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I think that we can agree that the question I'm returning to the workforce after a long-standing medical concern. Do I share this with a potential employer? is primarily opinion based, but this is a question that is probably going to come up time and again.

Given that this is a question that disabled people will have to deal with every time they interview for a job is there any leeway in keeping a select set of questions of this type open, or locking them like this Stack Overflow question.

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    Good question. By Stack Exchange's policy -- which I don't entirely agree with, but it's their site -- I think the canonical answer would be that there are other sites which deal much better with that sort of question and it's out of SE's scope. Having a place to hang "other useful resources" links might partly address that... – keshlam Apr 2 '16 at 21:14
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    This seems like the kind of thing that would have been asked while in beta and the quietly grandfathered in during graduation. – James Fenwick Apr 2 '16 at 21:17
  • Perhaps it could have been. Unfortunately, the nature of grandfathering is that it is not accepted as a justification for later violations. If we weren't too do something, we need to produce a specific recommendation and figure out how to implement it... And convincing out SE hosts that this implementation is better than simply accepting that there are questions we aren't set up to answer and trying to find a gentler way to express that. – keshlam Apr 2 '16 at 21:32
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Sometimes the answer makes the question.

I don't like the seemingly dogmatic approach I see sometimes taken by the community (sorry, no example) on the subject. I often come across reasonably well-received questions, with thoughtful answers, and 3-4 close votes, citing that real questions have answers or words to that effect.

Well guess what: the question you just voted to close does have a bunch of good answers, and your pedantic inflexibility is not appreciated, thank you very much .

When in doubt, give it a few days: People will upvote, answer and comment, and suddenly there's going to be an excellent answer so insightful and to-the-point that'll make you ashamed that you once thought this was a useless question.

The discriminator I use is problem vs rant. If the OP describes a genuine problem, leave some comments or try to edit if possible, and the question might come into acceptable shape.

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  • Good thoughts. I appreciate the reminder. – keshlam Apr 4 '16 at 1:17
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    I agree, rath. I would say that even a rant, if the rant part is edited out, can be a source of good answers. – Old_Lamplighter Apr 4 '16 at 12:54
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    real questions have answers I really hate this reason to be honest because it feels dumb. I personally see it more as "this is a rant" or "there's really no way to answer this" or "this is kind of a discussiony post" than "not a real question" because frankly from a pedantic perspective, it's really easy to make a "real question." It's more "not a real good fit for Stack Exchange." – enderland Apr 4 '16 at 23:30
  • @enderland when it was last time you clicked the link under real questions have answers and read explanation laid out there? I for one find it fairly reasonable: "real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions" – gnat Apr 6 '16 at 14:48
  • @gnat This site accepts answers that are opinion-based to a large degree, so the difference is lost to me. – rath Apr 6 '16 at 14:51
  • @gnat just because it pedantically is correct doesn't change the wording being fairly misleading. It would be nice if that language was included in the close reason itself.. – enderland Apr 6 '16 at 14:53
  • @enderland when one can't find a way to reasonably challenge a statement, all they can do is to add negatively sounding verbiage. "Pedantically" does the trick... – gnat Apr 6 '16 at 15:23
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    @gnat what? If there is a statement "real questions have answers" and then there are posts posted as questions with posts posted as answers... it seems quite poorly worded to have the original question closed saying "real questions have answers." I get the intent but the wording is still not clear at all unless you fully understand what it means. Because the literal words do not mean what they say, they mean what they say only in the context of SE language. – enderland Apr 6 '16 at 15:29
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    "When in doubt, give it a few days" Close votes exist precisely to quickly put the question on hold and prevent answers from shaping the question. In some cases this works great, but then it would also have worked by simply editing the question and reopening it. Leaving it open makes it difficult to modify the question because it would invalidate off-the-cuff answers. And often those answers have upvotes because the question itself is invalid, which is a pointless exercise. – Lilienthal Apr 7 '16 at 13:36
  • @Lilienthal I'd argue that much of a question's value comes from the answers. This site is, after all, dedicated to help navigating the workplace, not to maintaining questions that fit certain criteria. Hopefully the two are in harmony but sometimes they're not. The question then becomes, can someone save this question with a good answer. My thus-far unstated (and unverified) assumption is that close votes might discourage the OP or those who want to answer. – rath Apr 7 '16 at 14:41
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    They should, and often for a good reason. Close votes are a signal that a post is potentially problematic and that would-be answerers should check if the question is clearly specified and answerable before writing down the first thing they think of when they see the title. It's Q&A, not A&Q. – Lilienthal Apr 7 '16 at 14:58
  • @Lilienthal Good point well made. – rath Apr 10 '16 at 10:58
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I agree, especially when the reason for closing the question is "Real questions have real answers", and there are real answers below it.

Sometimes bad questions can have good answers and IMO, the question should be given a chance to be edited when the answers below it have real-life, pragmatic applications.

Career changes, for example, have clear steps that can be taken, such as sitting down with someone who is in your new career and reviewing your history with them.

Dealing with disabilities, workplace politics, the nephew being put in a position of power over more competent employees, et cetera, all have answers.

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  • "IMO, the question should be given a chance to be edited when the answers below it have real-life, pragmatic applications." - I don't think I understand what you are saying here. Questions are always given a chance to be edited. You could edit any question and if the community likes the results folks can vote to reopen it. – Joe Strazzere Apr 5 '16 at 22:49
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    @JoeStrazzere That's not true. The community isn't given a choice to reopen, only those of us with more than 3000 rep have that choice. Beyond that, I've seen a marked reticence to reopen something once it's been closed. What you say is true in theory, but as a friend of mine used to say (God rest his soul) "In theory, theory and practice are the same, in practice they are not". – Old_Lamplighter Apr 6 '16 at 12:25
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    "The community isn't given a choice to reopen, only those of us with more than 3000 rep have that choice." - thus, since there are plenty of folks with sufficient rep, questions are always given a chance to be edited and reopened. Perhaps you could add the "by folks with sufficient rep" part to you answer to make it clearer what you mean. – Joe Strazzere Apr 6 '16 at 13:03

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