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Old 20.02.2011, 15:11
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A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

When I was growing up, my mother told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

The same pattern repeats itself, over and over again. A newbie comes onto the forum and asks a question. Then they get jumped upon for not using search, fobbed off with rude answers by the forum regulars, criticized for not introducing themselves, and generally made to feel unwelcomed.

I’ve been around forums a long time, and I know the etiquette pretty well. But I place myself in the shoes of my parents and imagine them coming to the board to ask a question. They’re not super-regular computer users, and they certainly have never participated in a forum before. But it’s not inconceivable that they’d do a Google search that eventually led them here. They’d read a few of the posts on the first page, see that people were asking questions and getting answers, create an account and ask their own. “How much money do we need to live in Switzerland if we decide to retire there?” they’d ask.

Of course, it would never occur to them to search the forum. If they want to search, they use Google. That’s what they did, and it brought them here, to the place where there question would be answered. So that’s why they’ve asked their question here, and not on a forum dedicated to Knitting & Embroidery. As far as they’re concerned, they’re in the right place. They’re at the ‘SWISS INFORMATION BOOTH’ and are asking for information.

Instead, they receive a stream of abuse. They probably decide not to come back again, and they certainly don’t learn more about forum etiquette, having had their fingers burnt once.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be welcoming and civil to newcomers, even if they make innocent mistakes and breaches of netiquette in their first posts. They’re what keep the board fresh and keep the community alive. If this place were only full of old-timers, what a boring place it would be. We were all newbies once.

Maybe you post a helpful link to where their question has already been addressed. Maybe you simply suggest searching and the relevant search term. Or maybe you post nothing at all.

But we should ask ourselves if, as a community, this is how we prefer to welcome our new guests?
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:16
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

Hmm, yes, but this guy is clearly not your parents' age and it worries me that people who are applying for senior management positions ask some VERY basic questions quite frequently. These people are running companies, for crying out loud, so either they have some really awesome assistants who should get paid a lot more or we are really all being run by computers.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:16
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

I have to say that I was thinking about the search function also just now and Village Idiot does have a point...when you first log into the EF you do not know your way around it and let's face it, most of us do not read the welcoming email and know it is polite to make an introduction (I did but that is because I am a dork )... so a bit more patience is OK...
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:28
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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When I was growing up, my mother told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

The same pattern repeats itself, over and over again. A newbie comes onto the forum and asks a question. Then they get jumped upon for not using search, fobbed off with rude answers by the forum regulars, criticized for not introducing themselves, and generally made to feel unwelcomed.

I’ve been around forums a long time, and I know the etiquette pretty well. But I place myself in the shoes of my parents and imagine them coming to the board to ask a question. They’re not super-regular computer users, and they certainly have never participated in a forum before. But it’s not inconceivable that they’d do a Google search that eventually led them here. They’d read a few of the posts on the first page, see that people were asking questions and getting answers, create an account and ask their own. “How much money do we need to live in Switzerland if we decide to retire there?” they’d ask.

Of course, it would never occur to them to search the forum. If they want to search, they use Google. That’s what they did, and it brought them here, to the place where there question would be answered. So that’s why they’ve asked their question here, and not on a forum dedicated to Knitting & Embroidery. As far as they’re concerned, they’re in the right place. They’re at the ‘SWISS INFORMATION BOOTH’ and are asking for information.

Instead, they receive a stream of abuse. They probably decide not to come back again, and they certainly don’t learn more about forum etiquette, having had their fingers burnt once.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be welcoming and civil to newcomers, even if they make innocent mistakes and breaches of netiquette in their first posts. They’re what keep the board fresh and keep the community alive. If this place were only full of old-timers, what a boring place it would be. We were all newbies once.

Maybe you post a helpful link to where their question has already been addressed. Maybe you simply suggest searching and the relevant search term. Or maybe you post nothing at all. But for heaven’s sake, don’t waste your keystrokes and energy on a vitriolic response like this. It makes the whole forum an unwelcoming place, for newcomers and old-timers alike.
Did they actually bother to read the mods warning? No. It was a polite yet nice repsonse from someone who knew what would happen.

It clearly states introduce yourself and use the search function, yet again the questions keep coming with no evidence of efforts made to rectifiy the bad start.

How many of these posts have YOU actually responded too over the last few years probably not many but I for one have my fair share of honest free help and I'm pretty sick of people posting x3 questions then disappearing.

This information is free and people take the time to answer the questions, myself included with some very detailed responses (I gave multiple answers as well as the snipe.)

I very much agree that the forum should be open to all, but after the 50th post asking what salary do I need to live in CH and after the 50th answer would you not get a little annoyed?

Really I'm entitled to that snipe as much as anyone and yes lets see if they return. Regardless of that my guess is the question has been answered and they're off.

Perhaps I'm wrong and I'd be the first to buy them a beer if I am.

Until you start answering these many posts and spending YOUR time with the same questions I don't think you have a say in the way I respond, but hey feel free to take over any time you like.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:29
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

It's an initiation ceremony. If they can put up with the initial barrage, then they are fit to be bona fide members. The ships in the night that post single questions won't care anyhow. This is a quality forum, made of strong members. We don't just let anyone in you know
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:30
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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Hmm, yes, but this guy is clearly not your parents' age and it worries me that people who are applying for senior management positions ask some VERY basic questions quite frequently.
I don't know. The salary question is a good example.

When I was in the UK, I knew pretty much exactly how much everyone in my industry made. It was easy, because salary ranges are published in job adverts and many companies even publish internal pay bands. Sure, there may be a few outliers, but you knew that an office worker made £x, a manager made £y, and a senior manager made £z.

When I moved to Switzerland, I had no idea what a comparable salary was. As anyone who's lived here a while knows, no one in Switzerland talks about salaries. When I worked in the UK, I knew roughly how much all of my colleagues were paid -- who was on more money than me, who was on less. After two years in Switzerland, I am none-the-wiser about whether my colleagues earn more than me, less than me, or about the same.

My point is this. Salaries are secret in Switzerland. There aren't many resources to turn to in order to find comparables. I didn't know anyone in Switzerland, so I couldn't even "pick their brains" like I could elsewhere. So I ended up here. And even though I searched, I never did get an answer that helped very much. The only way I know that I got a good deal is that my boss told me that he was surprised that HR had agreed to my salary demands and that I must have negotiated hard...

The same goes for all the relocation questions that get asked. If you've moved abroad a few times, it's no big deal. But if you've lived in the US all your life and never considered relocating, then get headhunted for a job in Switzerland out-of-the-blue (not uncommon in the pharma world), you may not have the first clue about what's involved in moving abroad. You'll come here and ask questions that seem noddy and naive to people who have been around a while. But it may never occur to you that the questions are naive!
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:34
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

I kind of think of the forum like a commercial flight- the members are the passengers and the flight attendants are the mods.

Sir, please raise your seatback use the search function . But here the other passengers get to kick in their 2 cents without being hauled off by the cops .
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:36
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

Why is it so important to know what others earn? Either you consider the remuneration appropriate and are interested in moving to another country or you stay put. What this country certainly doesn't need is more people who have only come for the money and are in no way interested in what this place is about or in fitting in. If you want to keep riding the super-individualist me-first train, don't bother...
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:41
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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What this country certainly doesn't need is more people who have only come for the money and are in no way interested in what this place is about or in fitting in. If you want to keep riding the super-individualist me-first train, don't bother...
Kanton Schwyz has begun to learn this the hard way. The community spirit in many towns along the lake of Zürich is dying because individuals come for the money only. A sign of the times.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:42
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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How many of these posts have YOU actually responded too over the last few years probably not many but I for one have my fair share of honest free help and I'm pretty sick of people posting x3 questions then disappearing.
I got tired of searching after the first few pages of posts. But I think it's safe to say I've answered my fair share of "previously-asked-questions" on EF.

I want to try the impossible in Basel

Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Expected Salary for Lab Technician Job @ Novartis

Arguments for Salary Conversion

Importing a motorbike from the UK

Down's Syndrome / Trisomy 21
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:43
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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Why is it so important to know what others earn? Either you consider the remuneration appropriate and are interested in moving to another country or you stay put. What this country certainly doesn't need is more people who have only come for the money and are in no way interested in what this place is about or in fitting in. If you want to keep riding the super-individualist me-first train, don't bother...
Additionally in the pharma world it's the equivalent of who can pee the highest up a wall, you have to be better a bigger money grabber than the rest.

Then again this is a non swiss mentality imported from the UK/US and I think this is polluting Basel's pharma co's which were reknowned for quality/innovation and not the vast quantity of fly by night expat managers.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:46
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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I got tired of searching after the first few pages of posts. But I think it's safe to say I've answered my fair share of "previously-asked-questions" on EF.

I want to try the impossible in Basel

Moving into Basel--is it worth it?

Expected Salary for Lab Technician Job @ Novartis

Arguments for Salary Conversion

Importing a motorbike from the UK

Down's Syndrome / Trisomy 21
I did this search too on your posts, but glad for you GOOD JOB!!
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:46
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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Why is it so important to know what others earn? Either you consider the remuneration appropriate and are interested in moving to another country or you stay put.
It's important to secure a fair wage. I don't want to get paid CHF100K if everyone else at my company doing the same job is getting paid CHF150K.

Nor do I want to talk myself out of a job by demanding CHF150K when the going rate for the job is CHF100K. If I know that the going rate is CHF100K, I can then make an informed decision about whether the job is right for me.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:53
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

On other news seem someone else has slapped the newbie/leech (yet to make my mind up), so I can't be alone in my opinion.

How about those that don't contribute in the time they are here then expect to be able to post moving sales and house to rent?

I think these need to be 50/100+ post requirements.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:57
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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Did they actually bother to read the mods warning? No. It was a polite yet nice repsonse from someone who knew what would happen.

It clearly states introduce yourself and use the search function, yet again the questions keep coming with no evidence of efforts made to rectifiy the bad start.

How many of these posts have YOU actually responded too over the last few years probably not many but I for one have my fair share of honest free help and I'm pretty sick of people posting x3 questions then disappearing.

This information is free and people take the time to answer the questions, myself included with some very detailed responses (I gave multiple answers as well as the snipe.)

I very much agree that the forum should be open to all, but after the 50th post asking what salary do I need to live in CH and after the 50th answer would you not get a little annoyed?

Really I'm entitled to that snipe as much as anyone and yes lets see if they return. Regardless of that my guess is the question has been answered and they're off.

Perhaps I'm wrong and I'd be the first to buy them a beer if I am.

Until you start answering these many posts and spending YOUR time with the same questions I don't think you have a say in the way I respond, but hey feel free to take over any time you like.
I can't fault your logic, but what I do find a bit unnecessary is the need to respond at all. If someone asks a question that you think has been asked before, why not just ignore it? Why would someone post a rude response? That was the OP's point. Either reply with some useful info, or ignore it. Life's too short.

Regarding the example given, of salaries, I would say in defence of the questioners that it's hard to find a previous discussion that exactly matches their own situation.
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Old 20.02.2011, 15:57
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

Well, I think that a lot of people come with something they want or have to sell, find that English Forum has other things to offer too and then stay. I'm here courtesy of wanting PROPER fish and chips, with vinegar, thankfully the Google search sent me right to the posts in question and I don't think I introduced myself either.

I vaguely recall having to read through a FAQ before my registration could be sent off, but maybe that was for another forum. Since there was a time delay, I ended up reading the rules and recommendations regardless of actual interest in them.

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Old 20.02.2011, 16:02
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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I'm here courtesy of wanting PROPER fish and chip, with vinegar, thankfully the Google search sent me right to the posts in question and I don't think I introduced myself either.
But can anyone, for the love of God, tell me where I can find brown sugar?
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Old 20.02.2011, 16:12
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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I can't fault your logic, but what I do find a bit unnecessary is the need to respond at all. If someone asks a question that you think has been asked before, why not just ignore it? Why would someone post a rude response? That was the OP's point. Either reply with some useful info, or ignore it. Life's too short.

Regarding the example given, of salaries, I would say in defence of the questioners that it's hard to find a previous discussion that exactly matches their own situation.
Possibly but I'm not you or the OP I can respond how I like.

For example before I joined this forum I spent sometime searching and researching for weeks before I posted my questions (after a introduction) which expected a response and if I screwed up I took the beating and I understood why. I read the FAQ and did as much research as I could.

I was not LAZY and expecting others to wipe my arse for me.

Be thankful you havent crossed swords with Lob or Dave A. My spat was mild.

I don't think many on here are able to question my motives for this considering the help and advice I have given away for nothing over the years, perhaps plenty can come out of the woodwork throw their x2 pennies in to this subject then F off again.

Its the same old names everytime repsonding to these sort of questions, the same people contirbuting time and time again.

I'm wondering if the leech to contribution factor is becoming much larger.

I'd rather keep the contrubutors than the leeches personally, then again I just wonder how long these people can keep proping up the forum, while everyone else suggest "responses in moderation" to the growing problem of leeches.
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Old 20.02.2011, 16:19
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

This whole salary thing can get rather depressing because 99% of the time they earn more money than I do. It annoys me that they want to earn loads of money but use a free forum to find out if their salary is according to scale.
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Old 20.02.2011, 16:42
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Re: A little civility, please! Be welcoming to newcomers...

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Did they actually bother to read the mods warning? No. It was a polite yet nice repsonse from someone who knew what would happen.

It clearly states introduce yourself and use the search function, yet again the questions keep coming with no evidence of efforts made to rectifiy the bad start.
But it also states to be polite and kind to each other. To not get into personal attack and stay civilised. And not everyone respect that bit either...

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Why is it so important to know what others earn? Either you consider the remuneration appropriate and are interested in moving to another country or you stay put. What this country certainly doesn't need is more people who have only come for the money and are in no way interested in what this place is about or in fitting in. If you want to keep riding the super-individualist me-first train, don't bother...
It is important to know that the job they ask you to do has the proper salary and they won't try to foul you.

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Kanton Schwyz has begun to learn this the hard way. The community spirit in many towns along the lake of Zürich is dying because individuals come for the money only. A sign of the times.
Maybe if the country was spending more energy on getting his population a good education and degrees, maybe, just maybe, they will hold more important key role in big companies. How many Swiss hold a degree to fill out those positions?

And if the big companies had more skilled people available here, they wouldn't have to importe foreigners...

Don't you think?
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