- By the volume of questions that we get in this format, clearly this is a topic of interest for many folks in the workplace
- Most seem to be practical answerable questions based on actual problems people face
- If you think the answer is simply, "just talk to X about Y" then you probably aren't grokking the real problem
These questions are common
Clearly there is an audience for these questions, and people tossing words in to a Google search is bringing them here, but not giving them the answer they are looking for. That is what this site was created to solve. I would highly encourage looking for ways to accommodate this demand, rather than to toss the baby out with the bathwater in trying to prevent them, because...
These are good questions
You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.
These are definitely practical (who at some point in their career doesn't need to talk to their boss/coworker about something that they don't feel comfortable talking about). They are definitely actual problems that people face. They also tend to be things that you learn through doing (and screwing up) several times in your career, which is why many of the people posting on meta here who have been in the workplace for a few years think that the answer is obvious, but...
The answer isn't 'just talk to them'
Think of your audience. People asking these questions may legitimately not know everything you do. Maybe they don't realize that work is work, and that their boss is a human (and probably recognizes that they are a human too). Perhaps they don't realize that it's okay to quit a job and not feel bad about it.
Try to read between the lines of the questions. Leave comments to try to dig out the real problem. And then make an edit to the question to better phrase what the person is really trying to figure out.
And then answer it. With gusto. And yes, maybe when you re-read it you may feel that it reads a lot more like a pep talk than it does an authoritative manager-esque "this is the proper procedure when bringing up a raise to your boss", but sometimes the procedure is less important than understanding the attitude you need to carry it out.
These questions have value because people keep finding our site and thinking we are a good place to ask them. So why don't we channel our inner new employee and help people solve their problems?