Do we want this question, https://pm.stackexchange.com/questions/6227/how-do-you-give-a-reference-when-a-boss-was-a-bully, on PMSE? I think it's a great, well-written, constructive question with a subjective lean, but my question is in regards to whether or not it is on-topic for PMSE?

It's clearly on topic for Workplace SE, and one of their mods visited our site and flagged this question, letting us know that they would welcome this question with open arms.

Here are the main points of this particular question:

  • The person asking appears to be a project manager. It's not really clear to me if this matters or not.

  • The question is a career question, which could be on-topic given the context.

  • The problem is not a project management problem, which could be a strong argument for shipping it off to the Workplace SE.

The decision as to what to do with this question should also take into account this discussion. I quote PawelBrodzinski, in regards to a similar question on How to Adapt to a New Team Culture?

Personally I'd vote for off-topic on the one we discuss, while I'd vote on-topic on that one. What is the difference between these two? I would say that the latter address project problem while the former not really. I know, this is vague, but this is how I feel.

To summarize Pawel's stance, a question that is not a project management problem is not on-topic. Do you agree? If so, vote to close the question if you can. If you cannot vote to close, flag it as off-topic. If there is support for closing the question, know that it would have a home on another Stack Exchange site.

If it shouldn't be closed, and you have a good argument for keeping it here, please comment or answer here in meta.

3 Answers 3


I vote for of-topic. The situation described is one of a project manager, but the cause of the situation has nothing to do with project management, it's more careers, workplace or self management.

I'm pretty sure Stephen Covey (the 7 Habits of Higly effective people dude) would chime in in the same direction, and maybe even with the same (on the surface) harsh words like david did.


For me, it's off topic. Perfect for Workplace, and an easy candidate for migration.

  • Aww, I was hoping you'd click my chat link. That trick only works on the Electrical Engineering site apparently ;) Thanks for weighing in!
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 4:06
  • Sorry man. I thought I did click it, and was surprised to see myself land here. I'm at work at the moment - will play with that link later...
    – gef05
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 4:37
  • +1 for move to Workplace, which is by the way overrun by recruitment-related questions :( Definitely not a project problem. Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 7:22
  • 1
    @PawelBrodzinski Interrupting to say: I love seeing you at Workplace, and now that you have close vote privileges, please do exercise those on anything you see as dupes or not constructive, etc. We need more users like you with a keen eye (& the privileges to do something with it!)
    – jcmeloni
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 12:38

Sorry for my harsh words on this one. But I really thought a degree of directness was appropriate. There is always something off a bit when someone says I am having all these problems due to everyone else....

  • 1
    I read your amandment, I can only say: "Amen, brother." Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 11:15
  • You had 3 upvotes and 4 downvotes, which is perhaps the most controversial answer we've seen on PMSE. The point about HR's interpretation is totally valid, IMHO! :) If they googled this guy or gal and found the question even, that could be bad for the op...
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 14:49
  • 1
    I am getting even more negative votes since it migrated. Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 15:56
  • I saw that. Your answer actually got dumped on that site while they were in the middle of a "can't we be nice to the noobs" crisis, so they may make an example out of you :(. I upvoted, because people need to hear the truth, and sometimes there isn't a good way to sugar coat it without losing the point...
    – jmort253
    Commented Jul 26, 2012 at 0:54

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