I refer you to one user's exceptionally exciting life:

Jan 17: Gets fired by an intoxicated boss, but just went back to work anyway to find out he has a new manager

Jan 26: Wasted a lot of time at work making an inappropriate video about themselves as a "joke" for their new manager

Feb 9: Their car gets towed. They're running late on an important project. They have night classes. They want to work less hours at work because of of all these events.

Feb 10: Work presentation goes disastrously when executives start grilling a junior employee (Hans) about stuff that they would know that he wouldn't know

Feb 22: Hey, turns out I've actually been dating my new boss's daughter! Oops!

Feb 22: My bike is broken. I have to use my bike a lot because I don't have a car. Except I found out I was dating my boss's daughter when I used my broken car to drop her off...

Feb 23: Guess what! I've been sitting on half a million dollars of GM Stock for 10 years! Except it's actually worthless. Woe be to me!

Feb 27: I guess I'm going to sell my house now. Except someone took a shit on the bed during my open house! And spilled orange soda everywhere!

Mar 16: I cost my company $64,000 because I messed up my booking. I don't have a phone which is why this happened, but somehow even though my phone was broken I was able to date someones daughter AND organise an open home to try an sell my house! Should I take out a 2nd mortgage on the house I'm trying to sell to pay them back?

There's a few (not many, but a few) inconsistencies in the stories, but I just cannot believe that a single person has undergone so many extreme events in such a short period of time.

Normally I wouldn't care too much about someone making such an elaborate story, but in this case I feel that they are seriously wasting a lot of people's time on here.

  • 28
    There's also the deleted law.se post about a bizarre chocolate factory accident. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 17:52
  • 9
    @BradC My concern is that they are getting so much attention to their questions that they are wasting a lot of people's time. If there wasn't so much time wasting going on, I wouldn't care. Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 18:21
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    Do we have a rule these questions need to be based on real events? If the questions are valid, I see no issue. Whoopee, they earned some reputation, that's going to help them in the future to do what? The user has bought some serious discussion to the workplace meta without any issues. I would leave the user be.
    – Draken
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 18:22
  • 21
    @Draken Eh, exaggerated could-never-happen-in-real-life hypotheticals fall more into "fun to discuss" than "this is practical advice that someone might someday need"
    – BradC
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 18:24
  • 44
    Related: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Moleman
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 19:50
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    see also: Should anything be done about a user posting fake questions
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 20:17
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    The main problem I see with this is that some of the... situations described are rather contrived. That means that answers tend to be less generally useful and quite specific to the bizarre situation imagined by the OP. The latest question is a good example of that, particularly with how he's channelling answers by suggesting ways to react. But at the same time the question is well written and things like "I've thought of this but what are my options" and "how can I approach this?" are things I love to see in questions. A tricky situation.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 20:32
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    Something I've been mulling over is the importance of preserving the integrity of the Workplace as a helpful resource. While these types of questions might be amusing, the point of The Workplace isn't to amuse but to help people. I'd much rather see a site that is "boring" but helpful than full of questions like these that are entertaining but useless. And let's be honest, most of the questions that make a list like this are very, very specific to the asker at best.
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 14:23
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    given the bizarre nature of real life, disbelief is poor indicator of truth Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 19:46
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    I think a more interesting question to ask is why this elaborate troll has been so successful. What does that say about the sort of questions we're accepting? Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 0:22
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    Anyone willing to volunteer to go over to the Movies and TV Stack and ask an identification question based on these stories? That's a lot of creative juice spent on getting SE rep. I can't see myself trying to invent all these stories from scratch. Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 13:23
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    @deviantfan I'm genuinely curious. What is the basis for your comment. I've personally found this one of the more welcoming SE sites. Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 17:51
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    @deviantfan - Citation Needed Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 18:20
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    Given the last post was on Mar 16, maybe they had a spectacular St Patrick's Day scenario involving chocolate, the boss's daughter, their stock millions and God knows what else...
    – smci
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 1:53
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    @deviantfan Some call SO the most un-friendly community on SE. Also physics, parenting, skeptics, and scifi. I suspect the list is much, much longer than that, but generally anyone who is upset because their question was "wrongfully" closed, or who disagrees with an established rule, or who otherwise has a bone to pick with moderation (elected/appointed, or community action) tends to call that particular community "the most un-friendly" in the SE network.
    – Beofett
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


If posting questions like that is okay then we better change site name to Soap Opera Plots Stack Exchange. And change site topics accordingly.

In this case I would also recommend folks interested in questions and answers of real workplace matters start looking for some other place.

Coexistence of entertainment and real questions have been tried already at Stack Overflow and Programmers and ended in tears and I see no reason why it would be different here. "The stuff spreads like kudzu..."

...Pretty soon the entire site is overrun with nothing but that kind of fun. And even if you grandfather a few in, you’ll enjoy neverending requests asking why their fun question or answer has to be removed, while this one over here is allowed to remain

  • 4
    "And even if you grandfather a few in" ... and yet, that is exactly what they do on SO, with a bazillion questions of "historical significance but not good on-topic questions". Perhaps SO could be renamed to Calvinball. :)
    – Masked Man
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 17:00
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    @MaskedMan: Historical lock is intended for the specific purpose of halting a particular question and discouraging imitators. It is precisely the opposite of "grandfathering in", and was designed from the ground up to stop exactly this class of questions. Commented May 14, 2017 at 22:01
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    @Nathan Sounds like grandfathering to me. Why haven't these questions been deleted if they are not meant to be on-topic or good questions on SO? If the question did not exist already and were to be asked now, it would be deleted. (Example: "what is the funniest comment in source code?" or whatever) Deleting such questions drastically reduces their visibility, and even people who can see it have no chance to use that as an excuse to imitate such questions.
    – Masked Man
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 1:08
  • 1
    @MaskedMan: Only people who deliberately misread the historical lock message can use those questions as excuses to ask similar questions, since the message explicitly says they are not models of good questions. In bold text, even. SO is perfectly willing to let people who willfully misread instructions ask their way straight into a q-block, since they will do so anyway. (Only some questions are histo-locked, even if they're quite old; if they're not all that notable, they're simply deleted.) Commented May 15, 2017 at 1:22
  • @Nathan ... and why aren't those questions deleted if they are not models of good questions? If "other" bad questions (that is, questions not modeled on "those" questions) are asked now, then those are deleted. That is the whole point of "grandfathering", or in other words, bad questions asked after X date will be deleted, but before X date, we will just put one "historical" note and keep them around.
    – Masked Man
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 3:48
  • 1
    @MaskedMan: There isn't really a fixed date. What matters is that the question somehow managed to do a decent job of creating something useful despite the dangerous formulation. Only unusually useful Q&A combos are kept. So: they aren't deleted because they're actually useful, quite dramatically so, and deleting is unpleasant in such cases; they aren't left open because that encourages imitators (or at least post facto rationalizing). Questions that are actually bad in all respects get shown the door no matter their age. Commented May 15, 2017 at 4:01
  • And even if you grandfather a few in, you’ll enjoy neverending requests asking why their fun question or answer has to be removed, while this one over here is allowed to remain: Hell yes. Example: meta.stackexchange.com/q/199302/131956
    – Jim G.
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 18:53

Have you ever heard the expression, "When it rains, it pours"?

Honestly, everything up until 2/22 seems plausible. It isn't until the dating the boss' daughter post and the posts on other SEs that things look off. I'm not sure why some others find the idea of a young employee getting their car towed or wasting time on a bad joke so unbelievable. It's certainly a lot bad luck and poor decision making all at once but being unprepared for a meeting is hardly an extreme event.

I think the usefulness of these questions is more of an issue than their truthfulness. The two most suspicious Workplace questions are also off topic.

I'm not saying made up stories should be OK. I'm just not buying that it isn't possible for your car, bike, and phone to get broken in the same month.

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    Some say "you can't make this stuff up". I say "it sure looks like you can". Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 16:31
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    For the record, if I posted a list of every bad work decision and every weird situation I'd ever come across it would put this user's efforts to shame. To. Shame.
    – Richard
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 20:40
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    I don't see the point of this answer, or of saying 'Of the ten outrageous stories, the first five, taken in isolation, seem believable.' Clearly the earlier questions form part of a pattern with the later questions.
    – jwg
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 10:24

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