Sunday, November 1, 2015

Asking Dumb Questions

I admit I'm not a patient teacher to noobs. It's not easy to explain everything to a person who has a zero knowledge about the field he is asking. Worst is, he doesn't know what to really ask. I don't like spoon feeding if there was no effort in their part to find the answer on their own. The most annoying part is when someone keeps on asking the same question without bothering to remember or jot down the information that was freely given to them.

"Would you give a person a fish or teach them how to fish?"

It's not like I'm always grumpy. Sometimes the way the person approaches and his/her intention matters. The way the question is constructed will determine if it's encouraging enough to be answered.

The Reason in Asking

There are some people who wants to ask my opinion only to find out in the end that they really have an answer to their question. It feels insulting to express my side while they argue whenever my view differs from them. I think I need to start composing a brush off excuse if they will try to engage me in another future conversation. I felt used. I also realized that they don't really want or need my opinion. What they want is to have someone to listen to their antics or have an audience that agrees in their stories. I don't sugarcoat.

This is true between clients and professionals. For a client, the opinion of their friend weighs more  than the advice of professional. So why bother going to a professional if you will not believe them? Spare them the insult.

Find Yourself A Tutor

What you might be asking may not be answerable in just one sitting. If you think that you'll be asking for more, maybe what you need is a tutor. Asking in most inappropriate times can be very annoying. Don't disturb a person by asking question every minute. Make a list and ask it in one go. If you don't want to spend money, or give them something in return, then help yourself. Make a habit to practice so you won't forget what they have taught you. Don't abuse the person.

There's Google and Youtube to help us in our lamest questions. There are unlimited beginner/dummy books that will give us an overview. Don't bother other people because of your laziness, your wasting their time. Answering your question also takes their energy and is an effort on their behalf.

What You Give in Return

Sometimes, helping alone makes me happy. Their improvement and success makes me proud. How much more if they acknowledge and give credit to those person who have helped them? Saying thank you is very important and actually very easy to say but most of us still fail to say those words. How many times did a mere “thank you” brightened our mood? Then what stops you from saying those words to those who have helped you? Say “thank you” like you mean it because the lack of genuineness descreases its value.

Money is not the only way to compensate, you can find something you have that you can offer. You can return the favor by doing simple things like doing the dishes or cleaning the house or treating your friend at lunch. Be resourceful! This will encourage other people to help more. It's very discouraging to take all the glory without recognizing the people behind your success.

What You are When You're Not in Need

You ignore him on ordinary days, he's inexistent, then suddenly you need his help and now you talk to him softly and gently.

Who are you joking? It pisses the person. Your need is not only obvious, it's too obvious. Who would want a short-lived kindness? Love begets love. Patience begets patience. If you are not patient with others, don't expect them to get patient with you too. Humans have feelings, they don't easily forget what you made them feel before.

Hard Earned Information

What you are asking are information that took 4-5 years for them to study. Some of these are too easy for a common sense. If you think harder and get interested enough, answers will come to you. Have the initiative to learn.

In our industry, information are gold. We don't easily learn it in college. We learn it by researching. We've been in a competitive environment were people are not charitable and are selfish. We have been humiliated too. That place is what you call “school”. They don't teach us skills, only basic information that we have paid.

That doesn't mean I don't want to help... I do want to help, just ask nicely, don't abuse and please give credit. Make yourself worthy of the the information we'll share.

Are you generous in sharing knowledge from your expertise? Are you patient? How do you handle dumb questions? Share your answers below.


  1. In my experience, I don't give direct answers to team members under me. I let them use all their resources first before they talk to me about a question/concern that they have. Spoon feeding them will not help them learn.

    1. In my case, I want people to just ask me to verify if they're right or wrong. It's better to just answer with a "yes" or "no" rather than explaining them everything. Besides, the harder the information to find, the longer it stays in the mind.

  2. Sometimes it is okay to help but if the answers can be found online or on some books for reference, then it would be better to read them straight from the source rather than asking someone to explain.

    1. Yup. Asking questions is okay too as long as we've tried to look for answers first. Sometimes kasi, even if we found information somewhere, it's still hard to digest. A person could teach it better. Try before asking.


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