How Making a Video Game About Your Life Can Get You Fired

#51 Posted by Deusoma (3031 posts) -
@Luck702 said:

As I can see it, this is all the loud mouth reporter's fault for disclosing his job in the god damn title.

Basically this. Now I feel kinda bad; I never actually played this, so when I heard he'd been fired, I assumed it was because he put his real name and the company he worked for in the actual game itself, so I've been going around thinking that he had it coming. I didn't realize it was one more example of a Typical Media Asshole screwing the poor dude over.
#52 Posted by Zeeco (107 posts) -

Dig deeper into Canada.

#53 Posted by Humanity (10038 posts) -

@Hailinel: He doesn't have to identify it, everything points to the fact that it's about his job and his employer. It's a mute point since the reporter ran the story and identified who he worked for and now that it was out there in the public it was an embarrassment so obviously they were going to take steps to make sure other people know not to act likewise. I mean thats how the adult world works pretty much.

#54 Posted by BisonHero (7021 posts) -

@eccentrix said:

Do they really think any confidential taxpayer information was compromised? That's silly.

Meh, it's the obvious public statement to make, because then taxpayers go "Yeah, fire the guy!" If she instead said "The Minister has asked the CRA to investigate urgently to ensure that he didn't reveal the work practices that FUCKING EVERYBODY EVER already knows call centers engage in", people probably would've been less sympathetic to the CRA. Sad but true.

#55 Posted by TyCobb (1978 posts) -

Sweet, you did write an article. This makes me proud to be a supporter of the site. Especially since it seems like you were already in the middle of writing it before I asked.

#56 Edited by jasondesante (604 posts) -

the game wasnt that fun, maybe they fired him because it said more about his opinion of his job than offer gameplay or a way for the player to discover something on their own. What do I know though.

#57 Posted by HellknightLeon (467 posts) -

Do you think the man has a legal case against the newspaper? I know it depends on what he told them and all that jazz but I know a few cases of a newspapers getting sued for this very thing. It did after all ruin his job and slander his name and without cause.(It seems)

#58 Posted by MattyFTM (14431 posts) -

Maybe I'm underestimating the number of votes it takes to get a game greenlit on Steam, but how crazy would it be if the publicity from this lead to the game getting on Steam? His sales would skyrocket again, and he'd probably be able to pursue a full-time career in indie game development.

Of course, that's probably really wishful thinking, but wouldn't it be great?

Moderator Online
#59 Posted by CrystaljDesign (156 posts) -

"The Minister has asked the CRA to investigate urgently to ensure no confidential taxpayer information was compromised."

So...he couldn't just play the game himself to find out? :-)

#60 Posted by Ali_D (129 posts) -

I worked at a call centre for 3 months and it was the worst experience I've had at a job. I wouldn't have minded going back to my shelf stacker job after that.

#61 Posted by Bunny_Fire (335 posts) -

well that is bad luck. But ultimately it is his own fault there is no one else to blame. Though i do hope it works out for him in the end.

#62 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@Humanity

@Hailinel: He doesn't have to identify it, everything points to the fact that it's about his job and his employer. It's a mute point since the reporter ran the story and identified who he worked for and now that it was out there in the public it was an embarrassment so obviously they were going to take steps to make sure other people know not to act likewise. I mean thats how the adult world works pretty much.

The article states that he wasn't ignorant of the risks. Of course he knows how the adult world works.
#63 Posted by Heimdal (58 posts) -
@Triumvir Agreed. It's a wicked strong reaction. They say they'll nvestigate no taxpayer information was compromised, but last time I looked, the government was the one losing private information.
#64 Posted by MildMolasses (3229 posts) -

@BisonHero: I goofed up. I was thinking Toronto Sun, which makes me all the more glad I didn't give my opinion on the paper, because I would have looked crazy

#65 Edited by GuardianKnux (261 posts) -

I cannot play this game because I was a telemarketer for a long time too. Or no, I'm sorry, I was a "sales agent." I guess I technically got fired, but actually I just took 3 weeks off with my vacation time and then just never came back. It was very satisfying.

I feel for you though.

#66 Posted by grimmspectre18 (70 posts) -

@YukoAsho: Not as a whole. The only people who could be offended are angry out of guilt because they see themselves in the shitty caller role.

#67 Posted by tragicallyept (2 posts) -

If anything, this is good publicity for the game and bad publicity for the CRA.

It is a shame this had to happen in such a public forum, but it's likely for the better.

Good luck David!

P.S. Patrick, digging the new 2013 feature-centric Scoops. It's all rounding out the site really well. Keep 'em coming!

#68 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3981 posts) -

God that title of the article they ran on him in the paper sure sucks. I know an editor probably wrote it and therefore it's aimed at getting attention, and thus the person who wrote the story didn't write it, but that is just a shitty spin to put on it.

Including "taxpayers" in there, so shitty, considering the game doesn't say you are working a at a tax center.

#69 Edited by Kosayn (453 posts) -

I did directory assistance for a little over a year, and whatever your persona is - smart aleck, polite, tough, cool, whatever - interacting with the lowest common denominator of society will wear anyone down. Quitting, getting fired, or getting promoted to management are the only good endings to that situation. It's kind of amazing that call centers can get employees, with so many better options out there.

As far as him getting fired, the law really doesn't come into it. That is the world we live in - unless you're really, really funny when you do it, you can bet that criticizing your employment situation in a venue where more than 100 people will hear about it is a fast track to getting fired. Hiring and firing is 90% of the actual important stuff an employer does, and they get very few decisions as easy to make as 'this person publically criticises the company.' Normally it's much more esoteric bullshit about productivity and social hierarchy.

And yes, the reporter should have known that as well, but either they didn't know or didn't care.

#70 Posted by videogamesarenotart (121 posts) -

When you are hired by a company you are expected to act and perform in a professional manner.

You are representing that company when you make comments like these or actually make a flash movie about how terrible it is to work there.

#71 Posted by granderojo (1792 posts) -

I've always had nothing about respect for our northern neighbors. I can't respect this.

#72 Posted by Phoenix87 (486 posts) -

If you work at a call center, then you have already lost. Getting fired is the best thing that could have happened.

#73 Edited by Jayzilla (2571 posts) -

Title of the this article should have been, "Toronto Reporter Actively Looks for way to Get Game Maker Fired."

#74 Posted by PulledaBrad (612 posts) -

Tax center huh? Try taking on 911 calls for 8 years. Or as I like to call it, the Ultimate Customer Service. Sorry to hear about the lost job,man. Hope things work out for the best. Also, is anyone else thinking of the Ministry of Magic now?

#75 Posted by Zvarri (123 posts) -

@PulledaBrad: Oh man, 911 is way more intense than anything I've ever experienced. I can't imagine the things you must have had to deal with.

#76 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

That's a shame, but not at all surprising

Online
#77 Posted by MildMolasses (3229 posts) -

@thabigred said:

I've always had nothing about respect for our northern neighbors. I can't respect this.

Except for the part where he is an employee of the federal government and he's bitching about his decent paying, tax-funded job with great benefits which involves interacting with tax-payers concerning taxation. He was "club-fed" employee. It takes remarkable skill to get fired from government agencies. Maybe if his frustrations could take a more artful turn into metaphor and allegory he wouldn't lose his job, but they didn't.

#78 Posted by AssInAss (2741 posts) -

"Similarities to real and actual events are intentional"

"We need your net income within 2 dollars"

Play this game, it's hilarious and disturbingly accurate about the call center experience on both ends. It's pretty hard NOT to get fired, which is oddly prophetic to what happened to the developer. Getting to the advanced security questions is not as easy as you think!

#79 Posted by KoolAid (1029 posts) -

Now I can feel like a hipster because I read his GB blog posts BEFORE the media explosion. Awesome!

Another example of how reporters are the scum of the earth. At least he's been getting a lot of attention because of the firing. I hope he lands on his feet and gets to start making games full-time soon.

#80 Posted by Levio (1786 posts) -

@PulledaBrad said:

Tax center huh? Try taking on 911 calls for 8 years. Or as I like to call it, the Ultimate Customer Service. Sorry to hear about the lost job,man. Hope things work out for the best. Also, is anyone else thinking of the Ministry of Magic now?

If you've got any interesting experiences to share, feel free to post them on the forums.

#81 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -

My perspective is that I learnt about this game a while ago, but decided not to play it because I rejected what I understood to be the central premise of the game. The idea that you cannot 'win' against the customer is a bit of a cynical, self-serving myth which I don't like to see propagated. In the end it tends to validate shitty customer service because, after all, nothing you do will ever satisfy those knuckle-dragging ordinary joes anyway, right?

I don't doubt you can wring some amusing, insightful material out of such a scenario if you write it from a detached standpoint. However if you're writing it from a semi-autobiographical angle and that's still the message you come out with, chances are you're just jaded with your job and you should probably seek other employment. I don't blame the Canadian civil service for the choice they've made - at the same time I'm confident Mr. Gallant will land on his feet due to the publicity this has generated.

#82 Posted by Error1355 (98 posts) -

I work for a call center for an ISP. I provide helpdesk support for internet and phone.

The job sucks ass. I am very interested in playing this game. I'll be paying over the $2 min for this game. <_<

#83 Posted by jmic75 (265 posts) -

Man create games about his experience in all call centres.

"Journalist" sensationalises by implying it is about specific government agency only and all tax paying Canadians.

Man gets fired, "journalist" pats self on back, never returns his phone calls.

#84 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -
@Laivasse You've obviously never worked in a call center and don't know what you're talking about.
#85 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

@Humanity said:

While it sucks that he lost his job and everything, but what did people expect would happen? Everyone is outraged and I don't know about Canada, but in the US if you badmouth your job in a public manner you are at a pretty high risk of losing that job. Especially big government jobs where the HR department doesn't mess around.

This.

I don't see why the employer is the bad guy here. Of course they're going to fire someone who goes around in public talking about how much he hates the job.

#86 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1702 posts) -

@Deusoma said:

@Luck702 said:

As I can see it, this is all the loud mouth reporter's fault for disclosing his job in the god damn title.

Basically this. Now I feel kinda bad; I never actually played this, so when I heard he'd been fired, I assumed it was because he put his real name and the company he worked for in the actual game itself, so I've been going around thinking that he had it coming. I didn't realize it was one more example of a Typical Media Asshole screwing the poor dude over.
#87 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
@Laivasse You've obviously never worked in a call center and don't know what you're talking about.
I worked for a while as a project manager, where my main responsibility was to be phone-answering-guy for various customers who were wondering why they had paid hundreds of thousands for a service which wasn't working/hadn't been delivered. You're obviously just seeking to dismiss anyone you disagree with and don't know what you're talking about.
#88 Posted by jmic75 (265 posts) -

@MildMolasses said:

@thabigred said:

I've always had nothing about respect for our northern neighbors. I can't respect this.

Except for the part where he is an employee of the federal government and he's bitching about his decent paying, tax-funded job with great benefits which involves interacting with tax-payers concerning taxation. He was "club-fed" employee. It takes remarkable skill to get fired from government agencies. Maybe if his frustrations could take a more artful turn into metaphor and allegory he wouldn't lose his job, but they didn't.

He did all this while off the job, was making commentary on all call centres jobs and did not at any point say it was about his current job nor did he even mention his current job. At what point is something like this infringing upon free speech? If I post on a social media site that I hate Mondays should I then be fired for implying that working at company X on Mondays suck? What difference does it make that he was a federal employee? Everyone bitches about their jobs at some point no matter what job you have.

#89 Posted by Nmckee503 (97 posts) -

@videogamesarenotart said:

When you are hired by a company you are expected to act and perform in a professional manner.

You are representing that company when you make comments like these or actually make a flash movie about how terrible it is to work there.

I get what you're saying, but he didn't make a game about how shitty working at the CRA is, he made a game about how shitty it is to work at a call centre. He never mentioned the company within the game from what I understand, and never mentioned that he worked at the CRA.

#90 Posted by jtrink (5 posts) -

Freedom of speech. Fuck that company!

#91 Posted by lazyturtle (1229 posts) -

@zeekthegeek said:

This government continues to be the worst in our history.

May I direct your attention southward for a few moments. DON'T EVEN THINK about going after our longstanding championship.

#92 Posted by Murdoc_ (443 posts) -

@lazyturtle: Keyword was "our". Canada is going through some bad times right now .

#93 Posted by satansmagichat (179 posts) -

You know Patrick, I like your stories, this one included, but I can't help feel confused.

With the title, "How Making a Video Game About Your Life Can Get You Fired", I expect it to be a story an underdog fighting the man, but I don't really see that here. After all, he had the kind of job where releasing peoples' personal and private information is a serious infringement. I'm sure he changed the names and everything, but I'm sure he expected to get fired, so I don't see that as being the crux of the story.

In fact, most of the story deals with how much exposure this has gotten Gallant. So shouldn't the title be something like, "Public Outpour of Attention Phenomenal for Terminated Call Center Employee"? It's a great story, hopefully seeing this guy's career shift into something more creative. But to be honest (and I hope I'm not sounding too much like a dick), the story came out a little muddled in the end.

Anyway, keep up the great work!

#94 Posted by Humanity (10038 posts) -
@Hailinel
@Humanity

@Hailinel: He doesn't have to identify it, everything points to the fact that it's about his job and his employer. It's a mute point since the reporter ran the story and identified who he worked for and now that it was out there in the public it was an embarrassment so obviously they were going to take steps to make sure other people know not to act likewise. I mean thats how the adult world works pretty much.

The article states that he wasn't ignorant of the risks. Of course he knows how the adult world works.
Yes, so this shouldn't be a shock to him or anyone else is all I'm saying.
#95 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

So the world continues to stay screwed up. =-/

#96 Posted by BisonHero (7021 posts) -

@MildMolasses said:

@BisonHero: I goofed up. I was thinking Toronto Sun, which makes me all the more glad I didn't give my opinion on the paper, because I would have looked crazy

Ah, fair enough. Your original post makes way more sense now.

#97 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

@Murdoc_ said:

@lazyturtle: Keyword was "our". Canada is going through some bad times right now .

Except you're wrong.

#98 Posted by clumsyninja1 (816 posts) -

Call center jobs are terrible!

#99 Posted by lazyturtle (1229 posts) -

@Murdoc_: Yea, I read that. I was pointing out that it could be FAR worse.

Terrible government...we're #1 and don't you forget it. USA! USA!

#100 Edited by CornBREDX (5965 posts) -

That sucks to hear he got fired. 
I have kind of been unintentionally following this game just because it keeps popping up on the few video game sites I peruse and he touched a niche it seems. 
 
I never expected the job I have (well, similar, I work in internet tech support) to be so interesting to other people and never considered something like this would get so much attention over a period of time. 
 
I don't know who's to blame in all this. I don't know David personally, he seems like a nice enough normal guy from the blogs he wrote before and when he released the game (on this site). I don't see how him making a game about how it's frustrating working in a call center makes him unprofessional. I didn't get the impression he mentioned who he worked for or where he worked. This seems like someone saw their name in the paper for a not positive reason and just fired him without actually seeing what all this was about. 
 
Hard to say. Could also be the reporters fault. Who writes an article about someone and doesn't think first about how it will affect that person? I mean, ya, the reporters doing their job but did the reporter have an agenda? Was the reporter trying to use David to make comments about the government? Or just take a look at the inherent problems with working in a call center that don't get addressed (ya the job is easy in practice, but working with a customer, having the customer understand you, follow directions, and not assume you're "being mean" when you're only trying to help is very hard.)?
 
Or is it David's fault? He must have known talking to press about your job directly or even indirectly is always against any places policies. In my job they make it very clear if you ever talk about the company in a bad way or in a way that can hurt the company or its affiliates you will be fired. Its very clear about that. But again, did he go into this interview with the intention of speaking bad about the place he worked? Or was it because he just wanted the publicity for his game (which doesn't have to do with the employer but more so with the type of customers you have to deal with and some people's inability to actually interact positively with other people when you are not face to face). 
 
I'm not going to blame anybody. I feel this is all a problem with call centers in general. We get treated like dirt and we have to deal with it. We get talked to like we're garbage, shit on, have to put up with racist comments, screaming, and other nonsense and at least where I work we can't do anything about it. We have to take it. We aren't even allowed to hang up. 
 
I don't blame customers for the difficulty of my job, I like my job as well as hate certain aspects of it, and I understand not everyone understands things that I do and that's why I am there. It's our job to help and everyone I know that works in this kind of job at least initially understands that and is attracted to that aspect. Much like torture, though, everyone that does the job eventually breaks.  
 
Wow this is long for comment. Those who actually read this are champs.

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