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I've killed my colleagues' characters during RPG session, now they won't talk to me is closed with the following notice:

"Questions require a goal that we can address. Rather than explaining the difficulties of your situation, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, see this meta post." – Aaron Hall, gnat, Jim G., Masked Man, Rory Alsop

This is a quote from the end of the question (in bold, even):

My question is: What would be the best way to repair my work relations with my colleagues after such incident?

How is that not "a goal that we can address"? A lot of our questions are about work relations with colleagues. This is another one of them.

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    If the question were edited down to "I behaved badly while playing a game at work. Now my colleagues don't like me. What would be the best way to repair my work relations with my colleagues after such incident?" - then I'd vote to reopen. Otherwise, it's just a gamer rant and would be better suited for a gamer-specific forum, IMHO. (If the word "colleagues" were changed to "friends" there would be pretty much nothing work-specific left.) – Joe Strazzere Feb 12 '17 at 23:26
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    @JoeStrazzere I think the fact that it's coworkers -- people the OP has to continue to interact with -- is important. Mods can single-handedly reopen, but I'd rather see some community support. – Monica Cellio Feb 12 '17 at 23:37
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    I agree that the close reason is nonsensical. There is a clearly described, generalisable situation with a well-defined goal: repairing the relationship after disrupting an after-hours activity. I've voted to reopen. (Disclaimer: I currently have the top-voted answer on the question, though the reason I want this reopened is mostly to start a bounty for an existing answer that's under-appreciated.) – Lilienthal Feb 13 '17 at 6:48
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    Please edit the question to remove the rants, then reopen it. Calling a close reason nonsensical after it has been clearly explained, simply because you don't agree with it is highly unacceptable. Also the quality of answers doesn't decide whether a question is accepted or not. – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 11:02
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    @MaskedMan no edit is required in my and Lilienthal's opinions, at least. Calling objections to a close unacceptable when they have been clearly explained, simply because you don't agree with them, is not constructive. SE has both reopen votes and meta because people can disagree about closures. – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 13:42
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    @Lilienthal it had four reopen votes, so I just cast the fifth one. – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 13:54
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    @MonicaCellio - "I think the fact that it's coworkers -- people the OP has to continue to interact with -- is important." I disagree. And I don't see anything about work in the top-voted answer. I think this would be better-handled in the RPG forum. – Joe Strazzere Feb 13 '17 at 14:00
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    @MonicaCellio My objection is not to questioning the close votes, but to the use of the word "nonsensical". I have clearly stated that in my previous comment. How come you don't find "nonsensical" unconstructive? I would have expected a diamond moderator to do better than twisting my words. – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 14:28
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    You opened a meta post to discuss whether the close vote was justified, I respectfully replied explaining my reasoning, Lilienthal raised her objections to my answer as a comment, and I respectfully replied to that. She found the need to call the close reason "nonsensical" after reading my answer. In the entire discussion, I have never once attacked either of you for raising objections or disagreeing with me, but what you find "unconstructive" is me pointing out that "nonsensical" is unacceptable, and to justify it, you say that I have called the objection unacceptable! – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 14:35
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    @MaskedMan If you're taking issue with my wording, I used "nonsensical" because I happened to agree with Monica's comment on the question which said "I don't think that close reason makes sense". I (ab)used the term with its mildest and most literal meaning. The specific argument against that close reason that Monica and I presumably shared is that it didn't match the question which in my view is clearly defined. While an incorrect close reason doesn't justify reopening a question that should have been closed under another, perhaps custom, reason, I don't think that's the issue here. – Lilienthal Feb 13 '17 at 16:52
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    @JoeStrazzere My two cents, FWIW: If heavily rephrased, this question would fit well on RPG, where it would already have several answers and likely be closed as a duplicate. However the unique thing about this question is that it's from the perspective of someone who doesn't know the RPG culture well enough to understand this is an RPG.SE question. Not only did the proposed close reason not mention moving it to RPG.SE, but in the spirit of SE being a great QA site it would be excellent to leave it here for future visitors who would be similarly confused. – thanby Feb 15 '17 at 0:46
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    My additional two cents, calling something "non-sensical" is very likely to be seen as insulting. – user30031 Feb 15 '17 at 22:35
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    @JoeStrazzere I think this would be better-handled in the RPG forum -- Respectfully disagree. (PS RPG.SE is not a forum. :-) This is a workplace interpersonal relationship issue that deals with the overlap between work and leisure time activities. – KorvinStarmast Feb 16 '17 at 3:03
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    @gnat "Anon" isn't exactly a unique name. The RPG Anon and the non-drinking Anon don't appear to be the same. (Though the person who asked the non-drinking question here did ask that question on Beer, Wine & Spirits.) – Monica Cellio May 15 '17 at 0:08
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    ...as for RPG guy I re-checked and you are right, it's a different (unregistered) account. Our "bartender" only happens to have same screen name, asked a duplicate question and works as developer (they deleted some data recently when started working on their new project). Other than that I can't see anything in common between them – gnat May 15 '17 at 6:56
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I disagree with the close. It probably should be edited a bit, but even as it stands, it's a good example of a bad example of employee conduct. This is the modern day equivalent of the old story of getting together with colleagues after work, getting drunk and making a fool of oneself.

Even though it's a bit on the ranty side, I think it demonstrates a real workplace issue in general: Ruining business relationships in after hours activities.

Vote to reopen.

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    +1 This is a perfectly answerable question. The bar isn't "is there no trace of subjective butthurt anywhere in the question," the bar is "is there a clear answerable question", and there is. – mxyzplk Feb 13 '17 at 17:24
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    Except that the "trace of butthurt" is a key ingredient of the question, and with that removed, it becomes a different question. Now if you are questioning why a question was close-voted based on a "what if it were some other question", then I have nothing more to add. – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 17:53
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This question really could have been a lot better and more on topic if the specifics were weeded out and the situation more generalized.

This question should have been:

My colleagues invited me to participate in an after hours social activity. We had a good time and were wrapping things up when I decided to play a mean prank thinking it would be fun. It ended up ruining the day for them it seems and now they wont talk to me.

How can I repair the situation?

But it was not closed fast enough and no one took a second afterwords to say "hey how can we make this less about what the OP did and more about the topic of the workplace of how do I fix my problem it has created?"

I am kind of disappointed to see how this was handled.

  • Something that vague and slippery would be closed pending clarification, surely? – TRiG Feb 20 '17 at 10:55
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    What is too vague? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 20 '17 at 17:01
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    "I did something; how can I fix it?" – TRiG Feb 20 '17 at 17:05
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    But the something was a mean prank, we know the result, its pretty much straight down the center on topic and not to broad... – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 20 '17 at 18:33
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Note: I am one of the close voters.

My guess is that they are trying to "punish" me for doing what I did, however I find it childish.

This was the deal breaker for me. The OP's question, taken in context of the complete description, now sounds like, "Those guys are behaving like kids. I expected things to be normal, but why are they treating me like an outcast? Aaaargh! Oh anyway, I just remembered they are my colleagues, how can I mend my relations with them? But I shouldn't have to do this in the first place, I have not done anything seriously bad. They are behaving childishly, they can just reload the game. Why are they overreacting to what I did in the game? Aaaaargh!"

Questions require a goal we can address. A sentence in bold tacked on to the end of a rant does not automatically make it a goal we can address. The OP's goal here seems to be to mend his relations without getting off his high horse, which we cannot do.

A sincere apology stating, "Sorry folks, I ruined your fun yesterday. Sorry for getting carried away." should usually suffice, but OP is reluctant to admit his mistake and looking for the best way to issue a non-apology apology.

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    This happens very often and the usual response is to answer the real, sometimes hidden question which the OP may not have even considered. This should be an educational moment for the OP. He wants to repair the relationship and that starts with recognising that he's wrong. The fact that he was in the wrong and why is what all of the answers touch upon. Peter's answer summarised it well as coming to down to having offended his coworkers and making OP realise that is why answers don't always have to be exactly what the OP wanted. – Lilienthal Feb 13 '17 at 6:46
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    While that is certainly true, we cannot vote on questions based on the answers. OP's goal here is not "how do I mend my relationship?", but rather "how do I mend my relationship without letting go of my belief that I did nothing wrong?". That is not a goal we can address without telling him to let go of his belief. We can offer him advice, we can change the question, but we cannot accept that question as it stands. – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 8:06
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    And yet you answered the question about soiled pants, even though you thought it violated "Questions require a goal that we can address". Questions rooted in situations where the OP is doing something wrong, including ones where the OP has a mistaken sense of entitlement, are not uncommon; usually we take them as they are and then tell the OP what he's doing wrong. You voted to close based on your assumptions about the OP's goal, but others answered the actual question while still showing the OP the error of his ways. – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 13:53
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    @MonicaCellio What is the point you are trying to make ? Two wrongs don't make a right. I explained why I voted to close this question. How I responded to a previous question has no bearing on this question. Also, I am not a machine, I am a human being. You cannot expect human behaviour to be perfectly consistent. By the way, has it ever occured to you that I may have learned from my previous mistake on that question and responded differently this time? – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 14:40
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    @MaskedMan I voted based on the content of the question. You said you voted based on what you thought the OP's intentions were. Regarding learning from past experiences, great to hear! – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 15:28
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    The goal was stated in the question. If we can't tell what the goal is from the question then we should of course put it on hold awaiting clarification, but when a goal is stated we should accept that it is in fact the OP's goal and proceed from there. – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 16:36
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    The problem with that though, is when the stated goal doesn't match the rest of the post, it leads to confusion, and it is best to put it on hold till that is clarified. Otherwise we have a situation where some people post answers to the question stated in bold, while others answer the implicit question that is inferred from the entire post. It becomes difficult to edit the question without invalidating existing answers. contd ... – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 16:41
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    In case of this question, for example, if the OP comes back with a "clarification" that he wants to mend his relationship with his colleagues without apologizing because he hasn't done anything seriously wrong (as is strongly implied from his post), then all the "great" answers become invalid, and hence the close vote. – Masked Man Feb 13 '17 at 16:43
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    If the OP (or anybody else) were to make an edit that invalidates answers, that edit would be rolled back. – Monica Cellio Feb 13 '17 at 17:09
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    " I expected things to be normal" isn't that misunderstanding and how to fix it a valid question? – user30031 Feb 15 '17 at 22:43
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    @DoritoStyle Yes it is. – KorvinStarmast Feb 16 '17 at 3:00
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    I have offered a +1 to this answer for two reasons: you explain why, and you may be right in your assessment. I still believe that the question is answerable, if one goes to the bottom of the question (as asked) and notes that, with all of the foreplay, the question is how to restore the in office relationships. (If this whole thing was a troll, it was bloody well done!) – KorvinStarmast Feb 16 '17 at 16:51
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    OP is reluctant to admit his mistake and looking for the best way to issue a non-apology apology. I think you are completely wrong here... The OP is looking for a way to convince the others that they are completely wrong and need to apologise to him – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 16 '17 at 19:52
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    @IDrinkandIKnowThings Sounds about right. Now the OP's got data that they failed to convince a large number of internet users of their viewpoint as well and that they need to either change their own view or somehow improve their persuasion skills. Or maybe go find that Diplomacy +10 ring ;-) – AllTheKingsHorses Feb 17 '17 at 17:02
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    @IDrinkAndIKnowThings Fantastic, that's nicely summed up! You conveyed my real thoughts exactly. I kept looking for a phrasing to say that without running foul of the so-called Be Nice policy, but couldn't and kept beating round the bush. Apparently a moderator putting words in my mouth, bringing up unrelated past close votes, and completely refusing to consider my viewpoint ("no edit is necessary in my opinion") after explicitly asking for community opinion is well within the Be Nice policy. – Masked Man Feb 17 '17 at 17:09
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Because we close way too many questions. Well over half. Popular questions we are extremely trigger-happy with the close button because as far as I can tell there is some subset of users who closes anything interesting-looking they come across.

This is the blunt answer to the question. I don't know a solution but I'd certainly like to raise awareness of how unhealthy our community is in this crucial respect.

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    "there is some subset of users who closes anything interesting-looking they come across." - Hmm. I agree that a very high percentage of questions are closed, far more than I like to see. But I don't see any evidence that the reason has anything to do with "interesting-looking questions", do you? – Joe Strazzere Feb 19 '17 at 12:57

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