To me this person is a trolling.

How to deal with transgender

Go back to the original post from an unregistered user:

How to deal with an LGBT person making obscene demands?

In our firm of about 1000 people, I am working with a group of developers on a minor project. We've been assigned to work with a man who pretends to be a woman. He's making some weird demands, such as getting upset whenever we call him a he (which we obviously do out of habit, I mean, what are we supposed to do, change our instincts over night?) and he also demands to use the ladies toilet, which makes our only female coworker quite uncomfortable. He makes weird noises in the bathroom, she says, and insists on making weird, unnatural chitchat with her about "the boys" (i.e., us...).

How to deal with this situation? We do not want to be discriminatory against an LGBT person, but we also don't want to have to deal with their demands which cause problems for us. Obviously taking this to HR is extremely delicate, as their first impression may very well be that we just don't like LGBT people.

So much is inciteful: obscene, pretend, use of he. Every step of the way it seems to chose wording to incite and denigrate. It refers to the person as LGBT rather than the proper term. "Impression we just don't like LGBT" to me is making a mockery as they have given many clues if they don't like them then clearly they don't respect. This person has pretty good language skills. It smells intentional to me. Unregistered user. Can you know for sure it is trolling - no. For me it hits on all the traits of trolling but not so over the top to get nicked for rudeness.

Another point is it is kind of a spin off from a deleted answer that is linked in a comment.

BOLO is slang for Be On the Lookout. As slang it means bogus or be weary of this person.

Many edits were made to tone it down. And now it has a positive score and I cannot vote to delete.

What I am suggesting is if something looks like trolling then just vote it down so it can be deleted. Fix the question keeps it around and feeds the troll.

  • 3
    I suspect that this user is the same one who left this now deleted comment - the intolerant tone is similar in nature.
    – user44108
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 11:41
  • 1
    I contemplated asking a meta question about the editing of that question, but that may not be necessary. However, in my opinion, it should be rolled back to the very first version. Edits should not alter the content that much. Commented May 18, 2018 at 11:58
  • BOLO is slang for Be On the Lookout what does that mean? It seems to be a police thing? Why would this name add to your suspicion that this person is a troll? Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:00
  • 1
    @Carpetsmoker Lots of slang comes from real stuff. As slang it is used to mean bogus or be weary of. Troll started as slang based a tail of an odd creature that hung out under a bridge and would verbally antagonize people that passed. You down voted for that?
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:03
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Fair to VTC for trolling
    – David K
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:11
  • @DavidK If you think that is dup then you miss the point. Vote down so it may be deleted is a different thing than VTC. VTC is also different from edit.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:16
  • 2
    @paparazzo Please read the first two answers to your own previously asked question. In particular: "Using Meta to raise a virtual Lynching party against people who do not use the site in the manner you would like is not an acceptable method of dealing with this!"
    – David K
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:22
  • 2
    @DavidK Lynch party? Moving on. If I hit nerve sorry.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:29
  • At first I thought this might be trolling but the OP was active in comments. workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/112596/…
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 15:12
  • 2
    You disagree with him so he's a troll? Not cool.
    – solarflare
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 5:56
  • Possible duplicate of Recent string of trolling questions Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 19:50

3 Answers 3


What I am suggesting is if something looks like troll then just vote it down so it can be deleted.

You will need to be very careful with this. What you are doing when you call someone a troll is guessing at their motivations. Like you, I am not impressed by the choice of wording in the original post, but it's entirely possible that this is a real person asking a real question. It is hard to tell for sure.

Furthermore, I feel that it does ask a fundamentally useful question: "how do we deal with trans people when coworkers are uncomfortable with that?" I think that this is a real problem encountered in the real world. Even if the OP is a troll then this would still be a useful question.

If a person starts asking doubtful question as a matter of habit it might be prudent to take action, but at this point all I see is a new user who posted what is plausibly a real-world question which has garnered several useful answers. I don't see why it should be deleted in spite of the OP's language choices in their original post.

  • OK you don't think it is a troll. Sure it is possible this unregistered user is real. If you don't think it is a troll then I am not suggesting you down vote.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:40
  • 2
    @paparazzo you don't think it is a troll: I don't know. It's certainly possible that they are – maybe even likely – but I'm not sure. Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:41
  • Never going be sure. I am not getting your point. Not my intent to argue with you.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:45
  • 10
    I think the point here is: judge the question, not the person. You determine the fate of the question separately from the fate of the person. The question may be salvageable (or not) via votes, edits, etc. regardless of if the person "is a troll" or not. So, when considering actions on the question, you look at the question. If the user returns and develops a pattern, the person is dealt with (by the moderators). But, in the meantime, us community members are responsible for looking at the question independently of what we think about the person.
    – dwizum
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:50
  • 1
    @dwizum I get my wording makes it sound like judging the person. My intent is if the question is trolling. I will edit.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 13:12

We go by assuming good intentions and not be so quick to judge. I've seen enough go on to believe anything, including but not limited to:

  • A coworker tied up by other coworkers
  • A couple having relations in a conference room
  • A suicide
  • A murder
  • someone killed by an equipment malfunction.

and things far worse. Don't assume a troll. If the question is answerable, answer it. If not, then down-vote it.


Why don't we just answer the question truthfully, the same way we do with every other question on the website, so that if someone actually has to deal with something similar or far worse than this they can use this question as a reference. I'll be honest with you, I know some people who wouldn't understand why this is a problem. I think a well thought out, honest, and detailed answer to this question would be extremely useful to a lot of people who either feel this way, or are face with actually ridiculous demands - removing gender as a concept from the workplace for example, not just dealing with some awkward attempts to be familiar.

Trolls like it when you feed them. The concept as a whole falls apart if you were to treat it the same way we treat most other questions here. It literally just blows over. I honestly think mods should delete responses from angry people on questions that seem obviously troll. That action will provide useful reference to people and make it clear that the Work Place Stack Exchange is not a good place to troll.

  • 1
    @paparazzo I don't think it's all that demeaning honestly. If you don't understand LGBT Q+ then this seems like how you'd describe it. Honestly, I don't see why answering this question would be a bad thing. Also, talking to people in the bathroom is not how you just make friends.
    – user53651
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 13:31
  • The problem is it that I don't understand. Moving on.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 13:34
  • @paparazzo I'm so confused. Are you saying that's a fundamentally different problem then the ones on this site? Can you not edit the question to be less demeaning at the very least?
    – user53651
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 13:37
  • @paparazzo wait do you think that I claimed you didn't understand?? I was talking about people who didn't understand LGBT Q+ not you.
    – user53651
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 14:26

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