Some colleagues from other teams often message me with some zero-effort questions. These questions are all related to the tools I'm working with, but the answers could be found in Google or by reading documentation. In a lot of cases they just ask me to help them to debug their applications.
To me it looks like the colleagues put literally no effort at all into trying to solve their issues themselves. Sometimes I reference some documentation, colleagues claim that they did everything as described there and it still doesn't work, and later it turns out that they didn't even read it. In addition, they seem to be terribly underqualified for their jobs (e.g. a Java developer asking me how to print a string in Java).
Answering these low effort questions and fixing issues for other people takes a significant amount of my time. So I discussed the situation with my manager. The manager said that I should stop helping them and that it's not my responsibility to do so, and that he is afraid I won't be able to do my main tasks well if it continues like that.
However, I don't know how to tell my colleagues that I won't be helping them anymore. I can't just ignore them, and I don't know how I could politely say: "Please put at least some effort into reading the documentation and googling errors, I can't do your job for you".
How can I phrase this politely?
Upd.: There is a similar question with many good answers (How to politely ask a coworker to “Google it”), but my situation is a bit different:
- Them not using Google first is only a part of the bigger problem: they generally expect me to spend hours helping them just because I can.
- These colleagues are not from my team (I have never even met them), so I'm not paid for helping them and I don't directly benefit from their tasks being done. They have their own teams to ask for help.