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Trenches Comic: Thurs. August 25, 2011

BogeyBogey I'm back, baby!Santa Monica, CAModerator mod
edited August 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
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Secrets.

08/25/2011 - Anonymous

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of doing some temp work for a firm that contracted out to a pretty big game developer. The testing staff was us contractors and maybe five, six full-time employees- that way the company didn’t have to pay a large testing staff if they didn’t need to.

About two weeks into my assignment, I learned just how draconian NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) can be.

I had gotten to know some of the other employees pretty well- including a soft spoken girl named Annie who sat in the cube next to mine. Like all of us there, she was really excited about working at this particular company. On this particular day, we had been working on an RPG, and all of us had been stumped by a specific puzzle in the game.

We had just come back from lunch and were settling back into our cubicles, when suddenly, Brian, our main testing supervisor, steps into our row accompanied by a pair of the largest men I had ever seen. They were security guards- the ones that I usually saw in the mornings as I walked in the door. Quietly I noticed him tap on Annie’s shoulder. She looked up and took off her headphones.

“Hey, Annie?” Bill quietly muttered.
“Hey, what can I do for you?” she asked.
“Uh, there’s a problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, here’s the the thing. You violated your confidentiality agreement. You’ll need to vacate the building immediately.”
“Wait, what? I… what are you talking about?”
“At lunch today you were discussing aspects of one of the games you were testing to another employee. Annie, I-”
“I am so sorry, I had no idea that I wasn’t allowed to-”
“You need to leave the building. Now.”

The girl was led out of the building by the guards in tears, and the rest of us just sat there, mouths agape.

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Posts

  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Assholes gonna be assholes. Shitty reason to lose a job.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    cora anders got some stretch armstrong hands

    faits.png
  • BucketmanBucketman Call me SkraggRegistered User regular
    Companies suck and fire people for stupid things. More at 11. I love the comic, and I enjoy getting insight into what its like to be a tester, but I am getting hells of depressed by some of these.

  • MaigaardMaigaard Registered User regular
    These stories are awesome! I just wish they were longer and more frequent!

  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    Does Bill's name switch to Brian?

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    bill is techincally his LARP character

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  • webofinkwebofink Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    That supervisor Brad sounds like a real jerk. Seriously, if I had to work for someone like this Bob character, I don't know what I'd do. Probably say something like "Look here, Ben, you can't treat people like this, you're a mean person!" and then storm out. Bert.

    webofink on
    It's dead, Jim.
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    That story is not very well told. Did Annie talk about the puzzle to her other testing coleagues? Were they present? Did she talk about it to people OUTSIDE the QA team?

    Yeah, the company was a jerk, sure, no question here.

    Oh, and yeah, Bart is a jerk too.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited August 2011
    help me out for a second - what is the connection of this comic and PA

    e: ah Mike and Jerry are in on this, nm

    Alfred J. Kwak on
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Remind me to never get a job in America. Ever. Your labour law is the poops.

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  • NoisymunkNoisymunk Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Remind me to never get a job in America. Ever. Your labour law is the poops.

    Non-Disclosure Agreements do not go hand in hand with Labor Law.


    I like this strip, some good Ol' fashioned favoritism.

    Noisymunk on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    This was less directed at this story in particular (where for all we know she did indeed break her contract) but my discovery of the trenches tales so far. And other crappy work tales I have read on this forum. Also lazy generalising and a touch of xenophobia.

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  • kingworkskingworks Registered User regular
    Trenches justifies my feelings of contempt for large American business entities, gaming or no.

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Oh no Annie. D:

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    Also 'once more onto the beach'.. I know that's got to be intentional, but damn.

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  • JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    darleysam wrote:
    Also 'once more onto the beach'.. I know that's got to be intentional, but damn.

    Yeah I had to read it twice to catch that. Pretty great.

    Steam | SW-0844-0908-6004 and my Switch code
  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    That story reminds me of when I got a job in a bank. There was six weeks of training and it wasn't until the beginning of the fifth week that we were told our job roles - essentially call centre staff. In the middle of this particular day our trainer was going over how overdraft charges worked and this particular bank has very, very strict overdraft charges whereby you are essentially charged once for going overdrawn, and then charged for being charged.

    Two guys sucked in through in their teeth after hearing it, and one girl said "ouch, that's harsh". The other ten or so of us stayed quiet.

    Our trainer left the room, came back with two security guards and pointed the three of them out, who were then escorted out of the building and never seen again.

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  • darleysamdarleysam UKRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    That story reminds me of when I got a job in a bank. There was six weeks of training and it wasn't until the beginning of the fifth week that we were told our job roles - essentially call centre staff. In the middle of this particular day our trainer was going over how overdraft charges worked and this particular bank has very, very strict overdraft charges whereby you are essentially charged once for going overdrawn, and then charged for being charged.

    Two guys sucked in through in their teeth after hearing it, and one girl said "ouch, that's harsh". The other ten or so of us stayed quiet.

    Our trainer left the room, came back with two security guards and pointed the three of them out, who were then escorted out of the building and never seen again.

    Ouch, that's hars a sound and ethical piece of business. Those upstarts had no future in the world of banking.

    darleysam on
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  • faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    annie, are you ok?
    are you ok annie?

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  • FramlingFramling Registered User regular
    Is this the first story that doesn't end with "And then I got fired"?

    you're = you are
    your = belonging to you

    their = belonging to them
    there = not here
    they're = they are
  • EndEnd Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Framling wrote: »
    Is this the first story that doesn't end with "And then I got fired"?

    I don't think the “Aren’t we cancelled?” guy got fired

    ...right away anyway...

    End on
    I wish that someway, somehow, that I could save every one of us
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  • FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    kingworks wrote:
    Trenches justifies my feelings of contempt for large American business entities, gaming or no.

    What companies can do also depends on the state you work in. A lot of these these stories' outcomes would be highly contestable in California for example. Conversely companies in Texas can fire you without giving any reason at all, because it is a "right to work" state.

    Fandeathis on
    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
  • StaleStale Registered User regular
    She probably talked with an employee of the firm, but not an employee ON THE TEAM. That was her breach.

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  • FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    Stale wrote:
    She probably talked with an employee of the firm, but not an employee ON THE TEAM. That was her breach.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is what must have happened.

    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Fandeathis wrote:
    Stale wrote:
    She probably talked with an employee of the firm, but not an employee ON THE TEAM. That was her breach.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is what must have happened.

    This isn't exactly a horror story. This is pretty standard for software development. Maybe the company was bad at training the team on their NDA's, but there are all sorts of jobs where you can get fired for discussing what you're working on with coworkers.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Goose!Goose! That's me, honey Show me the way home, honeyRegistered User regular
    JayKaos wrote:
    darleysam wrote:
    Also 'once more onto the beach'.. I know that's got to be intentional, but damn.

    Yeah I had to read it twice to catch that. Pretty great.
    ?

    Nintendo Switch FC: SW-5618-5257-5789 | Amazon Smile List
  • TyberiusTyberius Registered User regular
    faits wrote:
    Henroid wrote:
    annie, are you ok?
    are you ok annie?
    That made my morning. :D

  • RaakamRaakam Too many years... CanadalandRegistered User regular
    Goose! wrote:
    JayKaos wrote:
    darleysam wrote:
    Also 'once more onto the beach'.. I know that's got to be intentional, but damn.

    Yeah I had to read it twice to catch that. Pretty great.
    ?

    "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more" from Henry V

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/269700.html

    My padherder
    they don't it be like it is but it do
  • kingworkskingworks Registered User regular
    beach ~> breach -> fissure -> abyss

    "When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you."
    Nietzsche

  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    It's making fun of the boss for messing up the quote.

    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

    Steam: Chagrin LoL: Bonhomie
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Of course in any sensible country if she hadn't had the terms of the NDA properly explained to her she would still have grounds to contest unfair dismissal.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    Fandeathis wrote:
    Stale wrote:
    She probably talked with an employee of the firm, but not an employee ON THE TEAM. That was her breach.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is what must have happened.

    This isn't exactly a horror story. This is pretty standard for software development. Maybe the company was bad at training the team on their NDA's, but there are all sorts of jobs where you can get fired for discussing what you're working on with coworkers.

    It's still a horror story. It just happens to occur all the damn time.

  • PwnanObrienPwnanObrien He's right, life sucks. Registered User regular
    Goddamn.

    Bort is an asshole.

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  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    kingworks wrote:
    beach ~> breach -> fissure -> abyss

    "When you stare onto the beach the beach stares back at you."
    Nietzsche

    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Of course in any sensible country if she hadn't had the terms of the NDA properly explained to her she would still have grounds to contest unfair dismissal.

    Except you have to sign an NDA or an employer agreement. Which is on paper. That she could read. She also could of clarified if she was confused. Also if she was in public with a coworker discussing the work, that's a big nono because the public could hear and have inside information on the company. There was a case where I worked where two employee's had a discussion in a restaurant with each other about a client. Turned out the clients wife just happened to be sitting near them that evening and overheard. They were both fired the next day.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Of course in any sensible country if she hadn't had the terms of the NDA properly explained to her she would still have grounds to contest unfair dismissal.

    Except you have to sign an NDA or an employer agreement. Which is on paper. That she could read. She also could of clarified if she was confused. Also if she was in public with a coworker discussing the work, that's a big nono because the public could hear and have inside information on the company. There was a case where I worked where two employee's had a discussion in a restaurant with each other about a client. Turned out the clients wife just happened to be sitting near them that evening and overheard. They were both fired the next day.

    The question would be, was she given the NDA, explained it's reason and details and encouraged to read it, or was she told 'sign this, it's just about how you can't talk about stuff to outsiders' as a three second aside during the thousand other things she signed during her induction.

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    Of course in any sensible country if she hadn't had the terms of the NDA properly explained to her she would still have grounds to contest unfair dismissal.

    Except you have to sign an NDA or an employer agreement. Which is on paper. That she could read. She also could of clarified if she was confused. Also if she was in public with a coworker discussing the work, that's a big nono because the public could hear and have inside information on the company. There was a case where I worked where two employee's had a discussion in a restaurant with each other about a client. Turned out the clients wife just happened to be sitting near them that evening and overheard. They were both fired the next day.

    The question would be, was she given the NDA, explained it's reason and details and encouraged to read it, or was she told 'sign this, it's just about how you can't talk about stuff to outsiders' as a three second aside during the thousand other things she signed during her induction.

    I think you're overshooting the content and point of the story. It's not about how she was fired for no reason. It's about how she was a seemingly nice, inoffensive employee and was fired for something that seemed to be very minor.

    You're extrapolating a whole bunch about this story that isn't actually there.

  • StaleStale Registered User regular
    Of course in any sensible country if she hadn't had the terms of the NDA properly explained to her she would still have grounds to contest unfair dismissal.

    Except you have to sign an NDA or an employer agreement. Which is on paper. That she could read. She also could of clarified if she was confused. Also if she was in public with a coworker discussing the work, that's a big nono because the public could hear and have inside information on the company. There was a case where I worked where two employee's had a discussion in a restaurant with each other about a client. Turned out the clients wife just happened to be sitting near them that evening and overheard. They were both fired the next day.

    The question would be, was she given the NDA, explained it's reason and details and encouraged to read it, or was she told 'sign this, it's just about how you can't talk about stuff to outsiders' as a three second aside during the thousand other things she signed during her induction.

    would it matter?

    it was a legal document she signed.


    When you sign a document without reading it, it is no one's fault but yours. If she's stupid enough to sign anything without reading it, she deserved to be fired.

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  • FramlingFramling Registered User regular
    Stale wrote:
    The question would be, was she given the NDA, explained it's reason and details and encouraged to read it, or was she told 'sign this, it's just about how you can't talk about stuff to outsiders' as a three second aside during the thousand other things she signed during her induction.

    would it matter?

    it was a legal document she signed.


    When you sign a document without reading it, it is no one's fault but yours. If she's stupid enough to sign anything without reading it, she deserved to be fired.

    You're absolutely correct. I've endured more than my share of eye rolls because I don't sign things until I've read them.

    But that said, just because someone is within their legal rights in doing something doesn't mean you can't call them a douchebag for doing it.

    you're = you are
    your = belonging to you

    their = belonging to them
    there = not here
    they're = they are
  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    This strip is laughably unrealistic.

    There's no way a manager would remember her name, and anything left on your desk when you're laid off is thrown out.

    Also, it's weird that the rotating banner on the front page shows the strip from this upcoming Tuesday. I wonder how many of these strips they already have done... though the (C) 2010 in the corner seems to be an indicator that they've had these on the backburner for a while.

    Taramoor on
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