Discussion:Rudeness on this site

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LSC CPA (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2009

I have used this forum for many years to ask questions, and to research tax issues, and have received very valuable guidance for which I am appreciative. However, today I was researching a topic and as I read through some of the responses it seemed that in every discussion there was a rude or snide comment by someone on this forum. There is one person in particular who seems to enjoy making a negative comment about someone or their post in almost every discussion that I read through.

I find it very unprofessional and totally inappropriate to make these types of remarks on a forum such as this. I feel like it diminishes our profession. There are many people who use this forum for research, and may never post anything here because they are not a tax professional. What does it say about us as professionals when we cannot be civil? It doesn't matter if you think someone's question is stupid. Just don't respond. Ignore them. Don't come on this forum and participate in the discussions if some of the posters get on your nerves.

These types of comments get in the way of those of us who use this forum for serious research. It wastes my time having to wade through the snide remarks to get to a reasonable response. And doesn't it waste your time? Do some of you have nothing better to do but respond with negative comments to someone's posts? If you can't give a serious response, please do not respond at all. Go to some of the political forums and take out your frustrations there. But please, let's be civil to one another on this professional forum.

LM 35EA (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2009
I have not read that much "invective" comments directed at any particular person. Sometimes there are sarcastic remarks. Mostly their seem to be humorous comments to lighten up the day. I appreciate humor every now and then. As far as political

LSC CPA (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2009
To clarify my comment about going to a political forum to take out your frustration, I did not mean to imply that the snide comments are political in nature. What I meant is that those types of comments reflect to me that they are coming from someone who is frustrated with the question that has been posted, or a response that has been posted. Instead of responding rudely or sarcastically on a professional forum such as this, which to me isn't the place for that type of communication, they should go to a political site where rudeness is the name of the game. That's all I meant by that. I certainly don't mind humor, but not at the expense of someone else who is anonymous to most of us.

Pent-Up (talk|edits) said:

10 December 2009
I agree with your comment about the "state of rudeness" on this site, it does server to demean the profession, unfortunately.

Try and answer a "Tax Representation" question and you will really experience "rudeness".

Pegatha (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
Is there any kind of Code of Conduct for these forums? I appreciate having this resource, but I find that there are often rude and belittling comments, that take away from the value it provides. Maybe they're meant as sarcastic, but since this is in a written context instead of in person, you can't necessarily tell from other communication cues, and to me they just come across as rude and trying to put down the person asking the question. I'm sorry if we are asking a question that you consider obvious because you have 30 years of experience, but that doesn't make us less of a professional and we are on this site to try to learn and gain experience. I would expect a site like this to put more emphasis on supporting your fellow professionals.

Trillium (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
Here's the Code of Conduct. It's enforced by the members, so basically speak up if you see something that you don't agree with.

Ukbones (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
Forums always have at least one egotistical 'headmaster' compelled to belittle. Best to ignore the little darlings.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
My heavens! I thought that this was just about the most helpful, least nasty site it has ever been my good fortune to run into.

The quality and technical sophistication of the discussions constantly amaze me. It's true that one ought to try the yellow box before starting a new thread with a question, and we get reminded of that, but I can't recall ever being treated rudely even when I probably deserved it.

I admit that I have myself suggested rather forcefully that one thing or another really requires the services of an attorney but I certainly never intended to be snarky or rude about it and I hope no one took it that way.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

October 26, 2010
It does help to wear a helmet...and some accountants, well, most of them, were born without a sense of humor or personality. ......................!

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
May I ask which discussion? I think that sometimes as a forum we snap a bit at those perceived to be "non-professional preparers", even if they are CPAs/attorneys/accountants that are perhaps in a field other than tax prep. If someone asks a question, its because they don't know the answer, but they may be experts in another area of accounting or tax prep/law.

When we go off rambling in another direction, that's when I think comments tend to fly.

Pegatha (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
Certainly there is a great deal of wonderful information here. And I'm not talking about suggestions to get an attorney or other professional because the poster seems to be way over their head - it's where someone seems to be suggesting the poster doesn't have any right to be on the forum because they asked a stupid question.

I'm referring to comments along the lines of "I can't believe someone actually has to ask that question!" or to give a specific quote "See what a difference clarification makes? I've made way too many assumptions when giving answers on this board, often, like in this one, assuming that the original poster's post information can be relied on." Ok - yes, many tax questions can turn on a very specific detail, but I don't think it's necessary to imply someone is incompetent because they made a typo, which is what I interpreted that comment to mean. Even if an answer isn't exactly on point to the original question, it may still be sharing helpful information to other readers as well, or even just give the poster a better direction to do their own research and refine the question they're actually searching for.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
Off-topic but I'm curious:

P.g. How's the GGU MST going? I stand in awe of anyone who devotes his/her professional life to passthrough entities.

Pegatha (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
I'm working on the masters degree slowly but surely! Took the fall off due to an overload of other stuff in life, and never take classes during tax season, so will pick it back up next summer. The classes are super intense, but very useful.

On-topic: Perhaps the best way to describe the negativity on here that's bothering me is that I'm comparing it to how the managers and partners who supervise and review my work treat me when I ask questions. If they treated my questions the way some of the posters on here do, I'd have gotten frustrated and quit public accounting within a few months! It's one thing to play devil's advocate or ask prodding questions to make someone work for the answer and thus learn from the process, and criticize the argument someone is making, but it's not ok to me to expect newer accountants to have the same level of knowledge but then not be willing to help them get that knowledge and criticize them for not knowing it.

Perhaps I'm just getting spoiled from another forum I'm on - there's a pretty strict code of conduct, and the mods will absolutely delete something that violates it even a little. If people's responses start getting curt or pushy, other posters or mods will comment on it, saying, that sounds rude, don't attack her, etc. It's just a very supportive atmosphere that I appreciate.

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

26 October 2010
I know about "slowly but surely". I'm starting my LAST CLASS for my LL.M. this week. After about two and a half years of work.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

28 October 2010
Pegatha & NMexEA - do you do online or classroom instruction? I have wanted to go back for an advanced degree since before the kids were born... and then the kids were born. With my oldest starting college (ouch!) I have been thinking about it more & more - especially an online option which wasn't available all those years ago. Anything you can recommend?

Or maybe I'll just get a different degree entirely - feeling restless.....

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

28 October 2010
Mine is directed independent study. No classes per se but a series of research essay questions on readings in reference books, the Code, the Regs and case law.

I apologize for hijacking this thread. If anyone is really interested, we should start a Masters Degree thread and do it right.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

28 October 2010
I'M INTERESTED!!!

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

28 October 2010
I do not think it is rude to ask clarifying questions. Answering a question based on assumptions does lead to incorrect answers. Asking clarifying questions demonstrates respect for the person asking the question, in that you are really trying to understand the question in order to prepare a correct answer, or sometimes just to remind the OP of something he may be overlooking.

We used to have a lot of VERY RUDE behavior on this site three years ago, where tax pros would ask basic questions that are answered in Pub 17 or Pub 334. That behavior was rude because the person asking the question felt that his time saved from not looking up the info (either online at the IRS website or in any one of the many reference materials that tax pros have accessable to their desk during tax season) was much more important than EVERYONE else's time on this site who reads and answers questions. Since that time, a group of concerned users here have changed the text in several areas to ask a person to do some basic research (including the yellow search box) before asking a question.

As a whole, this has reduced significantly these problems. Once in awhile (a lot less now than 3 years ago) some still need a reminder to check the yellow box or read an IRS Publication.

Embny (talk|edits) said:

29 October 2010
Well I suppose some of my questions have been RUDE, since I didn't do the appropriate research first. But Kevin pointed out that I should do the search and check the IRS and although his comments might have seemed sarcastic, I took no offense at all. Instead I learned from him and now I search and research more. Thanks, Kevin.

Seriously, this is one of the most civil and thorough web-sites I've encountered. Funny too, sometimes.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

14 November 2010
:}

Andkor (talk|edits) said:

11 March 2011
This is funny, I had the same experience. Uttering one harmless tax question, only to be attacked by a couple of others. What's up with that?

I thought this site is all about helping each other - but it is not! That became apparent in about 2 minutes worth of time. Pretty disappointing!

Marcilio (talk|edits) said:

2 September 2011
I must say that I have been rude, but not intentionally so. Some days we are just not at our best, and a question or comment can cause us to quickly respond in a manner that wouldn't have appeared on a good day. Sometimes we just feel playful and say things that are intended to be humorous, but because the reader can't see the wink or the wry smile, is taken aback.

All in all, we are just normal people (at least other people appear to be so) doing things that normal people do, mixing the same number of mistakes with fits of genious. We subscribe to a high standard, but sometimes we fall short, but we keep trying to be helpful and courteous.

Davidh0911 (talk|edits) said:

27 September 2011
Add me to the list of people who has had the same experience of being attacked for having had the audacity to post a question. There are some real jerks on this forum.

I often wonder how many other people would like to ask questions but don't, and how many people who could provide good advice decide to remain lurkers because they don't want to deal with the condescending know-it-alls.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

27 September 2011
I've got no problem with the consescending know-it-alls, myself.

It's those happy-go-lucky motivationally uplifting know-it-alls who really get under my skirt.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

28 September 2011
I didn't know you wear skirts Kevin.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

29 September 2011
Table skirt. When I'm up in front of a class in a hotel or conference center, they always put a nice table skirt around the front table.

Does anyone remember http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g9p-Y_nBdc

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

29 September 2011
I was never a "Designing Women" fan.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

29 September 2011
well, then you missed this classic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz_ZpoYBzaw

(The Miss Congeneality comment being appropos to this discussion)

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

29 September 2011
And now I have. Dixie Carter is a lovely woman. Perhaps you can relate to these characters better than I since you are a Southerner? I could never relate.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

29 September 2011
Actually, I was born a Northerner and didn't move South until college.

At the time these originally aired, I was living near Atlanta, and watching was amost required, as there were so many local references (The Big Chicken, Kennesaw College, etc.) that you felt you were watching neighbors.

I met a man travelling in the US from Great Britain. He could quote entire episodes from Designing Women in a perfect Southern drawl. Apparantly they have re-runs of the show in Manchester England.

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

30 September 2011
I just looked at your profile again and linked to your website. What is your Bachelor's Degree in?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

30 September 2011
Business Management, with concentrations (minors) in Computer Information Services and International Business. The MBA was in International Business.

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