It happens again and again. No matter how crystal-clear I am, explicitly mentioning things, the answers/comments will clearly show that the person typing them did not read the question. They either ignore established facts, or just give a nonsensical answer which is completely useless as I asked about something different.

Look at the answers here: Given this structure, how would I calculate the average cost of blueberries *per month*, based on the last three months?

Neither appears to address my question. They just answer some other question that they made up in their own heads, apparently.

I asked it even more clearly here, but there's just no interest in answering it: How would I calculate the average cost of blueberries *per month*, based on the last quarter, using this log table?

It's extremely difficult to stay calm when what you type never is read, yet I'm expected to be grateful for any response.

I don't know what to do now. It seems like the same few people always respond on this site, and upvote each other, but I'm sitting here still with the problem unsolved because the "answers" don't address the question. I have no idea why they spend their time and energy to type answers when they clearly have not read the question. I'm going out of my mind trying to understand why somebody would do this.

Why do they not read the question before answering? Why do people upvote answers which don't answer the question?

  • 5
    It might be extremely difficult for them to stay calm either when they ask you clarification questions, in comments under your answer and you don't reply ;) Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 1:32
  • 2
    You didn't respond to requests for information, so how can people answer! I've answered 4 possible ways of interpreting your question and left you with more than enough to answer (what I think is) the only other possible interpretation of price and average in the context given! People here genuinely want to help - that's why we're here. That's why we ask for clarification - what, exactly you mean by average and price - the terms are ambiguous. That's also why they point out potential problems like calling a field (timestamp -SQL keyword) - experience counts for something!
    – Vérace
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 2:24
  • 2
    "no interest in answering it" Everyone here is a volunteer. No one (as far as I know) gets any consideration from Stackexchange. We all have jobs, lives, families. There is no obligation on anyone to answer anything. Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 2:57
  • "because the "answers" don't address the question" - did it never occur to you that this might be a problem with your questions?
    – user1822
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 13:20

3 Answers 3


Try to gain a broader view, step into the other person's shoes and be aware of your own blind spot.

You are asking questions that are not entirely clear to the reader. There is a chance that they are not entirely clear in your head too - that is alright; if everything were clear to you, you probably wouldn't be asking.

Some people just ignore your question if it is not totally clear what you want, some ask for clarifications, some try to answer what they believe you might have meant to ask.

Now which of those people mean well with you? I would say the second and the third category. What do they gain from doing what they do? Perhaps a few "reputation points", which are of no value in real life, perhaps the satisfaction of helping someone else. Certainly there also trolls and people who are out to show their superiority, but what do you expect if you are dealing with people?

You have to be ready to help people help you.

To get more specific: I answered one of your questions. Does that answer strike you as hostile or condescending? Then ignore, flag or downvote it. Or does it show that I didn't understand your question? Then write a comment to my answer, explaining that or asking for clarification yourself.

You have no claim to get a satisfying answer here. There are people who try, but often, if a question is not answered, that is because it is unanswerable the way it is written. If you use a free service for your questions, you'll have to make do with what you get. Don't forget that there are other options: you could invest money to get SQL training or hire a consultant. But they are going to ask you for clarification of your questions too.


I think the answer by Vérace clearly outlines a few different ways the question could be interpreted, and that user even went so far as to provide an answer for each of the scenarios he could think of.

  • price per gramme MARK I - how much you paid per gramme per month if the price was for the ORDER in total!

  • price per gramme MARK II - how much was paid per gramme per month IF the price was per gramme!

  • total payments - How much was paid per month IF the price was per gramme!

  • Average paid per order per month IF the price is for the order overall

It took 6 hours for that user to respond after the question was posted, and the user has gone through the trouble of indicating ways the question could be interpreted and on top of that provided answers for any of those ways.
I don't think that's bad for a free service.


I read your original question, and was trying to come up with an answer. But I was confused about exactly what you were trying to compute, and it sounded like you were confused as well. Were you trying to compute the average cost per gram over the three month time window you selected?

You gave some sample code, but you didn't tell us what result that code delivered. Was that answer right or wrong? If that answer was wrong, what would have been the right answer?

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