Would you help someone who is systematically unresponsive?

By bobcat
Oct 14, 2010
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  1. I think we all know the scenario, it’s common enough. Someone asks for help, often appering desperate. In response, several good members volunteer their knowledge and time to offer free support. Yet the OP, far from thankning them, doesn’t even bother to come back and provide feedback of any kind. Apparently, when his problem ceased to exist, the OP lost all interest in his thread and those participating in it. As a result, helpful members often continue to post advice (long) after the problem has been solved, or even proved non-existent.

    So my question is, would you provide help to someone exhibiting the above pattern of behaviour? More generally, how do you feel about it?
  2. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    Hi bobcat,
    Can I ask what inspired this question?
    For me I take the "unresponsive" OP's as part of the 'the way things are'. Its like taking a decided pause to hold the door for someone whilst entering your local Applebees, and they glide right through without any acknowledgment of the act of courtesy, which by the way (common courtesy) is on the critical list these days. What really gets my ire up, is when people are outright rude, or act as though they are entitled to the assistance, get an answer not to their liking, and then are/act like <<inset your favorite 4-6 letter explative here<<<
    Like this yesterday:
    I know that many of the regulars here at Techspot go to great lengths to get people accurate answers, and invest their experience, and sometimes on the spot research (myself included) a special shout out to the guys and gals in the malware forum, they have , I believe, probably the most thankless job here, and do the most work.
    I don't remember where I heard this...but to the "unresponsive' and rude OP's that visit here. You don't have to be grateful...but would it hurt at least to appreciate the effort?
  3. Zilpha

    Zilpha TS Enthusiast Posts: 319

    Yea but honestly you HAVE to love when CaptainCranky addresses those posts. I literally roll on the floor with laughter at his responses. It's worth it just for that.

    OP: I know what you mean. I can count the number of times on one hand someone has thanked me for fixing their issue (here's my favorite example, but those handful of times are worth the many where people don't even bother.

    You just need to do what you can, and not get too worked up over it. Rude, mean and selfish people will always outnumber the selfless - that's why when someone commits a selfless or heroic act it's such a big deal.
  4. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,219   +157

    well that's worth the price of admission by itself :) I think we should start a CaptainCranky quote of the day calander a 'la Gary Larson.

    and I agree Zilpha
    It's the blatantly rude that perplex me, I guess its like road rage, or why some are rude to wait staff.

    Having read Bobcat's posts for a couple years now, i bet he's going to get philosophical on this point favorite kind of thread :)
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Great - I just read captaincranky's post and laughed really loud at work... everyone wants to know why. Thanks CC... this was kind of a crappy day, but now it's just a little bit better.
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    Well, you already "helped someone who is systematically unresponsive" posting on the thread.
    As to how I feel, it doesn't really bother me. I already knew there are a lot of poor mannered/rude people.
    People who continue to reply are kind of annoying though.
  7. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Elementary Comments

    To get unbiased responses, I tried to make my OP fairly neutral, refraining from employing suitably descriptive adjectives for the people in question, which did require considerable effort for self-restraint on my part. Continuing on that notion, again I restrict myself to some objective, or should I say elementary, comments.

    First of all, feedback is not all about thanking but also giving info to helpers so that they can improve their performance. It’s also a matter of having the elementary consideration towards them, so as not to let them continue their efforts after the problem ceased to exist.

    Now, politeness constitutes elementary good manners. But these do appear nowadays to be even less common than…common sense.

    Yet, common sense dictates that if someone wants to be helped again in the future, he should be agreeable to those helping him, if not for the sake of elementary good manners, at least out of pure selfishness in ensuring continuation of help supply.

    But if the above is too philosophically advanced for some OP’s, then as a minimum, they shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them, again an elementary behavioral matter. I say this because as already pointed out, the OP is more likely to attack his helpers than thank them.

    Elementary, my dear Watson!
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    I don't...putting a bit of tone might help them realize their foibles. It makes me happier to help them too.

    In regards to the actual issue in the thread, the more prevalent problems can be solved with searching, so posting solutions isn't necessary. Of course, if everyone thinks like that, then it becomes a problem. Other problems are usually rather unique and may not be applicable to anyone else. In theory, it's a good thing, though in practice, I feel it doesn't make a huge difference. Also, i'm too callous to impoliteness, especially online. Unless a person is being particularly obnoxious very frequently (so that I remember their name), I usually don't notice any prior lack of manners.

    As I said before, the rudeness doesn't bother me too much. It does disappoint me if they make stupid decisions because they didn't really listen.

    Reading a good post definitely invokes a better response from me.

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