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Please remember: The Workplace is a worldwide site, and this means there are going to be some differences in context that we all need to be careful about.

Language: The language of the site is English. Not everybody speaks English at a native level. Some posts will not be up to the level that fluent speakers are used to. If you can help to clarify the post, please edit. If you can't understand the post, please leave a polite, clear comment asking for clarification. We've seen some comments that are snarky, outright rude, or so "clever" that the OP is unlikely to understand. Those kinds of comments are not only not helping, but they're doing harm. And on the receiving side, please understand that people are trying to help, that downvotes reflect the current state of a post but can be reversed if you clarify, and that we're all trying to do the same thing here: get good answers to clear questions about the workplace.

Cultural context: You work in a particular location and field. You know that interviewing works this way, giving notice works that way, management should be doing that other thing... and that might all be exactly wrong for the OP's situation. American-context assumptions about employment at will might be totally off-base for the Indian who needs to secure a relieving letter after a months-long notice. Japanese-context assumptions about showing deference to superiors might be totally off-base for a German trying to deal with an oblivious manager. When asking, tell us where you are and something about the type of job/sector (check the location tags). When answering, describe the context you're coming from.

Behavioral norms vary. Different cultures have different norms of discourse. Your "joke" might be somebody else's "insult", or vice versa. Try to give the benefit of the doubt when reading what others write, and try to evaluate your own contributions in a broader context. Be generous in what you accept and conservative in what you emit. I don't mean that we need to be hyper-sensitive to imagined slights, but if you're getting push-back, if people seem to be arguing with you or getting upset, if you're getting the sense that other people are Wrong... maybe that's a good time to pause before clicking "post" and ask what you can do to de-escalate the situation. And remember to keep The Workplace professional at all times.

Come prepared to learn. This is a great site. I've learned a lot about workplace issues in other places, in other fields, and in situations that just don't come up in my job. That's really neat.

Please help keep The Workplace welcoming for all, no matter where they live and what kind of job they work in.

  • It is clear post, i think it should be on every SE site meta, mostly on SO because many programmers aren't on a expert level as the one answering and comments can turn up into "you need to learn, before posting" or "bare becomes beer". Instead of asking for someone to differentiate between bare and bear, it might be good to edit topic or post and leave a note. I have been very found of SE networks and have numerous upvote but downvotes as well with people who are being a demotivate. – cookieMonster Jul 10 '15 at 15:30
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    @JoeStrazzere thanks; that's a good point. Edited. Rather than saying "in my locale we...", I find it's better to actually identify that locale ("in my experience with US high-tech companies" or the like). That helps readers decide whether an answer applies to them. – Monica Cellio Jul 12 '15 at 2:59
  • Specific examples include: write out abbreviations and add metric system measurements when the OP uses imperial units. Both can usually be done in parentheses and should be added to the post, not replacing the original. – Jan Doggen Jul 13 '15 at 12:27
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    I have noticed that Americans are usually "exempt" from having to specify their location, based on the reasoning that this site is hosted in the US. In other words, if you are not an American, additional rules apply to you (you must specify your country in the post, etc.). Is this intentional, or only the opinion of a couple of people? – Masked Man Jul 15 '15 at 16:51
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    It isn't entirely unreasonable for there to be a default.... but in fact I agree, when it matters we should all be specifying this. What I'd really like is for the user profile to carry country, and for that to be picked up as the default context.... overridable because we do sometimes ask how things work elsewhere. – keshlam Jul 15 '15 at 17:09
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    I would prefer that Americans also specify instead of making us guess. If you say nothing, is that because you're in Italy and forgot to say so or because you're an American who doesn't think it's needed? – Monica Cellio Jul 15 '15 at 17:57
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    keshlam - the idea of automatically using profiles was discussed on Travel.SE, and it brings in more problems than it solves. Much simpler just to ask everyone to state what locale they are looking for an answer in. – Rory Alsop Jul 21 '15 at 12:31
  • Would it be possible for you to set the location tags as required ones à la meta? This could cause issues if you don’t have a tag for a certain country (although you could have regional tags as well - perhaps each continent or sub continent - to cover those missing tags). – Tim Jul 25 '18 at 9:53
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It would help if there was some way to encourage folks -- both querants and answerers -- to tag their posts with country context. As you point out, that's often the first thing we need to ask , and doing so manually every time becomes wearying.

(And I wish the Android app permitted filtering by tags. Realistically, anything tagged India I should probably not even see; I don't understand that work culture as it has been described here.)

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    Don't forget you can always ask via a comment, I often do this (especially when it seems likely the OP is from India/China/Asia). – enderland Jul 13 '15 at 14:46
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    True. I just wish we could avoid the ask/reply cycle. Not everyone clarifies, and it wastes time. – keshlam Jul 13 '15 at 15:11
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    Is there a way this could be added to the question form? – David K Jul 14 '15 at 15:31
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    @DavidK (CC keshlam), I encourage you to think through how this might work and propose something on Meta.SE. We're probably not the only site that has an expectation of "one from this set of tags" (metas themselves have it), but the behavior would be very different if your tag set has four tags (like metas) or forty. – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '15 at 18:46
  • @MonicaCellio I don't think we want to require a certain set of tags as in Meta, but certainly a custom suggested list would be good. I could imagine that other SE sites would recommend that people tag with their coding language or operating system or version number. Right now every question requires at least one tag, but the only guidance provided is the "How to Tag" box. – David K Jul 14 '15 at 19:03
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    @DavidK so, some sort of per-site tagging guidance to add to the "how to tag" box? – Monica Cellio Jul 14 '15 at 19:13
  • @MonicaCellio, yes, I think that would be a good option - either added to the current box or a completely separate one. This could be done for the other helper boxes as well (How to Ask, How to Format). Individual SE sites could choose not to add anything custom, but it would certainly be helpful for some. I'll come back a little later and put this into a Meta.SE question. – David K Jul 14 '15 at 19:23
  • For now though, encouraging country tags (and any others people think of) could be added to some of the Help Center pages. – David K Jul 14 '15 at 19:24
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    @MonicaCellio and keshlam, I created a question on Meta.SE. Feel free to comment, edit, etc. – David K Jul 15 '15 at 13:26
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    @enderland Once upon a time, I asked someone to specify their country name when it seemed likely that they are from US. I was told to shut up because due to the site being hosted in US, all Americans automatically become first-class elite citizens here, and second-class non-Americans should be grateful that we are even allowed to use the site. "This is our site, how dare you outsiders ask us to mention our country?" – Masked Man Jul 15 '15 at 16:54
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    @MaskedMan I'm sorry to hear that. Whoever said that wasn't speaking for the community; we don't have a US-centric policy, though we sometimes have US-centric habits. – Monica Cellio Jul 15 '15 at 19:25
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    @MaskedMan. I hope you flagged that response as rude. It should be deleted, and it should be reported to moderators so that if the behavour continues, appropriate sanctions are issued to that user. – TRiG Jul 20 '15 at 17:40
  • You would think that it would help but it doesnt. Even if they stated directly in their post where they are people just ignore the fact that Europe is different from India is different from Japan is different from US Etc – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 26 '15 at 20:39
  • @MaskedMan is that a quote from what they actually said or are you paraphrasing? If they actually said that, I hope you flagged it and I hope they received a suspension – user568458 Sep 8 '15 at 8:54

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