Doc Moss needs a lesson in asking for help

His original GQ question was:

Then after a response from dublos who was asking for more information he replies:

dublos responds with a basic, “you are leaving out information” and well, yes does get a little perturbed, understandably.

Doc Moss replies with:

Sorry dude, without certain information, many of us will not sit back and attempt to help you out with a computer issue if you can’t give us some important information. This is the kind of crap that people got ticked off over. If Joe Schmoo called up Generic Tech Support, they would:

#1 want to know the actual level of understanding that a user ACTUALLY has, not his/her claim to understanding

#2 want to know specifics with regards to the computer

This is not an ESP situation, we can’t all pull your thoughts out of our asses. Some here do this shit for a living, who are VERY knowledgable and would have asked you the same exact questions.

You went in there asking a question, some wanted more information to give you the proper instructions to which will make the job easier to answer but you’d rather get in a juvenile way and insult people and make people really pissy.

I applaud dublos for his/her restraint in trying to help the bozo out.

As I stated, yet this time a little more harshly:

Look asshole, if you want help ask in kind and don’t be a fuck about it. If you aren’t understanding what or why people are asking for more information concerning your delimna, then ask questions nicely or drop the subject all together. I can’t believe anyone looked past your asshole like behavior to even offer you an answer. Again I applaud those with more restraint than I can muster.

With that I am not pissed but disappointed that anyone would be such an ass when asking for help from fellow Dopers. If you act like this in real life I assume that you have a few battle wounds.

Oh and the next time you ask for help, don’t be such an ass about it…my God, no one is obligated to give you an answer here nor are they obligated to give you a correct answer…something for you to think about. Look out, we might end up helping you to fuck your computer over with that kind of attitude.


I swear, do some people think we have some sort of obligation to answer their questions? Do they just not realize that the rest of us (at least those who do so) answer questiions in GQ because we enjoy doing it? This ain’t a service you are paying to use, jackass. We get nothing except a nice little warm feeling down in our hearts for helping each other become more informed about the world around them. The least you can do is be polite, and listen to people when they say they want more information.

It’s not like this is the sort of shit that Miss Manners buries in Appendix F, right after how to address the ex-wife of an ambassador who’s now a judge. It’s common friggin’ courtesy.

Well said, waterj2 and techchick. That kind of rudeness is right up there with OP starters posting another message five minutes later demanding to know why they haven’t had a full response yet.

I see.

Well I’m not going to waste too much time fueling your “troll outing” ego, so I’ll just clarify a few of your points. Did I say points? I mean lies.

"Then after a response from dublos who was asking for more information he replies:


Because we don’t have network cards or cables, Einstein."

Actually, the “more information” question dublos asked me was how one of the computers was connected to the internet. I then answered his request for information, telling him that one of the computers is connected to the Internet using a 56k modem.

“One of the computers is connected to the Internet using a 56k modem.”

You then said, techchick, "dublos responds with a basic, “you are leaving out information”.

He actually also responded asking me whether or not I lived in a cave, asking why I wouldn’t upgrade and get network cards/cables. He then enquired as to whether or not I was a broke 14 year old who likes making sarcastic comments to the first person who responds to my threads.

But hey, compared to me calling him the ever so insulting “Einstein”, that’s not an insult at all!


Where to now? Oh yes:

“Sorry dude, without certain information, many of us will not sit back and attempt to help you out with a computer issue if you can’t give us some important information”.

Huh? dublos asked me for more information, so I gave it to him. You were following the thread, weren’t you?

Actually, as anyone reading the thread can see, dublos asked you 3 questions, to which you immediately responded with your “Einstein” comment. You were a prick, Doc, be a man and admit it, apologize, and quit trying to weasel.

You should connect using a cake with a file in it. Be nice Doc Moss.

Lets not take this too far in castigating Doc Moss. I do feel that Doc Moss was still leaving out information that would help answer his (making an asumption on that pronoun) question, but let us not paint me too broadly with a brush of purity. As Techchik points out, I do get a tad sarcastic with Doc Moss in my second response after his Einstein comment, so while Doc Moss did begin the sarcasm, I did escalate.

I thought about starting a pit thread myself, but my issue with Doc Moss would be rather that:
[ul][li]I asked three questions in my initial response to clarify why you wanted to network the machines using the serial cable, and the additional facts I thought would make a search easier.[]You only anwered one of the questions I asked.[]You included a gratuitous insult to your answer.[/ul][/li]
Doc Moss
My one and only complaint about any of the other posts is that you haven’t told us if any of the suggestions (mine and others) worked for you. I’m willing to ascribe the rest of the shots flying back and forth as adolescent banter where I gave as good as I got.

If you had included this:

in your OP we would have been much better off as a starting point though I would still have asked about your Operating system.


Also if it is a plain serial cable it wouldn’t work. It has to be a direct connect cable for the serial ports.

dublos, if you were insulted by my Einstein comment, then I do apologise. It was meant purely as sarcasm. Nothing more, nothing less. You appear to be a person of good reasoning ability.

I admire you for that.

I want to clarify a few things with you.

The situation at the time I asked the question:

2 am. At a friend’s house. No networking materials. Query of whether or not we can both surf the net at the same time, using a serial cable, is raised. Point is made that a message board exists on the net that may be able to give adequate answer. Question is asked on message board. First response suggests using networking materials, and asks what means is used to connect to the internet. Means used to connect to the internet is clarified. Comment is made that this wants to be done using a serial cable, not networking materials. Sarcastic but apparently unintentional insult of a remark is included. Pit thread opens.

As for wanting feedback on how we are going with this; I think “Derf” or somebody with a name similar (I can’t be bothered going and checking) suggested a few resources. I checked them out and we have downloaded the appropriate software. We’ll be testing it out later tonight.

Yes, dublos did ask 3 questions. I never said he didn’t.

I said he only asked one “more information” question. A question which could have helped him give mr the information I needed. The other questions he asked were not relevant to my problem.

And if calling someone “Einstein” makes me a prick, then… well, you must not have encountered many “pricks” in your lifetime.

Doc Moss,

Do everyone a favor, and please take a step back from all this and realize some things.[ul][li]You came to a message board, not a support service of paid answer people, where people answer questions because that is something they enjoy. This means you really should do your best to be friendly and non-sarcastic to keep on their good side and get the answer you want.[]The pit thread did not open until well after our exchange had escalated beyond the initial exchange.[]If the other two questions were not pertinent to your situation, perhaps it might have been more helpful to answer them anyway and inform the non-mind reading folks who might be reading the exchange why they are not pertinent? The main thing anyone who’s worked in support, especially network support (and yes, I have) is that you never assume, you always clarify and ask questions so you can actually answer the persons question rather than answering the question you assume they mean.At this point, the only reason this exchange is continuing is because everyone participating is still giving your the benefit of the doubt. If you are capable of making a no excuses apology for the things you could have done better. No excuses meaning no whining about the fact that sarcastically calling someone an Einstein is a pretty mild form of insult. We know that, you know that.[/ul]After all Doc, you’ve been around these boards long enough to post more than 100 messages, you should have a feel for how things are done around here.[/li]

I never called you a troll, so whatever you think this is about, it’s not about “outing a troll.” Don’t put words in my mouth.

I brought this up because your attitude towards people wanting to help you sucks, big time! If you ask for help, be nice. GEEZ, that’s all I am saying.

If you can’t be gracious in your responses, I suggest some social classes where people learn that if you ask for help you don’t get sarcastic or become an ass. If you can’t grasp that concept then you need to learn a few things from Miss Manners.

Ahhh no. I apologised to dublos for unintentionally insulting him. As I said earlier, it was meant as sarcasm. Seeing as where I come from sarcasm is not offensive, I refuse to think or believe that I have done anything wrong by my own right. Seeing as it appears you are unable to wrap your head around this, I will not be weighing in to this discussion any further.

Well that’s where you got it all wrong, Doc, it’s the people who do the answering who get to use sarcasm - not the person who is, basically, asking a favor. You’re allowed metaphor and a little irony if you must, but not sarcasm. Litotes are (is?) not unappreciated.

Let’s go over this: you referred to dublos as being an intelligent person. You say that this was sarcastic, i.e. you meant the opposite of you said. That is, while you referred to dublos as being intelligent, you meant that he was in fact very stupid. Where you come from, calling someone stupid is not an insult? It isn’t the sarcasm that’s offensive, it’s what’s meant by the sarcasm. And here’s another tip for effective communication: starting an answer with the word “because” is almost always inappropiate unless it is in response to a question that started with the word “why”. The proper response to “Is it…” is either “Yes, it is” or “No, it is not”. Providing someone with a non sequitor to their question and then insulting them is not very polite.
And if you’re going to claim that someone is lying, it is generally expected that you will actually present one of their statements and show how it is wrong. And finally, your statement:

shows that you still aren’t getting it. He wasn’t asking whether you wouldn’t upgrade, he asked whether you couldn’t.

I run into this type of stuff a lot too …

I lurk at message boards and try to help people out with my computer experience. I saw the post in GQ and wandered in to see the posts from DocMoss and dublos and then promptly decided the thread was only valuable from an entertainment point of view.

When I go to help someone, the least that I assume is that they will not insult me. Beyond that, it is hard to say what might happen, but I at least assume civility.

After reviewing both threads, my scorecard reads:

Dublos: A gracious gentleman, who has certainly gone out of his way to try to help someone despite being treated snidely in his attempts to help; and

Doc Moss: Apparently a minor league asshole who seems to be doing his best to work his way into the major leagues. (I apologize if my assumption of gender is incorrect.)

Doc, you don’t seem to be getting the point that techchick and several of the other posters here are trying to make.

When you are asking someone (particularly people you don’t know) for free assistance, it is best to be polite and grateful for the help they offer, even if you feel that the help they offer does not solve the problem you stated.

I think one of your earlier quotes from this thread points out your problem:

(bolding is mine)

OK, you’re the one who has a problem you want solved. You want others to give you the benefit of their expertise, gratis. You can’t be bothered by describing the situation or your constraints in more than 30 words, since that would take up too much of YOUR precious time. (I’m ignoring the “Any takers?” stuff and what was beyond it, since it didn’t offer any pertinent information) Someone offers to help, and you give him a terse, snotty answer. Instead of telling you to kiss off, he comes back with another attempt to help you out with both your computer problem and your apparent board etiquette problem, by gently suggesting that sarcastic responses to people trying to help you isn’t your best strategy to obtain help. After a few more exchanges, where you become increasingly rude to the man, Dublos responded:

(several inserted links not shown because I cut and pasted the lazy way…)

So, even though you have behaved like a total jerk to Dublos, he has taken the time and effort to respond to your question despite your refusal to give complete information ---- whereas YOU cannot take the time and effort to look up the name of someone else who tried to help you. YOU cannot be bothered to even LOOK at responses you don’t feel answer your question the way you want it (“dublos, if you can’t help me, please do not post.” “So, unless you have something constructive to say, dublos, please say nothing at all.”) YOU cannot be bothered to use complete sentences, or to include pertinent facts which don’t look good for YOUR side of the issue in your “clarification” of the situation posted above.

Honey, the world does not owe you a living. When you are dependent upon the kindness of strangers, it is in your best interest to be grateful for all offers of help, and to treat the offerers graciously.

I included you in the minor leagues of asshole-ism above because you do almost give an apology to dublos:

But, as apologies go, I’d have to say that one only deserves only partial credit. What universe do you live in where sarcasm is not intended to be insulting? Granted, it is generally on the milder end of the insult scale, but, come on, you delivered it in a situation where NO insult was called for. To make it worse, the insult was delivered in lieu of a brief “Thanks for trying to help me out…” which would have been far more appropriate. (Would’ve taken too much time, I’m sure.)

Admitting you are wrong, rather than trying to hide behind a “You people just misunderstood me!” defense is a far better way to earn the respect of others.

A genuine apology to dublos (and the others you’ve insulted along the way here), along with a sincere nod of thanks to all the folks who offered to help you out would go a long way in improving your reputation right now.

Dublos: “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din…”

A dippy one, I’d say.

Don’t be offended, I know who this guy is and he is an ass all the time, he talks to everyone as if their idiots when in fact he’s the only one in the room that’s really clueless. Oh by the way this guy couldn’t get a PHD to save his life in fact he’s never received any degree.:D:eek::smack:

Gaudere is a harsh mistress. Harsh, but fair.