|This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
- Please feel free to collaborate in expanding and refining this essay, with no qualms in vicious editing.
According to Wikipedia: A jobsworth is a person who uses his or her job description in a deliberately obstructive way, "a minor factotum whose only status comes from enforcing otherwise petty regulations". The term comes from the phrase "I can't do that, it's more than my job's worth." ... The term remains current, particularly in the UK, to characterise officious and inflexible employees, petty rule following and excessive administration.
There are many opportunities for jobsworthing in any collaborative project. Very often a loose consensus or generalised guideline can all too easily become a Cause célèbre, and what was intended to remove a distraction or other phenomenon unconducive to encyclopedia building can instead become an attention "black-hole", and sink disproportionate amounts of editor time in its enforcement and subsequent controversy. Anyone who considers this to be exaggerated danger need only remind themself of The Great Userbox Debacle to realise how debilitating such distractions can become.
What is asked then is that when interacting with other editors the following be considered: is the time and effort of two or more people disputing previous edits likely to improve the net utility of the encyclopedia more than their individual additional contributions? If, after honestly asking this question, it is still believed that Wikipedia can be made more useful by opposing the efforts of others than by pursuing one's own, then by all means oppose. However, if all parties' labours are otherwise of better end-user value, then please: let it be.
It must be noted, however, that this is not to be used as a shield to defend sloppy editing or harmful content. If someone reacts to a contribution, the contributor should no less than ever assume good faith on the part of the objecting party. Some things require fixing and some actions need correcting, but not at the expense of more constructive work.