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I have asked the question https://workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/11480/i-have-finally-ended-up-with-committing-which-im-not-able-to-fulfill-how-could. I feel guilt for what happened and I don't want to end up with this kind of situation again. In the situations I see the mistake or root issue lies with current management. Hence I would like to realize what I have missed in the entire episode so that I can take away lessons from this episode. Instead of appreciating my spirit, people here are demotivating me with their down votes. What is the problem with my question?

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This answer, while directed towards email, is exactly the problem I suspect.

Just replace "email" with "question."


The Problem

People who are super busy don't have the time to spend minutes first reading, then processing (and/or rereading), then responding to your email. This is simply life, there is only so much time in a day, and some people have way more constraints on their time.

Spending lots of time parsing/processing/understanding/formulating responses/replying to emails from people they don't know or have reason to care about? Probably not high on their list of priorities - which for the record is probably already completely overloaded anyways.

The Solution

Write shorter emails (or electronic content) which are easy to answer. This ability is an art, get used to practicing it if you want responses.

Make it easy for someone to respond.


edit: I spent a lot of time just now trying to understand and condense your question. It took me a long while to really see what you were asking and I am not very confident I did so correctly.

  • +1: That's actually a great answer. – Jim G. May 3 '13 at 18:14
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    Can you include a copy/paste of your answer here in block quotes as well in case the linked question ever goes away? You're setting a bad example by providing a link-only answer :) – Rachel May 3 '13 at 20:01
  • Maybe not an exact copy, but maybe a few important points you'd like to highlight. – jmort253 May 4 '13 at 1:19
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    I guess it is possible the academia stack exchange disappears... you guys are so difficult ;) – enderland May 4 '13 at 1:42
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I went ahead and closed the post to put it on hold, since it doesn't have answers, to give the community, and yourself, some time to address the issues with the post.

I edited your post a little bit to correct spelling and grammar, as many times this can help clarify the ideas you're presenting. However, I'm still not 100% sure the flow is clear. For a problem where there are multiple departments and multiple companies, it's helpful to use some identifier to represent them. For instance,

When other DCs and Departments approached me with suitable opportunities, such as the finance department, the department I work for, the accounting department, rejected any transfer.

is more clear than:

When other DCs and Departments approached me with suitable opportunities, they have rejected any transfer.

It wasn't immediately clear who "they" were, so I assumed you're referring to the department you work for, not the department that sent you the offer. I edited, but only you will be able to clarify further.

There's another section in the post where you mentioned another employer. While it's important to not mention the names of your employers, you could give them a fake name or identifier to make it easier for us to visualize the situation. For example:

I work for a company currently, let's call them Company A, and Company B sent me an offer. Meanwhile, Company C, a company I'm interviewing with....

Using labels helps us compartmentalize the different aspects of the post.

Lastly, ask yourself if there is any information in your post that just isn't important to understand the problem. As a verbose person myself, sometimes I find that I need to go back and review what I've written, think about the main idea, and remove anything that simply isn't important. Your post may contain information that isn't important; I encourage you to go through and try to make the post more concise.

I can't promise this will be enough to reverse any downvotes or reopen the post, but it's a good first step to making the post more constructive, less localized to only your specific situation, and most importantly, more easily digestable. Hope this helps!

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I downvoted because the problem is not a real problem.

The problem you see: I CANNOT keep my commitment.

The problem we see: I am CHOOSING not to keep my commitment because I like another option better now.

Your question is based on a false premise. If you could not keep your commitment because you have to move home to take care of your family member with special needs then you have a valid question. But that is not the case here. You could choose to fulfill the commitment you made, you just like color of the the grass on your side of the fence better now.

The questions you could ask that fall in here: How to use multiple offers to negotiate a higher salary? or How to renege implicit verbal acceptance of a job offer or How do I coordinate the process of pursuing multiple job opportunities at the same time?

I think those three questions encompass pretty much anything constructive you can make of your question.

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It's actually extremely simple. your question, while certainly a situation that CAN arise, is not one that will likely help visitors to the site. It's a retrospective, looking back on a bad choice you made, and asking how you could avoid making such a choice in the future. Well...you just...don't make the same choice. It's not going to help anyone, simply because by the time someone tries to find an answer to such a situation they will already be in it.

Also, the problem itself is one that would have been completely avoided if you hadn't made a mistake. Questions where the answer is essentially "don't screw up" aren't really on topic.

Unfortunately, I'm at something of a loss as to how exactly to fix the question up to be more useful to our site's viewers.

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I can't speak for the other voters and closer's but I myself voted down because the question does not seem to meet the requirements of the site.

Questions should be asked to solve a specific, solvable problem that is likely to be faced by many people in the workplace.

As it stands this question seems like the sort of thing you would write in to a magazine Agony Aunt where the response is tailored solely to you and your specific situation. Whereas this site is Not about solving a specific situation but about specific problems.

On top of this your question is "How can I avoid making commitments I can't keep? " Where the obvious answer is "Don't make commitments you cannot keep. Think about issues before you dive into agreeing, take a step back and summarize the issue, then make an informed decision"

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    Hi Spiky, do you have any thoughts on how BVR might be able to better format the question so that it does fit? – jmort253 May 3 '13 at 16:26

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