to become annoyed. Maybe he even has the right to be a dick about it.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:23 AM on February 22, 2008


Sys Rq, I don't think anyone has the right to be a dick when they're expecting help from other people. That's sort of the point of the whole callout.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:27 AM on February 22, 2008


Oh. I was under the impression you just wanted to piss in th soup a bit more.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:28 AM on February 22, 2008


the, even.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:28 AM on February 22, 2008


Grade A Vermont maple syrup

Ahem. Quebec maybe? :P
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:29 AM on February 22, 2008


Oh. I was under the impression you just wanted to piss in th[e] soup a bit more.

As I've already explained, no.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:30 AM on February 22, 2008


Don't get separatist on me, man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 AM on February 22, 2008


About Quebec, that is, not on separating the piss from the soup...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:31 AM on February 22, 2008


This may be a controversial position, but what exactly is wrong with pulled-out-of-your-bootah answers? If you're looking for legal recourse, and you need legal answers that are certifiably correct, you should go to a legal professional. Everyone already knows this or should already know it.

Pulled out of your ass answers, whether legal or not, dilute the pool of actual answers to the question. Especially in this case, where more people are answering the unasked question "Am I morally entitled to anything?", it makes it harder for the asker to find an answer to his question that is anything more than an opinion.

Holding up this question as some sort of proof of some imagined shitty benchmark and saying "Well, this is all we can do anytime anyone asks a legal question" is false. I have asked legal questions before and gotten alot of answers that at least tried to be legal answers rather than moral answers.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:17 AM on February 22, 2008


Sys Rq, I don't think anyone has the right to be a dick when they're expecting help from other people. That's sort of the point of the whole callout.

And I don't think anyone has the right to be a dick to someone just because they asked a question. That's sort of the point of everyone who's taken issue with your snarky and utterly unhelpful 'answers'.

Oh yeah, and calling someone out in here when you were mostly to blame? Not cool.
posted by MrMustard at 6:50 AM on February 22, 2008


MetaFilter: Separating the piss from the soup
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:50 AM on February 22, 2008


MetaFilter: Separating the piss from the soup

Not always easy, but definitely something you wanna do!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:53 AM on February 22, 2008


Not that anyone asked my opinion on the generalized statements people have been making, but here they are anyhow

- "why ask random people on the internet" issue -- I agree that this isn't a particularly useful response to someone asking a question. However, it sometimes becomes useful when people are in a thread specifically saying "I am looking for MEDICAL advice, not just random people's opinions, stop answering this question if you are not a doctor..." and it's okay to say "well you asked random people, you may get their opinions whether you want them or not" or "this question may be too specialized for this random group of people"

- "butt, answers pulled out of" -- I think there's some point in a thread where people decide that the OP isn't going to get a 100% factual absolute answer to a question so it's probably okay if you have some level of good guess, to reply. People's threshhold for what equals a good guess is, as we have seen, all over the place. When we see people doing this to an extreme amount we may ask them to either try to qualify their answers better ["I don't really know, but something similar happened to my brother..."] or refrain from answering every question that they have a wild guess on and try to focus on answers in areas they know something about.

- This gets further complicated when part of the question includes one major question "How do I fix this problem" and a minor question "Am I crazy in thinking I was treated badly" where a polite response of "Yes, I think you may be a little crazy in this instance" is not only on-topic but specifically requsted. I think people don't realize they may be opening the door for those sorts of answers with their phrasing.

- wrath - once someone has given a snarky or unhelpful response, the best approach, from our mod perspective, is to email or IM us and let us look at it and take care of it. Realistically speaking, this rarely happens and often the OP replies with some degree of anger/frustration which is understandable. However, while we'll often remove snark or jerkish answers we try very hard to never remove an OP's reply. This gets complicated when the OP is, to my eyes, shooting themself in the foot with a grouchy "thanks for nothing" sort of response which also contains new information. We'd like to not delete it and yet it's poison if it stays.

- at the end of the day, there were a few classic ways that thread went wrong. Moving forward it's probably good to remember that even if the OP has asked a weird question or even if they're being churlish, it's more important (from our mile-high "what's good for metafilter" perspective) that they get their question answered decently than that someone point out just what is wrong with their situation. There are all sorts of ways to indicate that you disagree with what the OP is asking about or talking about and still be helpful to them.

We do not diplomatically recognize anyone's right to be a jerk in AskMe.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 AM on February 22, 2008


Since nobody lives in my head except me (and the Voice of God, and some guy named Steve accused of killing those hitchhikers-- but they don't MeFi), I always assume the burden is on me, and not AskMefites, to understand what I want out of a thread I start.

So I try to set the tone for the thread somewhat by the way I frame the question (like here, here, and here).

Results vary, of course, but seems like OPs have at least a little control over how their post comes across. And perhaps a bit more control over how it proceeds, based on their reaction to the responses.
posted by Rykey at 8:08 AM on February 22, 2008


"*sigh* Typically, you're ignoring what I actually said. I dislike you, but when you're acting like a douche I just leave it alone. I was asking you to extend me the same courtesy, as I doubt that you would say anything--or, at the very least, doubt you would say it with so much vitriol--if you didn't dislike me so intensely.

Oh, and speaking of douchebaggery... which one of us was it that's been hurling insults at the other, here?"

No, I'm pointing out that what you're saying is stupid, and that you alleged an ad hominem fallacy to my comments. And that you're being a whiny feeb, from posting this bitchy MeTa all the way down to your replies.

I don't much care that you dislike me, or that you have an elaborate etiquette worked out for when it's OK to respond to something I said—you just don't matter enough to me.

You were being a dick. Then you posted this MeTa asking for opinions on your dickdom. I told you that you were being a dick. You pissed and moaned about it, ascribing some sort of grudge rather than understanding, no, you're just being a dick. And now I'm being a dick by condescending to you, since you've been too much of a gomer to get it up until now.

And this—"That comment is beneath contempt." is exactly what I'd say if I had a Camp Girlfriend that I was relying upon to bolster my arguments.
posted by klangklangston at 8:48 AM on February 22, 2008


you alleged an ad hominem fallacy to my comments. And that you're being a whiny feeb

Alleged?

I don't much care that you dislike me, or that you have an elaborate etiquette worked out for when it's OK to respond to something I said—you just don't matter enough to me.

Again, missing the point.

You pissed and moaned about it, ascribing some sort of grudge rather than understanding, no, you're just being a dick.

And again, failing to actually read what I wrote. Your opinion of me being a dick in this case is neither here nor there. You are more inclined to assume I'm being a dick, even when I'm acting in good faith (which, despite what you may think, I was doing here) and when you post on the subject you are more inclined to lace your comments with vitriol. I am asking you, politely, to please stop. If you're going to complain about your perception of me being a dick, it would behoove you to not behave dickishly when doing so. That is, if you want to have any credibility.

And this—"That comment is beneath contempt." is exactly what I'd say if I had a Camp Girlfriend that I was relying upon to bolster my arguments.


That might well be what you would say. As it happens, it's not what I would say. She's sitting six feet away from me right now, working on ticketing for people from across Canada to travel to Europe next fall. Beyond that, I have no interest in providing any further details that would impact her privacy.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:57 AM on February 22, 2008


Upon reflection, your behaviour with respect to me boils down to this:

Are you

1) Attempting to make me see what you perceive to be the error of my ways

or

2) Simply venting your spleen at an easy target

or

3) As in 2, with the addition of deliberately trying to get a rise out of me


If it's 1, then yeah, you should have some valid criticism, rather than just 'dick dick dick dick dick whiny feeb dick dick'. If it's 2 or 3, then carry on behaving as you are. It says a lot more about you than it does about me.

And I have to wonder. If I "just don't matter" enough to you, why bother wasting your energy?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2008


klang, you're being a dick too by reiterating again and again and again that you think he acted dickishly and stupidly and claiming that he invents imaginary friends to back up his AskMe answers.

If the two of you want to have a public Bigger Dick contest, at least do it over publically accessible streaming webcams.
posted by CKmtl at 9:21 AM on February 22, 2008


eh, CKmtl, I'm not having a bigger dick contest. He is.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2008


Pity, I wanted flapjacks.

Would bliny and red caviar do?
posted by pernishus at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2008


I do have a webcam though
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:25 AM on February 22, 2008


Sweet merciful heavens. Hello! I know I've been somewhat out of touch lately. Will email you on the weekend, dear pern.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:26 AM on February 22, 2008


Thank you. There is a book, suitably inscribed, waiting to be dispatched to someone without whose publishing advice once upon a time it would never have made it into print.
posted by pernishus at 9:28 AM on February 22, 2008


Oh, and:

Then you posted this MeTa asking for opinions on your dickdom.

No, I posted this MeTa about Challahtronix' dickdom.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:41 AM on February 22, 2008


I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?
posted by craven_morhead at 9:44 AM on February 22, 2008


"You are more inclined to assume I'm being a dick, even when I'm acting in good faith (which, despite what you may think, I was doing here) and when you post on the subject you are more inclined to lace your comments with vitriol."

Uh, that's the ad hominem fallacy, chief.

As for the rest of it, well, I think you know how I feel, and you've already chosen to dismiss it, so I think I'll go clown elsewhere in MeTa. You're bringin' me down, man.
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 AM on February 22, 2008


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