This recent post I made was found to be off-topic. In my mind, the meaning of many terms is intimately connected to the context in which they are expressed. I asked for help validating my intuition that workplace bullying is not equivalent to making demands or giving an ultimatum. It is important to know what workplace bullying is vs. the normal processes organizations go through to hold employees accountable. I think this would be an entirely relevant topic for discussion.


Your question was not closed because it asked about the meaning of a term. Your question was closed because it was just story about your situation and didn't really ask much of a question. Your post basically amounted to "Look at this thing my boss did! Isn't that weird?" You want us to validate that you are right and your boss is wrong.

As the close reason cited, Real questions have answers. Instead of asking a question which invites answers like "Yeah man, that's weird," it's better to ask a question that has a specific goal in mind. You could have asked, "I know my email was unprofessional. How should I have better handled it?" Or "I'm being accused of bullying behavior. How should I respond?"

Additionally, your question about the definition of bullying and whether a bully always needs to be in a place of power is not specific to the workplace. It is really a question about the meaning of a word and whether your boss used it correctly or not. That is a question better suited for sites like the English SE, though you would need to cut out a lot of the backstory before it would be appropriate for that site as well.

  • Thanks for the clarification. I apologize for my first comment. I deleted it. In my mind, these rigid definitions and proscriptive requirements are not conducive to welcoming people into the online community. On the other hand, I do understand the need to maintain focus on the goals of the community. In my mind, i did ask a question with a real answer in my mind. Is delivering an ultimatum in this context bullying as we normally understand bullying in a workplace? If this is not the forum discussing that, that is OK.
    – user29416
    Apr 25 '16 at 19:31
  • 2
    @mrsuttonsaiditfirst "Is delivering an ultimatum in this context bullying as we normally understand bullying in a workplace?" Even that wording is a much clearer and answerable question. I still think it would be off-topic, because answers would be too opinion-based and it would invite a discussion. And in fact it would be an interesting discussion, but Stack Exchange isn't about discussions, it's about concrete questions and answers.
    – David K
    Apr 25 '16 at 19:41
  • 3
    And as to your deleted comment, yes, sometimes the Workplace can be perceived as unwelcoming. Even more-so when some of us "higher-power" users don't always have the energy to kindly explain to the dozens of off-topic questions a day from new users, and instead just turn to being straightforward and possibly blunt. There's been some discussion on this already.
    – David K
    Apr 25 '16 at 19:49
  • I appreciate the ongoing dialog and openness to it. I'm aligned with an epistemological tradition that knowledge is not opinion. However, I'm also in a tradition that acknowledges the possibility of error (a form of fallibilism). The meaning of words in various contexts is an extremely challenging area. I was appealing to this community to validate my intuitions about bullying in a workplace context. Please don't take this as an attempt to win favor or anything else. I respect the authority of users who are administering the community to define the boundaries.
    – user29416
    Apr 25 '16 at 22:04
  • 1
    Speaking to the community to validate your own opinion usually results in a bad question, precisely because it's about opinion.
    – keshlam
    Apr 27 '16 at 3:07

The reason your question was closed is actually revealed by the way you started this one. You said "The recent post..." It was wasn't supposed to be a post, it was supposed to be a question.

If that wasn't enough of a clue you ended this question with the phrase "I think this would be an entirely relevant topic for discussion." again the purpose of the site is to ask questions, not to have discussions.


You wrote "The main thing I really want to know is if anyone finds this a little humorous."

So perhaps asking "Am I funny?" is not considered appropriate at The Workplace?


You must log in to answer this question.