Recently, many posters have indicated that their Questions are "Urgent" or "Urgent, Help Immediately", or even an "Emergency". This frustrates the volunteers immensely. The volunteers do the best they can in the time they have available, and it is emotionally overloading to be asked to "jump" on to problems at the expense of their personal lives and other duties. It is also not fair to the other people asking questions when people try to push in to line ahead of them.
I, for one, am getting positively cranky about the constant demands for "urgent" help. I am overwhelmed by the "urgent" requests, and I am not being polite about them.
The below is a collection of some of the responses people have made on the topic of "urgent" or "emergency" questions:
1. compelling or requiring immediate action or attention; imperative; pressing: an urgent matter."
So basically you are saying that this is sufficiently important that I should cancel my appointment that I have been waiting a month for, and pay the $150 cancellation penalty, because it requires IMMEDIATE action? Is there an international crisis in automated ball detection in cricket that YOU personally were chosen to solve on a day's notice? Will there be riots in some countries if you are unable to solve it in time?
- Urgent is when the nuclear reactor containment system is about to collapse. Or when I've run out of chocolate.
- This is not a resource for HELP NEEDED URGENTLY. If you need help urgently, then you should be hiring a consultant, such as http://www.mathworks.com/services/consulting/
Note: I am not a consultant, and I am not employed or contracted by MathWorks or any related company or organization in any capacity.
Disclaimer: I did receive a baseball-style hat from MathWorks once.
- I like the questions with emergency, urgent and help as subjects. It makes me want to see how ridiculous the question is. It decreases the quality of my answer.
- Urgent matters like this should probably be raised as support cases.
- Urgency does not make the impossible possible.
- My parents told me when I was able to speak: "Never shout "help" if it is not urgent. Urgent means: The sox your are wearing are burning and severe harm is imminent. If you do not wear the sox currently, it is not urgent, such that there is enough time to shout "my sox are burning in the cupboard" instead of "help"."
- If your government has not asked the Canadian Embassy to contact me, then this isn't an emergency.
- If you post that something is an "emergency" then you should be able to document that there was a literal and immediate risk of loss of life, or at least of serious and literal risk of damage to health (e.g., a broken leg.) If emergency officials such as ambulance or fire department or police or doctors did not get involved, then it was probably NOT an emergency.
Every day, I receive numerous email messages marked as "Urgent". If you would like your Question to be treated with more respect than I treat these, then marking your posted question as "Urgent" is strongly advised against.
For example, the below message was quickly sent to the Great Recycle Bin In The Sky:
Hurry now and claim your fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria or your fund will be confiscated by the wicked officials of the CBN. [...