This question is closed for "unclear what you're asking". I read and edited the question and didn't see any missing clarity, understood it perfectly and what was being asked, and I answered it without a problem (I think a decent answer).

While my answer directly addresses some specifics in that particular workplace and specific workplace problems, it is about general advice on how to approach a specific scenario. That could easily be returned in search results for various relevant scenarios, and very well help others who have a fragmented team and staff without clear task allocation.

I just can't see why it's "unclear" - is this one viable to be reopened? (I cannot flag to reopen.)
Maybe there's a reason I don't know about from being new here :)

  • 1
    Questions that take way too long to get to the point tend to get closed for that reason. This is a Q&A site, not a place to share life stories. This gets especially worse if the description consists of huge walls of text, which as you can imagine, doesn't make things clearer to understand. Also, that close reason only means that the 5 guys who voted found it unclear. It doesn't mean nobody will ever understand what the question says, so most of your first paragraph is unnecessary.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 18:34
  • @MaskedMan I'm not on an opposing view here, just asking. Questions about the "workplace" must surely be a bit more involved given their nature? I see a lot of long questions and answers, I guess as the Q&As here will be deeper subject matters. At what point do you draw the line between "too long" and "not too long"? How do you define "way too long"?
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:04
  • The comment by IDrinkAndIKnowThings on the question explains the issue with this question pretty well. It is a huge rant with a question tacked on to the end. My above comment is not a "rule" for closing questions, just a general observation. The length of the post by itself is not the issue, as long as all that text is relevant to the issue at hand. But if the question keeps meandering all over the place before getting to the point, then we will put it on hold until it gets cleaned up.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:17
  • We want questions and answers here to be useful to the community, not to one or two people. Also, existence of other bad questions is never a justification for allowing additional bad questions. We volunteer to improve questions, but we have limited effort to spend on it, and cannot always fix every question. Moreover, we also don't want to give the impression that people can toss in any garbage, and our army of unpaid volunteers will edit it into shape.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:20
  • I will do some self promotion to make the message clear. Have a look at my edit to this (presently featured) question or this other question, where I removed all the irrelevant details without making the question any less useful.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:27
  • Thanks for the feedback. I completely disagree it's a "huge rant". I see connotations of displeasure in certain elements of the explanation. "Questions that take way too long to get to the point tend to get closed for that reason" - "My above comment is not a "rule" for closing questions" so it was closed purely as "unclear". I find that confusing as I edited it and answered it just fine. Maybe there is another reason this was closed then if "too long" is not it? And "unclear" is just a catch all?
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:30
  • Looking at it again, I see a lot could be pulled out though. There are chunky paragraphs with not much in them. Fair point :)
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:31
  • You understood the question doesn't mean it is clear to everybody. We voted to close the question's initial version, and apparently, you too found it unclear, otherwise you wouldn't have edited it that much.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:39
  • I didn't find the contents unclear, just the oversized paragraphs, I didn;t really edit text just layout :)
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:40
  • Yes, correct. That made the question clearer. That's the whole point of using formatting - to make things more readable.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:43
  • Ok, I've edited it even further. I feel I've retained the core issue and info without the unnecessary background info workplace.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/68698
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 20:09
  • @MaskedMan I was referring to your point "you too found it unclear, otherwise you wouldn't have edited it that much". In that, making something clearer or more readable doesn't mean it was unclear before that, just that it's "clearer" now. If the question wasn't clear to begin with I wouldn't (couldn't) have improved it.
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 20:14
  • We are again going back to the same point. We want the questions to be clear to the community, not to one or two people who care to read through huge walls of text and figure out what the question is. Specifically, if in future, someone else should have a similar problem, they should be able to get a solution from the question that has been already asked. If the question is unreadable, they cannot even tell if it describes their own situation or not.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 5, 2018 at 1:13
  • I don't think anyone really "cares to read huge walls of text". I never enjoyed editing that question, it just needed to be done. I got satisfaction from answering in the hope that it helped OP and others reading it. I only edited because it seemed like it was salvageable - especially when compared to other crud or unsalvageable questions. With a little work now it seems like a decent Q&A pair :)
    – James
    Mar 5, 2018 at 1:51
  • One problem with the current system though is that a question only has to be unclear to a handful of people to get closed. Literally everyone else could find it clear enough and it would still get closed as unclear. So being closed as unclear doesn't technically communicate that the community thinks a question is unclear; it communicates that 5 people think it is. And in a large community it's not hard to find 5 people who will think any particular thing. I think whether a question receives answers is a much better indicator of its clarity.
    – bob
    May 2, 2019 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


There is a balance between providing enough information to have context and providing too much and losing the question in it. Different community members place that line in different places. I think this question can work, and your edit helps. It still feels like there's too much background here, but I don't think we should completely gut it either. There is some complexity here that should remain, but shortening the question would help.

I am frustrated to see delete votes on a day-old question from a new user with a recent edit. People are trying to fix the question; don't shoot it down before that process has a chance to play out.

  • You can always use your mod hammer to undelete the question (more than once if necessary) regardless of the community opinion, so I suppose there is not much harm done by the delete votes.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:41
  • Yeah, MaskedMan's comments made me revisit with a new outlook and I can see there is a lot of unnecessary text. Thanks for giving info :)
    – James
    Mar 4, 2018 at 19:41
  • 2
    @MaskedMan by "community opinion", you mean four people, three of whom regularly use chat to solicit deletions? As I explained there, the question that got three delete votes in ~90 minutes also had three reopen votes and an edit. Related: workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5085/325. Mar 4, 2018 at 20:00
  • Oh, no, not at all. By "community opinion", I meant not four, but two people, one who created a meta post and one who commented on it. Anyway, for that particular question, we did not "collude" to get it deleted. (You can verify from the chat log.) One of those three reopen votes was from me, and that edit was also from me. (Interestingly, one of those "four community users" solicited reopen votes for that question.) Nonetheless, once the question was reopened, it was hijacked by the above-mentioned community to paste their own interpretations rather than "working with the OP".
    – Masked Man
    Mar 5, 2018 at 1:03
  • Oh, and speaking of that 90 minute deletion, that question was around for about 2 days before being deleted. The only reason it wasn't deleted sooner was because it was locked. Once the question got unlocked it made no sense to continue waiting for another 2 days to delete it. Of course, every question can be "improved" by hijacking it and pasting our own interpretation of the issue, so then there is never a need to delete any question.
    – Masked Man
    Mar 5, 2018 at 1:09
  • 1
    I was browsing the chat transcript the other day (not looking for anything in particular) and found enough negativity that it deters me from entering the room. As for the edits, did you notice that the edit you're complaining about was rolled back? The post was unlocked because a member of the community wanted to try to fix it, as expressed on meta, and before that could happen people rushed in to delete it. If it had just been sitting there that'd be different, but edits were being attempted. Mar 5, 2018 at 1:12

I cast the third reopen vote, and made a further edit to trim down the description a little more.

Update Question has been reopened.


Post-edit it seems to be much clearer IMO - yes it's still a bit ranty but not excessively so wheras the original form was

It's got my VTRO.

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