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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - Apocalypse

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


Apocalypse
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/apocalypse

You load sixteen tons…

Anonymous

There was this game company…..Ok, among the many things for which they were actually famous for, this little nugget never made it to the light of day. They had a sister studio in the UK from which they would recruit programmers. They’d offer moving costs, entry-level salary (which is OK because taxes are cheaper here, right?) and even find them an apartment walking distance from work. 

The recruits would be under strict instruction from the HR director when they came over to explain to Customs and Immigration that they were here on vacation so they could get hired without having to get in queue for an H1B1 visa.  They’d show up, “luck” into a job, and then the company had an immigration attorney that would handle getting them a work visa.

Only here’s the deal. Once you get one of those work visas, if you lose your job, it expires in 48 hours. If you quit or get fired, you have 2 days to find another job or you’re an illegal. And oddly enough, there was always some kind of delay with the lawyer if someone got too close to getting their green card.

So they would import these fresh-out-of school programmers, get them settled, and then stick them on projects that were mandatory 70 hours a week at least, and would have them by the balls until the project shipped or they got laid-off. One of those projects was on 7x10 for the entire 2 years that I worked there.

It almost backfired once when a new guy and his wife were on the way into the country. Their flight was delayed, the line at Customs was long; the wife got testy.  They got pulled out for additional scrutiny and the wife said, “Can we hurry this up?  He has to be at work on Monday.” They got sent back to the UK that night, on their own dime, barred from re-entering the country for a while, and no job waiting back at home. Nothing happened to the Company.

I regret I never figured out a way to nark on the HR director without hurting the genuinely sweet bunch of guys that they dragged over here and burned out.


Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Rollbacks are awful. So is this story. :(

    RMS Oceanic on
  • joeuser14joeuser14 Registered User
    edited April 2012
    Geth wrote:
    I regret I never figured out a way to nark on the HR director without hurting the genuinely sweet bunch of guys that they dragged over here and burned out.

    This is exactly why a whole industry can continue to exploit it's employees. If you don't stand up to business jerks exploiting people no-one else is going to.

    joeuser14 on
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    joeuser14 wrote: »
    Geth wrote:
    I regret I never figured out a way to nark on the HR director without hurting the genuinely sweet bunch of guys that they dragged over here and burned out.

    This is exactly why a whole industry can continue to exploit it's employees. If you don't stand up to business jerks exploiting people no-one else is going to.

    I don't think it's that he didn't want to stand-up to them, it's the question of how.
    If you have no direct evidence, or worse yet there is no solid evidence, all you're going to do is get yourself and anyone who stood by you fired.

    But yeah, the story kinda sounds superficially similar to a human trafficking ring.

    Question though. The people are submitting the story anonymously, so why are the company names left out? Are Mike, Jerry, and Scott intentionally asking for person and company names to be left out?
    Edit: Just checked, yup.

  • Take0utTake0ut Registered User
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    joeuser14 wrote: »
    Geth wrote:
    I regret I never figured out a way to nark on the HR director without hurting the genuinely sweet bunch of guys that they dragged over here and burned out.

    This is exactly why a whole industry can continue to exploit it's employees. If you don't stand up to business jerks exploiting people no-one else is going to.

    I don't think it's that he didn't want to stand-up to them, it's the question of how.
    If you have no direct evidence, or worse yet there is no solid evidence, all you're going to do is get yourself and anyone who stood by you fired.

    But yeah, the story kinda sounds superficially similar to a human trafficking ring.

    Question though. The people are submitting the story anonymously, so why are the company names left out? Are Mike, Jerry, and Scott intentionally asking for person and company names to be left out?
    Edit: Just checked, yup.

    It's to avoid unwanted lawsuits. I'm pretty sure the guys want to keep the website more under entertainment than journalism; since they don't fact check, they just ask submitters to leave out company names to avoid getting dragged to court for making defamatory statements by the big bad studios.

  • fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    I love how US immigration laws make it easier for immigrant labor to be exploited.

    Nobody makes me bleed my own blood...nobody.
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  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    joeuser14 wrote: »
    Geth wrote:
    I regret I never figured out a way to nark on the HR director without hurting the genuinely sweet bunch of guys that they dragged over here and burned out.

    This is exactly why a whole industry can continue to exploit it's employees. If you don't stand up to business jerks exploiting people no-one else is going to.

    I don't think it's that he didn't want to stand-up to them, it's the question of how.
    If you have no direct evidence, or worse yet there is no solid evidence, all you're going to do is get yourself and anyone who stood by you fired.

    The government can get the evidence if someone tells them where to look. I'm pretty sure the people at ICE are intelligent enough to think "Huh, all of your foreign employees showed up in our country on tourist visas and you just happened to hire them on the first day of their vacations."

    It sounds like the only thing stopping the submitter from reporting it is that he didn't want all of those people to lose their jobs and be kicked out of the country.

  • MaddocMaddoc I'm Bobbin Threadbare, are you my mother? Registered User regular
    This comic has confused me slightly, I mean I know these threads tend to be 90% about the (frequently bullshit) story, but bear with me.

    Is this the sort of work testers do on an MMO after it launches? It seems more like they're still talking about game testing in the stories, but the comic has veered off into an office comedy about MMO devs or something.

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  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    But yeah, the story kinda sounds superficially similar to a human trafficking ring.

    In all honesty, the only difference is that the company dumps them to die in the streets instead of shoots them outright in the back alley and harvest their organs for the black market (don't worry, I'm certain given sufficient time corporate American will find a way to legalize that as well).

  • aceupmysleeveaceupmysleeve Registered User
    The noses still weird me out.
    vDuoI.png

  • CambiataCambiata I'm an alchemist and the beat is my base metal Registered User regular
    I don't know anything about how the games industry works, really... but wouldn't it ever happen that the QA for the game before launch became the QA for the game after launch?

    Also, FYI, it looks like the Jerry & Mike version of PVP started on Monday. Kinda wish they'd post the comics in the PA hub, but I guess that's a little outside the lines.

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I don't know anything about how the games industry works, really... but wouldn't it ever happen that the QA for the game before launch became the QA for the game after launch?

    Also, FYI, it looks like the Jerry & Mike version of PVP started on Monday. Kinda wish they'd post the comics in the PA hub, but I guess that's a little outside the lines.

    It certainly seems easier than firing everyone and hiring a bunch of brand new people who know nothing about the game.

  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    I love how US immigration laws make it easier for immigrant labor to be exploited.

    There's nothing particular to the US here. This stuff is pretty typical the world over.

    steam_sig.png
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    But yeah, the story kinda sounds superficially similar to a human trafficking ring.

    In all honesty, the only difference is that the company dumps them to die in the streets instead of shoots them outright in the back alley and harvest their organs for the black market (don't worry, I'm certain given sufficient time corporate American will find a way to legalize that as well).

    Human traffickers wouldn't let you bring your family with you either, and as bad as the situation probably is for those stuck coders, it's still probably better than real sweatshop work.

  • Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I don't know anything about how the games industry works, really... but wouldn't it ever happen that the QA for the game before launch became the QA for the game after launch?

    Normally they do because the patches will need to tested. In a small company it makes sense to use the same people.

    bookbanner.jpg
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Mc zany wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    I don't know anything about how the games industry works, really... but wouldn't it ever happen that the QA for the game before launch became the QA for the game after launch?

    Normally they do because the patches will need to tested. In a small company it makes sense to use the same people.
    Well now it seems like the testers are somehow the live development team, since they're talking about how they're going to fix things and all that.

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  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    Perhaps the standard would be to keep them on QA and have a separate team of proper developers to attack the bugs, but the publisher (or whatever) asked Bean Boss if he had anyone who could do the dev work and he said "I have just the people."

  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    A rollback has nothing to do with development or being developers: it's a database operation. Also as a QA group all they can probably do is merely recommend to the higher ups that a rollback needs to occur since the damage is too widespread and that banning everyone who's exploited it would amount to banning over half the playerbase.

    Opty on
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Opty wrote: »
    A rollback has nothing to do with development or being developers: it's a database operation.
    Duh, but I'm not talking about the operation. I'm talking about the decision to go through with it. Notice the dialog in the first panel:

    "So, we fix all the nodes, right?"

    See also:

    Congregation ("... I agree. We should fix this node.")

    Patch 5.4 wrote:
    First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).
    Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).
    YES! I AM INVINCIBLE!
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