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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - Agamic

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Super Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited July 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Agamic


Agamic
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/agamous

The tower of Babel

Anonymous

I entered the world of QA the same way most people do. Wide eyed and bushy tailed. However, it became apparent to me the moment I began training in this shiny magical world that every gamer dreams of, that I had quit my job based on a gamble.

Under the impression that I would have a full time position, I was informed that I was “freelancer” and would gain work on a day to day basis and if not, would be on call until work became available.

I was mortified.

The worst were the ‘cafeteria shifts’. When work began to peter off, or a publisher pulled funding for a project, consistent QA shifts would become scarce, forcing many into employment insurance if they could get it (most couldn’t) You would come in each day and wait with a dozen or so other people in the cafeteria, all of which were competing against you. If you could put up with that, pitted against your peers for a day’s pay, there was a chance a spot would open. That was if you were popular enough with the lead of that project.

I survived four months on my final project in a tiny room of a sweat shop. I passed into the bowels of that company like a prisoner, where I was forced to compete with my peers for a high bug count so that I would have work the next day. I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and some of you reading this know where I speak of.

Montreal, where QA is exploited and abused and grossly underpaid.


Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Never thought I'd hear the question "are you packin'?" used that way. :P

  • FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    The Trenches has been getting a lot better lately. This one made me laugh for sure.

    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Also I think my brother fell into a similar trap as described in the story: He applied for a job at an EA Call Centre, was put on the reserve list, and later offered a job described as permanent. When he turned up, he found out there was a "mistake" in his offer and that it was really "temporary with an eye to getting a permanent contract". Then the company got bought out and those last eight words were excised. He's been there nine months and apparently the law here says they're meant to now tell him whether they're giving him a permanent job, outlining how much longer the temp thing will last or just let him go. They have yet to do any of these. :/

  • ZythonZython Registered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Comic thoughts:

    D:

    Tale thoughts:

    D:

    Edit: Emoticon thoughts:

    D:

    Zython on
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  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    Never thought I'd hear the question "are you packin'?" used that way. :P

    Henchman 21 used it that way in Venture Bros. This is a great strip. :^:

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  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
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    No wait this is my favourite

    If you'd like an anime thread, please PM me to discuss it. Include pics/video of your favorites.
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  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    The amount of affection Tube shows a comic is directly proportional to how much of its content revolves around bunnies.

  • Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola Registered User regular
    Seriously, why oh why would anyone, ANYONE, want to remain as a QA tester for a gaming company. We all live and love gaming (otherwise why would we be here?) but for the love of the Old Ones I cannot fathom why anyone would want to stick around at these places. Lack of jobs elsewhere? Well it's not as if the Anonymous in the story seemed to be working anyway. Even a cleaner would probably get better respect.

    I'm not sure what the situation is like over here in the UK, but the labour laws are pretty tight regardless. That may very well help explain why the successful devs keep going over here (ie Creative Assembly, who I hear treat their teams well), compared to the ones who moan about tax relief and go under (normally the ones directly associated with the big pubs). A bit of a generalisation I know, but it might be correct.



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    I do wonder how long ago the story was for him to think QA was some shining dream. I'd hope by now everyone's figured it out.

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah Registered User regular
    Every comic with Toots has been gold. Moar rabbit goodness please.

  • AthenorAthenor Registered User regular
    Scooter wrote: »
    I do wonder how long ago the story was for him to think QA was some shining dream. I'd hope by now everyone's figured it out.

    I highly doubt it. Ever been to websites where Full Sail or other gaming colleges advertise? Ever see how much they make the effort look like playing games and having fun? Or hell, remember being a teenager and thinking how fun it would be to keep making games? Just pure statistical population growth causes more and more people to enter the industry every few months, letting people churn through like a mill. Part of the very point of The Trenches is to shine light on the worst of the testing industry, in the hopes that it will change things. Unfortunately, it likely won't. Not as long as there are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, naive kids coming into the industry, or people desperate for jobs. The power is in the hands of the developers/publishers (especially the publishers), and a precious few actually care about ethics when it comes to turning a profit. Hell, I'm willing to bet there are good people in even the shittiest of companies.. But looking at the Trenches stories, it's fairly obvious that many companies isolate testers as if they were deniable assets, trying to keep what they do separated from the developers so that they won't feel so bad about their plight.

    ... It's all gotta start from the top, and what kind of company a person or board wants to run. Sadly, shareholders are the top of many companies, and they don't give a damn about the company as long as they get their money.

    fCew0YJ.jpg
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  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    7 words:"tighten up the graphics on level 3"

    Also is this going to be some sort of life journey where he bonds with toot's for the next 3 comics and learns a little bit about himself along the way that is relevant to his situation with Cora? And also mangles some rabbit junk.

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  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited July 2012
    Am I the only one who thinks that if Isaac tries to neuter Mr. Toots that it wouldn't be the rabbit losing his bits?

    Also nooooo Canada. You aren't allowed to treat people like crap that way :(

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    mrpaku wrote: »
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  • fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    Well, if this strip does change anything, it will be people leaving successful, career-path jobs to go be QA testers because they've been fed a bunch of lies by the industry. I mean, shitty jobs are shitty, but there's a place for shitty jobs in the world, like when you're just starting off in life. Or you're a teenager/college student on summer vacation. Or if you're just a grade-A fuckup who never got his act together, and the only way for you to get back into the employment pool and demonstrate to future employers that, yes, you've finally learned to show up on time, to stop getting high on your lunch break, and to what you're told is to work a really shitty job for a while.

    So hopefully people will learn that shitty jobs in sexy industries are still shitty jobs, and you shouldn't reject a good job in a boring industry to get one.

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  • realisticradicalrealisticradical Durham, NCRegistered User regular
    It almost seems like they're writing trenches by reading the forums. Either everyone here is really good at guessing what will happen next or they pick a few ideas from here for the next strip.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    The job in the story sounds like a day laborer; hanging around the employment office hoping someone shows up and asks you to scrape the paint off the bottom of a boat for $20.

    Personally, I think I'd prefer the boat.

    Automata-Sg.png
  • AthenorAthenor Registered User regular
    It almost seems like they're writing trenches by reading the forums. Either everyone here is really good at guessing what will happen next or they pick a few ideas from here for the next strip.

    I believe they write all the stories in advance.

    Well, if this strip does change anything, it will be people leaving successful, career-path jobs to go be QA testers because they've been fed a bunch of lies by the industry. I mean, shitty jobs are shitty, but there's a place for shitty jobs in the world, like when you're just starting off in life. Or you're a teenager/college student on summer vacation. Or if you're just a grade-A fuckup who never got his act together, and the only way for you to get back into the employment pool and demonstrate to future employers that, yes, you've finally learned to show up on time, to stop getting high on your lunch break, and to what you're told is to work a really shitty job for a while.

    So hopefully people will learn that shitty jobs in sexy industries are still shitty jobs, and you shouldn't reject a good job in a boring industry to get one.

    There are shitty jobs, and then there are jobs that are abusive for various reasons. Many of the trenches stories sound like they fall into the latter category. I know they are likely outliers, but even the mild stories have things that I wouldn't put up with just to get my foot in an imaginary door -- Not without massive compensation.

    Just because someone is new and inexperienced doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage of them.

    fCew0YJ.jpg
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    It almost seems like they're writing trenches by reading the forums. Either everyone here is really good at guessing what will happen next or they pick a few ideas from here for the next strip.

    I think it's just really predictable. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the journey is still fun.

  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Lol, dude writes the name of the company in the story's title. Real subtle...
    I've never worked there but have a few friends who did. Only heard terrible things about how they treat their employees.

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  • ninja.icebergninja.iceberg Registered User regular
    I currently work at a huge gaming company in QA. I can say that it's honestly not that bad. Though, the way this company use to run QA, anything is a step up. And I do hope people realize that QA sucks. I tell people I play games all day everyday, just so I don't have to go into a lengthy discussion of why it blows. And honestly, I'd rather do this than work in sales.

  • mnihilmnihil Registered User regular
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Lol, dude writes the name of the company in the story's title. Real subtle...
    I've never worked there but have a few friends who did. Only heard terrible things about how they treat their employees.
    What are you talking about? That is clearly a Bible reference.
    Seriously, though: I hadn't heard of the company before. Apparently, they are facilitating QA, not working as a game developer with a QA department, and I think that's just bound to be worse. They have to take part of the already small QA pay check to pay for their own operating budget and are dependent on incoming work from other developers. It's a ridiculous business idea.
    I currently work at a huge gaming company in QA. I can say that it's honestly not that bad. Though, the way this company use to run QA, anything is a step up. And I do hope people realize that QA sucks. I tell people I play games all day everyday, just so I don't have to go into a lengthy discussion of why it blows. And honestly, I'd rather do this than work in sales.
    To be honest, that sounds a bit as though you were convincing yourself.
    Though I believe that QA can be an okay job. First of all, depending on the company one is doing QA for, there are probably much worse jobs out there, and secondly, the game industry is changing, however slowly. Maybe there'll even be a unionized model (whatever the implications). So perhaps there will be a reward for sticking it out. One could also always get promoted.

  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    I spent about fifteen years in the industry and I started off in, as they say here, The Trenches. Working hard, taking initiative, making good calls - it got me more responsibility and more responsibility made me more visible. More visibility wound up in me getting a job offer from a Developer and the start of my time as a Game Designer.

    Mind you, once I got over my probationary period I had a permanent position. I'm not sure if even I could have handled the bullshit that this strip's story talks about. Last place I worked we had more testers on our books than we often needed and so our testers were temporary, but at least we scheduled who we needed in advance and let them know a week or so in advance when they were working.

  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    So he's going to be 'cruel' to Toots merely on account of him smelling...then Toots stops being an effective testing tool as he lose all the mood.
    Heh.

    Eitherway, I sneered. But for a moment there, my mortified pelvis muscles clenched in sympathy.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Next Trenches: Isaac is back at his computer, face and clothes shredded, Toots is munching on a carrot, unfazed. Possibly bloodstains on the walls.
    Google search: How do I reattach my own testicles?

    As cute as they are, bunnies can be friggin brutal if you mishandle them.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • JucJuc Registered User
    Bunnies are brutal even if you don't mishandle them.
    Some times I find it hard to believe that a lot of people just don't know that cute doesn't mean harmless, which is why I shake my head when I go past tourists trying to feed big horned sheep, moose, or even bears.

  • Sgt.Big_BubbaloolaSgt.Big_Bubbaloola Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    As cute as they are, bunnies can be friggin brutal if you mishandle them.

    Agreed, I still have multiple scars from our menopausal bitch of a rabbit. Fine with the kids, but I go anywhere near her and she turns into the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog! Still got my testicles though.



    Well gosh, I suppose I might as well settle in for a nice cuppa ...... this is gonna be good!
  • ArakonArakon Registered User regular
    I work in a european QA company that went all the way from "Don't feed the testers, they swing from the ceilings and throw poo at real human beings" to "We're all equal".. well, some more equal than others, of course, but things actually improved greatly.. people are only ever fired if they mess up bad (as in, being repeatedly late, stealing, etc). If you work in a company like that, the job is stressful, but actually enjoyable.

  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I'm pretty sure I worked at the same place as this person, albeit a number of years ago. They hadn't gotten to the point of "cafeteria shifts", but they did have a nasty habit of drastically over-hiring. When contracts either didn't pan out or didn't take as long as expected (which happened constantly), a few dozen people would get invited to attend a "meeting" where they would all be laid off at once. I survived the first two passes but got cut in the third wave. Unlike the first groups (who were shown the door immediately) ours was given a week's notice before the locks were changed.

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  • Erich ZahnErich Zahn Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Athenor wrote: »
    The power is in the hands of the developers/publishers (especially the publishers), and only a precious few actually care about ethics when it comes to turning a profit.

    Most of them don't actually care about making money, that gets in the way of their being petty dictators.

    Erich Zahn on
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