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Trenches comic: Thursday, September 1, 2011

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Posts

  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    The strange thing is that this stuff happened in the 90's when anyone who did not mind traveling could make like 60 grand a year.

  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Blake T wrote:
    Bwanie what do you actually do as a job in oh fabled Europe? Because I know plenty of professionals salary there that do unpaid overtime because there is a hard deadline and every day missed means a lot of money.

    You work overtime because you are a professional. You don't get paid at that time but when it comes round to Christmas bonus time or review you tend to get a shitload more money than everyone else.

    The people in these storys are far from well paid professionals though. I would need a fucking seriously sizeable salary or bonus scheme before I'd even consider doing unpaid hours. This is my job that I do to earn money. Not for fun!

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Blake T wrote:
    Bwanie what do you actually do as a job in oh fabled Europe? Because I know plenty of professionals salary there that do unpaid overtime because there is a hard deadline and every day missed means a lot of money.

    You work overtime because you are a professional. You don't get paid at that time but when it comes round to Christmas bonus time or review you tend to get a shitload more money than everyone else.


    @blaket I am an application manager for a small (40 employee) company on salary, based on a 40 hour work week.

    I frequently have to do my job on weekends or into the late hours of the evening, because i also do first level maintenance on our database.

    These are internal deadlines that i have to meet, but because i cannot do that stuff in my regular hours they have to pay me overtime.

    I don't know what kind of jobs these professionals you're referring to have, might be a lot different from what i do. And i don't think they would settle for a little round of applause. Because that's all i can surmise from the latest story.

    bwanie on
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  • degredegre Registered User new member
    Most of you guys finding the stories unbelievable or just stupid are simply ignorant, no offence meant, you simply ignore how it is being inside the industry and you're being naive.

    The video game industry is one for the worst under all terms, just to give you an idea, I've worked for 6 years into QA gaming and worked my way up as a lead, eventually had enough and decided to move out of gaming while staying into IT to use the experience, so I moved into some software QA entry position and, even if technically I've stepped back as I was a lead in gaming and I'm barely a tester in software, I've doubled my salary overnight. Saying doubled I'm being literal.

    Most of the shit you go through simply has to be taken, whether is Europe or USA doesn't make a difference, for the record anyway I'm working in UK.

    The problem is around 3 cores.
    First being that often people getting into gaming do it for passion, maybe you get to work for the dev that gave a game you love, so you'll go through lots of shit just to keep your dream job.
    Second being that the industry only has a number of positions, while the gamers trying to get in are the hell of a lot, if they want to replace you they know that they have the queue out of the door, and your experience often doesn't mean anything as they look at you as a monkey pushing buttons.
    Third they actually are in the position to replace you at a whim as the standard is to not offer any permanent position and make use instead of fixed term (usually 3 months) and zero hours contracts, which means that if you don't act accordingly they can simply not renew your contract or zero down your hours. And they don't need any excuse to do it, whatever is the reason they don't need to offer one for not renewing your contract.

    Quite a few companies hire regularly on a fixed term, but since by law you have to make permanent a person that has been working continuously with you over a certain period (think is 2 years, but I might be mistaken, need to double check), what they do is to give you a 3 months contract and let it rollover for about a year, they then get rid of you by not renewing your contract and they take someone else for a year.


    Being in a games QA feel like being in a school yard, you're paid nuts and treated like a kid, lol! in SEGA we were even getting ice cream once a week.

  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I like that post above me.

    It's a good post, because it sheds some light on an industry that (for me at least) is indeed something i'm not familiar with.

    You have to take the good with the bad as a tester (as with any job). Guess i just never knew how bad the bad really was.

    bwanie on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    I don't doubt it's that bad. I'm just amazed people put up with it.

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  • Metal JaredMetal Jared Mulligan Wizard Rhode IslandRegistered User regular
    Yeah I guess when I look at those situations myself I just think about how valuable my time is and that's why I wouldn't work for free. I totally understand passion, and wanting to be in the gaming industry but I just look at my life a bit differently.

    I understand these are horror stories but I guess I'd like to see the flip side where these people work 100 hours of unpaid overitme and they paid their 'dues' and then they actually succeed in the end. I guess I just don't like people being treated badly by compaines. They post these stories for the shock value, it just gets me bummed out.

    BattleTag: MetalJared#1756
    PSN: SoulCrusherJared
  • 2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens CanadaRegistered User regular
    And here I was being all angry that I technically had to clock out to go to the bathroom.

    Jobs are the worst.

  • Bacon-BuTTyBacon-BuTTy Registered User regular
    I used to have a job where I was paid total shit and when the clock reached 5pm the manager would keep giving us work and just say "we're not done yet" and everyone would keep working for hours, unpaid. But many of those people would sit there for the extra three hours and bitch and moan like fuck about it. Eventually I learned to just get up and leave at 5pm since I had completed my contractual obligation - then eventually I got a new, less shit job. I never understood those people who sat there complaining, as unlike the stories we're reading here, this was not a dream position.

    For me, these stories on trenches are pretty shocking sometimes, but the key factor is Passion and interest. People who stay for hours doing unpaid overtime wouldn't do it unless they really needed the oppertunities later down the line, or they're idiots.

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  • MaverikkMaverikk Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I used to have a job where I was paid total shit and when the clock reached 5pm the manager would keep giving us work and just say "we're not done yet" and everyone would keep working for hours, unpaid. But many of those people would sit there for the extra three hours and bitch and moan like fuck about it. Eventually I learned to just get up and leave at 5pm since I had completed my contractual obligation - then eventually I got a new, less shit job. I never understood those people who sat there complaining, as unlike the stories we're reading here, this was not a dream position.

    For me, these stories on trenches are pretty shocking sometimes, but the key factor is Passion and interest. People who stay for hours doing unpaid overtime wouldn't do it unless they really needed the oppertunities later down the line, or they're idiots.

    I work unpaid overtime because I'm held at gunpoint.

    Just sayin'.

    Maverikk on
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Blake T wrote:
    You work overtime because you are a professional. You don't get paid at that time but when it comes round to Christmas bonus time or review you tend to get a shitload more money than everyone else.
    My job ("exempt" employee in a professional field) doesn't have that. (Or raises. And 5 years minimum to get any promotion at all.) There is no incentive for me to work extra, so I do enough to get by without getting fired, and so far that hasn't involved any overtime. The only reason I'm still here at all is because they are paying for my Master's degree.

  • GunnyswgGunnyswg Registered User new member
    plufim wrote:
    Gunnyswg wrote:
    Great thing about the military is there IS no overtime! Just doing your job. I really don't see the big fuss about un-paid overtime (it may be because I'm not paid by the hour/day) it is a job and you have to work it till your done.

    There's no fuss except where employees intentionally understaff, forcing unpaid overtime.

    Well if you didn't know the military has been cutting positions for the last few years. I work at a station that is maned 24/7 that is completely understaffed (we are supposed to have 32 personal but only have 12).

  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    I spent three years in QA. First year as a contract tester, two as a permanent. I don't know the exact number, but I ended up logging -quite a lot- of unpaid overtime over five months. Well over 3-400 hours, at least.

    The upside? I'm now in Design, and while I still work a ton of unpaid overtime, there's something a little easier to swallow about working tons of hours to build content as opposed to test it. Which isn't to say QA is a bad job to be in, at least with some companies. We need QA. We love QA! Just that, for me, it wasn't all that fulfilling. And considering that I can look at a document on my computer (documentation being my least favourite part of the job) and still think 'they are literally paying me to pursue my passion', I'm okay with it.

    But don't join the industry unless you are truly passionate. Because otherwise it will destroy you when you start to average your salary over the number of hours you work and realize that for months at a time you are being paid only slightly above minimum wage.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    vsove wrote:
    But don't join the industry unless you are truly passionate. Because otherwise it will destroy you when you start to average your salary over the number of hours you work and realize that for months at a time you are being paid only slightly above minimum wage.

    Just think of all the money you saved by not having time to spend it!

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • jwalkjwalk Registered User regular
    In CA you DO get overtime if you are not "exempt", and not all salaried jobs are exempt.

    There's very specific criteria for who is exempt. Basically, if you are managerial (you are directly in charge of people below you), or in a "creative" position where you are paid to produce (create) art, or design, or ideas... But then you are (or should be) more in control of your own schedule. If they require you to be in their building X hours a day, then you shouldn't be considered exempt.

  • LowlanderLowlander Registered User regular
    I'm glad somebody finally mentioned salaries, because people complaining about overtime was starting to annoy me. The reason you give people salaries is exactly so that you can expect them to work overtime from time to time. One hundred hours unpaid may seem like an awful lot, but if you stretch that out over ten weeks, you're looking at 2 hrs/day overtime. If this is an unusual circumstance, and not something that is done perpetually, it's not that big of a deal.

    There are many industries where you may put in 8 hours a day of basically surfing the internet for five months, followed by a period of time where you are working 10 hours a day during crunch time for two months or so. The advertising industry comes to mind. I had a friend who was an artist at an ad agency. It was routine for people to bring in changes of clothes in duffel bags and sleep in the break room during crunch time. This wasn't for lack of planning either. When you're an ad agency you're basically customer support. All your work could be thrown out the window at an executives whim.

    I'm sorry if I can't get all in a tiff when somebody doesn't specify if they're being paid hourly or not. If you work overtime on a salary, you are NOT working unpaid overtime.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    Actually, wage and hour lawsuits have been big now. The bush admin really shafted people by changing some of the rules about exempt employees, but there have been lawsuits and enforcement actions that have undermining employers' overreach on misclassifying employees as exempt. There's a lot of class actions to be had here.

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  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    things rub different people in different ways too. Like I'm at work right now on saturday night, and lots of people would absolutely hate to work on saturday night. It doesn't bother me though, because I don't do anything on weekends anyway and it's nice and quiet.

  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    Speaking of worker's rights and unpaid overtime did anyone else notice the handle on the coffee mug is actually the boss' ear?

  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    JAEF wrote:
    Speaking of worker's rights and unpaid overtime did anyone else notice the handle on the coffee mug is actually the boss' ear?

    Well, now I can never unsee it.

  • runwiledrunwiled Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Unfortunately I think Trenches is generating all the wrong kinds of discussion. Most of the content in the threads about the comic are about the anecdotes and then the subsequent discussion on employment. The comic is dwarfed by the stories we're getting and is talking cross-purposes to the narrative. We have a character who is desperate for a job in the industry and then stories about how terrible the industry is to work for. We've not had any reasoning for why Isaac wants to get into this industry, especially when everyone in the comic comes across as a bit of an asshole right now.
    The anecdotes shouldn't be shown with the comic. I'm not even sure they should be shown at all. It's like reading Dilbert and having a column underneath talking about cubicle life, or Calvin and Hobbes and talking about how wacky kids are. The stories from the industry are interesting, far more than the comic at the moment, but why are they there at all? If we want to hear these horror stories, shouldn't that be on an entirely different site, away from the comic?
    I'd also like to point out that, as interesting as these anecdotes are... they are completely unverifiable and may just be complete fabrications. We don't know who these people are, who they worked/work for or how these submissions are screened. Are they sent in anonymously? Could I just make up something and send it in and it be posted? Furthermore, how many of these stories are there? Are there enough to go with every strip, indefinitely, and wouldn't that get tiring? I'm not claiming that what we've read so far isn't true, but I'd find it far more compelling and believable if there was a name attached to these things. I know, I know. They don't want to get kicked out of the industry, have their lives made difficult, etc. It's a double-edged sword really. We can't get the stories without anonymity, but at the same time we have no idea if they're true or not. If that's the case, I'm not sure I want the anecdotes at all. As mentioned, I don't think they help the comic; they hurt it.

    I don't understand the message of Trenches, what it's trying to convey. Do we laugh with the comic then cry at the reality? Should we hear the reality first and then make light of it, rather than bumming every reader out after a laugh? Why do I care about Isaac? Why is this industry so special to him or others? I'm not being told these things as a reader. It all seems a bit schizophrenic at this point.

    runwiled on
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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    We should all be thankful our name is not Issac Cox.

    End of Line.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    The salaried managers at the Wal-Mart I worked at work 12 hour days MINIMUM. Six days a week.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    runwiled wrote:
    I don't understand the message of Trenches, what it's trying to convey. Do we laugh with the comic then cry at the reality? Should we hear the reality first and then make light of it, rather than bumming every reader out after a laugh? Why do I care about Isaac? Why is this industry so special to him or others? I'm not being told these things as a reader. It all seems a bit schizophrenic at this point.

    The life of a Game Tester varies between games. Different studios, different publishers, different devs, different shifts... so many factors. Like a lot of things, it can be as wonderful as it is horrible. While I'm not in a position to share details, I can say that while I do have other things I'd rather be doing at my age and at my skill level (goddamn economy), my day to day is pretty decent, and I get paid for every second I work. But, I've been in MUCH less hospitable testing environments, and I hear horror stories all the time.

    Trenches is, I expect, going to show both the ups and the downs. The characters remind me of my own current experience in testing.

    Incenjucar on
  • faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote:
    The characters remind me of my own current experience in testing.

    you work with a guy who has a bad porn name, a woman who likes highlights and have a lima bean boss?

    (because that's all we really know about the characters yet)

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    faits wrote:
    Incenjucar wrote:
    The characters remind me of my own current experience in testing.

    you work with a guy who has a bad porn name, a woman who likes highlights and have a lima bean boss?

    (because that's all we really know about the characters yet)

    Personalities more than body shapes. I can personally identify with the main character. The general vibe of being cranky and warm at the same time is pretty standard in the industry, I think. When your life is playing games that aren't done and which need to be constantly repeated, you tend to be stuck between "Video Games!" and "Oh god I have to play this level forty times on Insane mode while constantly spamming the jump button."

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