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I saw a question today:

Getting fired on the second day, how do I cope with it?

I think before any answer could be posted - i could see 2 close flags! WHY?

It didn't look like one of the trolls; it is a real question in my opinion.

But most important thing is - even if the question is closed - isn't it necessary for the OP or the rest of the community to know about it? May be whatever the problem you think the question has - isn't it important to know what the issue is?

Shouldn't people try to improve question by suggesting an edit before closing it?

Shouldn't there any effort for communication when you are taking such a step?

We are still in beta -and i think it will take some time for everyone to sync through what is appropriate. I am not against closing - but i think there is a need for more common understanding and we should be reasonable?

Please make sure you have justification and it is posted in comments (or better still meta discussion) when you close the question.


And here is another one:

How can I motivate myself to work on projects I don't believe in or care about?

As regards this this question:

How to Deal With Unreasonable Expectations?

  • i know that initially, it was too specific that i didn't understand the details. However, after the edit - it makes no justification for closing.
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    We see over and over again that questions should be about "actual and practical" problems, but then when they are they are "too localized". I must admit I'm a bit confused too. – Nicole Apr 24 '12 at 3:59
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    What makes "Getting fired on second day!" Localized? It can happen in any industry, any company, any profession. – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 5:10
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    @DipanMehta - Does "is it fair?" sound like a constructive question to you? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 24 '12 at 14:54
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    @Chad - "Is it fair?" doesn't exactly sound good, but the full question was "Is it fair for employer to [do X]? Is it common?" which I think is pretty much in line with other "Is X a normal/acceptable workplace behavior/situation?" questions that have been asked before with no issues, and that I think are perfectly reasonable, if not constructive in terms of immediate problem-solving. – weronika Apr 24 '12 at 16:13
  • @weronika - Judgments on good,bad, fair, not fair are not constructive. Lemming behavior does not make it any more constructive. "Is X a normal/acceptable workplace behavior/situation" is not a good question. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 24 '12 at 16:29
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    OK - in that case what about this question? Is it acceptable to decline a team lunch?. This is a "good question with 28 upvotes, 8 answers" and hasn't been closed. Your own comment there is positive there and contradicts your comment above! – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 16:36
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    Another one: Is it unprofessional to play games during lunch hours? This one too is still open! If Is X acceptable formula doesn't seem to be consistent yet! – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 16:47
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    Another (i won't dig anymore) Is it appropriate to request a delayed start date at a new employer to help find/train your replacement? - open 15 upvotes, 9 answers. – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 16:55
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    @Chad - judgements on good/bad/fair etc are hard to distinguish from judgements on whether something is professional behavior, proper workplace etiquette, etc, which are on topic here, I thought? I think it's mostly a matter of wording rather than anything inherent to the questions, which is why I'm inclined to let them slide. But you could make an argument that these questions are all right to ask about something you're doing (constructive, actionable) but not about something other people are doing - is that what you mean? – weronika Apr 24 '12 at 17:14
  • @weronika - I would say that is correct. There is nothing constructive about judging others, or judging workplace policies that you have no say in. You can not change what others do, you can change what you do. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 24 '12 at 17:23
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    @Chad - All right, that makes sense. Personally I see some value in at least knowing what is normal/expected of others in various situations (and in knowing whether something is illegal or otherwise actionable), but I see your point, and it's a pretty clear guideline that could be put in the FAQ if people think it should apply. Want to bring it up on the FAQ meta question or somewhere else more visible? – weronika Apr 24 '12 at 17:31
  • @weronika - It is not a hard and fast rule though. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Apr 24 '12 at 19:25
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    The question shouldn't be closed, the underlying questions are: Why did this happen? And Is it normal? Those are pretty important questions. Should be reopened. Another good question lost to the abyss. – Mallow Feb 8 '13 at 14:33
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Some people judge a question by actual words used, and others judge by the underlying question.

If you judge questions by the actual words used, then there are going to be a lot of closed questions like these since few people know how to write good questions using the SE question standard.

If you judge them by the question behind the words, then the site will have more useful and interesting questions to the everyday user, however it runs the risk of degrading into a forum-like atmosphere which SE really doesn't want.

I think the key to finding a happy medium is good editing. If you see a question which has a good underlying question but is written badly by SE's question standards, then take the time to try and edit the question to prevent it from getting close votes in the first place. Don't wait until the question is closed, or has accumulated a lot of answers to edit it.

I can understand the mentality of "Close early and often, improve, review and re-open", however far too often users only vote to close, since it's the easiest step, and the "improve, review, and re-open" never happens.

I wish SE had a close definition that states the question is closed because it doesn't meet our quality standards for good questions, and to edit the question and flag for reopening. But it doesn't, so users have to step up and either do the editing themselves, or tell the OP and other users via comments about the reason for the close and what can be done to get the question reopened.

  • +1 An excellent answer. – John N Apr 25 '12 at 7:13
  • Excellent advice. In addition, I believe that if you're not going to improve it (as you said, voting to close is the easiest thing to do), it's best to explain what should be improved after you vote to close so the OP or others know how to improve it. As a new user, I've recently had questions that have been downvoted for not meeting the SE standards without any explanation of why, which is a big turnoff for new users. – Thunderforge Aug 20 '13 at 16:35
3

I think the common thread between these three questions was the somewhat emotional tone - they were phrased more along the lines of "my situation really sucks" than "I have a problem I need solved", and could be seen as asking for commiseration or emotional support rather than solutions. However, I don't think that was really the case - when you're really upset about something (justifiably!), it's just difficult to phrase a question without that coming through in your tone, even if you honestly do just want help solving your problem.

In any case, I think all three of those could be very interesting questions. They could maybe use some editing (or just mentally screening out the unhappy tone and concentrating on the practical issues), but closing doesn't seem like the right solution.

It might be good to develop some guidelines to the extent to which it's acceptable to edit questions to concentrate on actionable problems rather than complaints, if it would help us deal with this kind of thing in the future.

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    Fair enough. I agree that emotional outburst should be controlled so that the question really becomes clear enough. However, i don't think other people should get emotional about closing it! This poses a very bad culture (visible in many other sites) – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 6:33
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    I think the way we always recommend that one must put a comment before a downvote - closing of question must be justified to a reasonable extent and more importantly it must be improved in whichever way we can to ensure that. By beating around questions we don't quite get the so-called quality ! – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 6:35
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    @DipanMehta I agree that generally these questions didn't warrant closing - I just voted to reopen the motivation one earlier today. (Still not completely sure about the Unreasonable Expectations one, the situation going on in it isn't clear to me). And yes, the fact that we get multiple close votes with no explaining comment definitely seems like a problem. – weronika Apr 24 '12 at 6:38
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Getting fired on the second day, is it fair?

The question is not constructive as there is no problem to be solved here, OP was fired, that's not reversible (unfortunately). All we can offer is speculation and opinions, and that's not really what a Stack Exchange site is about. Your own answer is a set of generic guidelines, good advice, but a really weak answer in Stack Exchange terms as you are not offering a solution to a problem (not your fault, as there isn't a problem to be solved).

The question is also too localized. Getting fired on the second day is not common. Even if it was common, we don't know why the OP was fired, and I'm certain that the why would be a very specific reason (reasonable or unreasonable) that wouldn't apply to a wider audience. For example, consider the following questions:

  • I was fired on my second day, because I didn't sleep with the boss. Is it fair?
  • I was fired on my second day, because I set the office on fire. Is it fair?

(ok, the first one is not too localized, unfortunately)

How can I motivate myself to work on projects I don't believe in or care about?

Again, not constructive. All we can offer are opinions, we have absolutely no idea what projects the OP is talking about, or what would motivate him/her, it's a highly individual process. The Workplace is not a support forum, and the two answers that made it through would be more suitable for a support forum. Nothing inherently wrong with the question, it's just not a question that fits the philosophy and format of the site.

How to Deal With Unreasonable Expectations?

This is a rant in disguise and the OP should have known better as he's a moderator on another Stack Exchange site. We have absolutely no idea if the expectations are unreasonable or not, and these types of questions are explicitly forbidden in the FAQ:

What kind of questions should I not ask here?

...

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

...

  • it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”

Shouldn't people try to improve question by suggesting an edit before closing it?

We are still in beta -and i think it will take some time for everyone to sync through what is appropriate.

No, it would be preferable to close first and improve later, to protect people from wasting time answering a question that will potentially be removed from the site.

Especially since we are still in beta we should be closing quickly and if we see a good question hiding in a bad one, then edit or bring it up on Meta. Close early and often, improve, review and re-open.

You can read a far better explanation on why we should be extra vigilant during beta here.

Shouldn't there any effort for communication when you are taking such a step?

Voting to close is a form of communication, it conveys the message that a highish rep user thinks the question is not suitable for the site. It would be nice to also post a comment explaining why you voted to close, but it's not and should not be required.

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    First off - my sincere apology for any flaming words. I have removed that from the question. Second, as about the utility of either the question or answer i disagree with your notion of what could be concrete and useful. Will debate more if you wish. And last but most important thing : Voting to close is a form of communication i am sorry but that is grossly incorrect. I do agree with Close early and often, improve, review and re-open. but unfortunately we stop at the first point. Any close vote i have seen, i have not seen any follow up and any improvisation only except 1 question. – Dipan Mehta Apr 24 '12 at 7:25
  • @Dipan Removed the quote from the answer as well. Don't worry about it, but next time please cool off before you post on Meta; I was quite surprised by that sentence because you've always conducted yourself perfectly on ProgSE. i am sorry but that is grossly incorrect That's not enough for me, you need to explain why it's incorrect, just saying that it is won't convince me (or anyone else). but unfortunately we stop at the first point That is a problem, voting to close is not. Let's deal with the real problem. But to be fair most of the questions closed so far are unsalvageable. – yannis Apr 24 '12 at 7:32
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    I think the point here is that while voting to close is a form of communication, it doesn't communicate anything very useful to the OP - the standard text with the explanation for why the question was closed and what could be done about it is a better communication tool, but only shows up once the question has been closed. If there are only a few close votes, the OP doesn't know the reason for them, so it's difficult to react in a constructive way. – weronika Apr 24 '12 at 15:44
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    In my defense, @YannisRizos, there was never any intent to rant. I have had similar discussions from both sides on dealing with employer expectations that are simply about ways to properly face the expectation. StackExchange values details, so I attempted to provide such, but when it was felt too localized, I did remove them. When the diagnosis bias led to it being considered a rant, I flagged for its closure. Saying "I should know better" is simply inflammatory. Could I have worded it better? Probably, and I tried. When I determined I could not reasonably salvage it, I flagged it to close. – stslavik Apr 24 '12 at 18:47
  • @stslavik There was never an intent to rant, true. The end result though is a rant in disguise, whether there was intent or not. And I might came a bit strong there with the "you should have known better", but you know the drill, you've probably pointed to the "don't ask" part of the FAQ as many times as I have. – yannis Apr 24 '12 at 23:49
  • @weronika Actually as the OP, if you are getting close votes you can see the close reasons. If you click on the close(2) link you see the close modal and what reasons close voters chose. – yannis Apr 24 '12 at 23:51
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The question might have needed an edit, but this kind of thing happens and it would be helpful to other to know how to handle this situation.

In no way is this a localized problem.

This question was definitely workplace related and should not have been closed.

0

I am going to answer this myself as the original poster of the first question.

Positives First

This question is not too localized. Getting fired on the second day, how do I cope with it? is a very general question. It can happen to anyone. Most people will be so embarassed if it happened to them, they wont be able to post it anywhere. The same applied to me. It happened to me two years ago and I still cant understand is it fair to terminate someone on second day?

Possible answers that I was expecting

  1. Yes it is fair to terminate someone on the second day if he is totally incompetent. It happens every where and the answer can go on ...

  2. No, if you got hired through an interview, you do not deserve to be fired on the second day. He already assessed you, evaluated your skills, in order to be fire in this circumstance is highly unethical....

Now obviously I posted this question to better judge the situation and to know more about what is accepted in the industry.

Now what I also wanted to know, if it is ok to fire someone on the next day, hiring problem is probably solved. Hire the guy and fire him the next day if he lacks in skills. There shouldn't be any hiring problem then.

Second part of my question was about any legal action one can take in order to cope with this situation. This again is a really broad and not specific to me. It can apply to anyone who was fired sort of blantently without giving any good reason. Maple_shaft answer is really well addressing this issue. Quote

not following own termination procedures – often, the employee handbook or company policy outlines a procedure that must be followed before an employee is terminated. If the employer fires an employee without following this procedure, the employee may have a claim for wrongful termination.

This could be a million dollar advice for me or anyone. I am just saying. Isn't his answer totally general or he portrayed my situation only. Localized or not?

The question Details

The question starts with getting fired on the second day, did not say 'I got fired on the second day'.

The question then explains it was phone interview (isn't it relevent to the problem).

The question than point that OP was fully committed to the job.

The question then says he was fired by phone without giving him a chance to explain himself. Are these detail out of context. Of course when someone ask a question there is a reason he asks it. Would this question be good enough be deleting all of the info above and just title it more softly?

Deep Emotions involved

As another answer says, many such questions has deep emotions involved. Think about yourself getting a call, 'Do not come tomorrow'. Many people will be very emotional to phrase such question. As far me, I think I kept the emotions apart, the only draw back that I see here is the word, is it fair. May be I could phrase it

Is it ok to fire someone on second day

That would be probably soft but then any type of question which include firing will involve some type of emotions. BTW I do not have an grudge against anyone. I simply wanted an answer, is it ok or not. No somebody sympathize with and I am glad no one did :)

Check the accepted answer

Those who claim this is too localized. Check the accepted answer. Is this answer really localized to or it talks about something in general?

Rant in Disguise?

Who am I ranting against? Part of my question

Can the employee do anything about it if this is something violates him/her emotionally

talks about any options if someone is hurt emotionally? Is this a rant or just may be some emotions as it is part of the question.

Argument as Non Constructive

Someone argued, this is not contructive. I totally disagree. OK I was fired, I should move on. Am I not suppose to take another job, can you gaurentee this will not happen to me again. Can't I explore my options next time. Can be I better equipped to handle this situation next time. Or not I am fired and there is no problem to solved. Again this is a general question not about myself.

Negatives

The negative that I see here is probably a little bit of emotions esp in the title. That probably could easily be amended. However that chance is not given when it has close votes on it as I dont see any close votes and I dont know about the reason why close votes were casted.

There is probably a little bit of tone in the question. If I were to rephrase it right now, I would say

Is it ok to fire an employee on the second day?
or
Is it fair to terminate an employee on the second day of his job?

That would probably take some of the tone out. This wasn't such a huge issue to this to be too localized, it would be an easy edit, esp that I did not ask for personnel advice.

  • is a very general question. It can happen to anyone. Yes and no. Of course it can happen to anyone, but the reasons are going to be too localized. I posted this question to better judge the situation and to know more about what is accepted in the industry That's why the question is unsuitable. We expect questions to be about practical problems, and not general discussions. Can't I explore my options next time. Can be I better equipped to handle this situation next time. But you are not asking that, that would be a good question. – yannis Apr 24 '12 at 23:41
  • Is it ok to fire an employee on the second day? or Is it fair to terminate an employee on the second day of his job? Both are unanswerable unless we know exactly why you were fired. It's impossible for you to tell us, because you don't know. It's an ugly and unfair situation (you should have at least been told why) but that says nothing about the question itself. – yannis Apr 24 '12 at 23:42
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    yes and no on general or not can be the case for every question here [seriously]. That means all those question are border line and should prob be closed. I posted this question .., we all want to know what is acceptable in the industry. Of course someone may answer, yes this is norm, you can get fired the next day if you do not know anything. That would ease my pain as well anyone else who was fired for such reason.better equiped next time It is better to educate yourself rather than get stubled and learn nothing and just wait for another stuble so I can investigate more. – rocketscience Apr 24 '12 at 23:59
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    continued ... If I were to take specific advice for myself, some of you suggestion would be right. I am asking this as general question not related to me. I am not solving my problem. I am educating myself and learning at the same time. Most importantly what you probably ignoring is this is work related issue. I know they can be quite odd and can be very specific to the OP, would that mean they should be closed, as too localized? I doubt it. – rocketscience Apr 25 '12 at 0:03
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    you are also ignoring the second part of the question which ask about any thing an employee can do in such situation. You want to look at the problem the way you want it. If you want to make it local, of course you can make it local. But the second point is really broad and can be question in itself. – rocketscience Apr 25 '12 at 0:10
  • I am not solving my problem. I am educating myself and learning at the same time. That's what makes the question unsuitable for The Workplace. Please read the FAQ, all questions here are expected to be about a practical problem you need solved. Nothing else. It is better to educate yourself rather than get stubled and learn nothing and just wait for another stuble so I can investigate more That's what I'm saying, that's what your question should have been: I was fired on my second day, don't know why, what can I do to be prepared next time? – yannis Apr 25 '12 at 0:11
  • you are also ignoring the second part of the question I'm not ignoring it, it's unanswerable because we don't know why you were fired. This is not a forum, trying to build a generic list of guidelines that would apply to every possible reason you were fired is exactly why your question is unsuitable. Really broad is as bad as really local. – yannis Apr 25 '12 at 0:14
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    If you refer to my quotes, it will only lead you on the wrong track. The meaning of the question is embedded in the question itself, if you cannot grab it, quote my sentencing will not help. There question, you think it is too localized, not constructive, unanswerable. This question has already an accepted answer, people can relate to it and benefit from the answers. I think every one can be a judge here. None of the answer is local as far as I see it. That means the question is not local. – rocketscience Apr 25 '12 at 0:20
  • Also since you are pretty new here: You didn't do something wrong, we are only exploring if the question fits the site or not. Some things may sound a bit harsh, but we are trying not to repeat the same mistakes done in the past in all other Stack Exchange sites. – yannis Apr 25 '12 at 0:20
  • I will ask another question here and maybe you can answer it here. – rocketscience Apr 25 '12 at 0:22

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