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[TRENCHES] Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Disclosure

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited January 2013 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Disclosure


Disclosure
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/disclosure

“Temps.”

Anonymous

I had no working experience and was an IT university dropout. Literally begging for work at the job center got me a contract with a temporary employment agency, and I was promptly allocated to software and IT environment testing.

In the first month, we assembled a team of five people without a clue, got a vague assignment for a flash game, close to no resources, and an ever-absent boss who dropped us a mail once a week.

I got my first paycheck, except it wasn’t a real paycheck but instead “unemployment benefits” with another name to it, even signed by the job center. I began to inquire the job center about this “job” I had and got nothing but legal threats.

After another 2 months, we somehow got a crappy little game done - which was never released.

We were used by a bogus company to rake in funding by the state. It’s like a full blown industry here to pass around jobless people and keep them from getting real jobs. On top of that, the job center forced us to shut up under threat of prosecution (false testimony) and continue “working” a full 12 months in that joke of a company.

You may argue now that at least I had a job and wasn’t camping under a bridge…


Geth on

Posts

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    So, for the tale.... the author basically admits to becoming complicit in a fraudulent unemployment collection scheme.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Well, so there's that.

  • SecretagentmanSecretagentman Registered User regular
    That escalated quickly (both the comic and the tale); who knew we were actually going to get something plot-related?

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    So, for the tale.... the author basically admits to becoming complicit in a fraudulent unemployment collection scheme.

    Yea, that's kind of the impression I got too.

    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    So, for the tale.... the author basically admits to becoming complicit in a fraudulent unemployment collection scheme.

    Yea, that's kind of the impression I got too.

    I'm classify the author as... 65% victim, at least, from his story. Threatening people with prosecution like that smacks of many, many scams.

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  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    Isaac seeks an oh snap, but raises his hand for a hi-five

    Someone needs to straighten this kid out

    You could be anywhere
    On the black screen
  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    boy all that buildup kinda fell flat
    ah well at least cora being the mole is out there now

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  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    "mm, girlfriend"?

    Smrtnik
  • Blackbird71Blackbird71 Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    So, for the tale.... the author basically admits to becoming complicit in a fraudulent unemployment collection scheme.

    Changing one line in the tale to "We were used by a bogus company to rake in funding by the taxpayers." should spark a new perspective (and outrage) of the author's actions.

    I vote guilt by consent - if you are aware of a problem and do nothing to stop it or distance yourself from it, you bear the responsibility just as well.

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    So, for the tale.... the author basically admits to becoming complicit in a fraudulent unemployment collection scheme.

    Changing one line in the tale to "We were used by a bogus company to rake in funding by the taxpayers." should spark a new perspective (and outrage) of the author's actions.

    I vote guilt by consent - if you are aware of a problem and do nothing to stop it or distance yourself from it, you bear the responsibility just as well.

    My sympathy kind of fades when he notes that he was involved in this apparently fraudulent activity for a year. Maybe he didn't know about whistleblower hotlines that are made to protect employees or something? Doesn't even seem like he attempted to find another job while he was there either, so if they were doing what he said, that would mean he'd lose that money from the "job." So... yeah.

    If I were in the jury for his criminal case, he'd get a guilty vote from me too.

    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • metfanscmetfansc Registered User regular
    I don't get how you blame the author there if you take his story as is, now if you add in some additional details on your own in assumptions I could see how you turn the story into his fault, but there is nothing in his account for you to use like that.

    I think what many/most of you are forgetting is that there is a big difference between knowing now and knowing then. He has already been through the experience so he NOW knows what they were doing, at the time he was just an unemployed kid excited about getting a job opportunity.

    Lovely
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    metfansc wrote: »
    I don't get how you blame the author there if you take his story as is...
    Well, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but he says the first check he received was an unemployment benefit "with another name to it," which I take to mean in somebody else's name. Two giant alarm bells should start ringing immediately:

    1) He's getting an unemployment check for doing work.
    2) He's getting someone else's money.

    Apparently at least one of these alarm bells went off for the author, since he did call the job center about the check, to be threatened with legal action (the threat of legal action should've been alarm bell #3, especially for "false testimony").

    Now, I understand that it's hard to walk away from a job, and legal threats can be intimidating, but if he was cashing those checks for himself, that makes him complicit in the fraud.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Related to the comic, I'm glad they've finally specified that Cora was the mole. I thought they had made it obvious all along, but I remember some people thinking that since they hadn't had Cora specifically say "I am the mole," that it was some huge mystery still up in the air.

    TychoCelchuuuSaraLuna
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    metfansc wrote: »
    I don't get how you blame the author there if you take his story as is, now if you add in some additional details on your own in assumptions I could see how you turn the story into his fault, but there is nothing in his account for you to use like that.

    I think what many/most of you are forgetting is that there is a big difference between knowing now and knowing then. He has already been through the experience so he NOW knows what they were doing, at the time he was just an unemployed kid excited about getting a job opportunity.

    Saying it seems like he was complicit in the activity isn't the same as saying he was directly responsible for the activity that he claimed occurred.

    In the tale he states that he asked about his first paycheck and their response was legal threats. He states this was the case for 12 months. We don't know how he got out of it, we just know that he did. Maybe they let them go? Maybe he found another job? Who knows... from what's there I wouldn't exactly classify him as a victim. Desperate? Perhaps. Completely innocent? Nah.

    I don't get how you can take it as him being an unemployed kid excited about a job from that story myself.

    edit: added quote.

    tastydonuts on
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  • ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    metfansc wrote: »
    I don't get how you blame the author there if you take his story as is...
    Well, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but he says the first check he received was an unemployment benefit "with another name to it," which I take to mean in somebody else's name. Two giant alarm bells should start ringing immediately:

    1) He's getting an unemployment check for doing work.
    2) He's getting someone else's money.

    Apparently at least one of these alarm bells went off for the author, since he did call the job center about the check, to be threatened with legal action (the threat of legal action should've been alarm bell #3, especially for "false testimony").

    Now, I understand that it's hard to walk away from a job, and legal threats can be intimidating, but if he was cashing those checks for himself, that makes him complicit in the fraud.

    No no, I think what he means is that what he received could be called an unemployment benefit by another name.

    Reading the tale, he seems to be saying that it's the job centre who put him up for this - basically, instead of actually helping him look for work, which is what they're supposed to do, they gave him a fake job and still kept paying him the same benefits - the only difference being the job centre can now report "we've got him into work!" and the country's overall unemployment figure goes down. Be interesting to know what country he's from.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Showsni wrote: »
    No no, I think what he means is that what he received could be called an unemployment benefit by another name.
    OK, so, if true, alarm bells 1 and 3 still hold. Again, he knew something shady was up and he went with it. What's worse is that, if the unemployment checks were in his name, he could've been screwing himself out of future unemployment benefits while working this "job," instead of collecting unemployment while looking for an actual job.

  • ted1138ted1138 Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    metfansc wrote: »
    I don't get how you blame the author there if you take his story as is...
    Well, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but he says the first check he received was an unemployment benefit "with another name to it," which I take to mean in somebody else's name. Two giant alarm bells should start ringing immediately:

    1) He's getting an unemployment check for doing work.
    2) He's getting someone else's money.

    Apparently at least one of these alarm bells went off for the author, since he did call the job center about the check, to be threatened with legal action (the threat of legal action should've been alarm bell #3, especially for "false testimony").

    Now, I understand that it's hard to walk away from a job, and legal threats can be intimidating, but if he was cashing those checks for himself, that makes him complicit in the fraud.



    You really do appear to be reading it wrong. First off, he's not receiving a check in someone else's name, he's getting what is effectively an unemployment check that's probably named after whatever 'program' they have him on(there are lots of these, you get your benefits plus a little extra). Point two, he's not actually doing work, it's just a government scheme that reduces the number of people on Unemployment benefits at any time, and whatever company 'employed' him got money for doing so whether he produced anything or not. As for fraud, it's doubtful it could be called that, and as for walking away, he'd have probably lost all his previous benefits for doing so(is that something you would do if in his place?)...

  • ipsumipsum Registered User regular
    The lack of reading comprehension in this thread is astounding.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    ted1138 wrote: »
    Point two, he's not actually doing work, it's just a government scheme that reduces the number of people on Unemployment benefits at any time, and whatever company 'employed' him got money for doing so whether he produced anything or not.
    Which is a problem, because he was doing work, it was just apparently worthless work. If he could've received the check without showing up at that business making crappy flash games that never got released, he could've then instead spent the time looking for an actual job, which is what I've always assumed is the point of unemployment benefit.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    It's very easy to assign all sorts of blame and pass all sorts of judgement when you're on an semi-anonymous forum from the comfort of our homes/offices/coffee-shops.

    We got just a slice of a very sad story about a dude who had to do a crappy thing to get a meager paycheck while being manipulated. Give the dude a break, sheesh.

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  • Blackbird71Blackbird71 Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    It's very easy to assign all sorts of blame and pass all sorts of judgement when you're on an semi-anonymous forum from the comfort of our homes/offices/coffee-shops.

    We got just a slice of a very sad story about a dude who had to do a crappy thing to get a meager paycheck while being manipulated. Give the dude a break, sheesh.

    What we got was a story about a "dude" who had to do an illegal thing to get a fraudulent paycheck. The fact that he went along with it for a year reduces the sympathy for his position.

    The fact that the money for his paycheck came from the taxes taken from other people's paychecks instead of the "company" he was working for essentially amounts to theft. Failing to report this and instead just quietly accepting it definitely makes him complicit in the whole affair.

    Blackbird71 on
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Regarding the comic, anyone else think it's strange that Gwen says "we're not there yet" to Isaac when they've ostensibly been working together (literally sitting next to each other) for 6 months at this point?

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    Regarding the comic, anyone else think it's strange that Gwen says "we're not there yet" to Isaac when they've ostensibly been working together (literally sitting next to each other) for 6 months at this point?

    Yeah, maybe a little. On the other hand, Gwen does not exactly seem like the friendly type and got introduced to an office with a lot of pre-existing drama, and Isaac is kind of a spaz.

  • ted1138ted1138 Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    ted1138 wrote: »
    Point two, he's not actually doing work, it's just a government scheme that reduces the number of people on Unemployment benefits at any time, and whatever company 'employed' him got money for doing so whether he produced anything or not.
    Which is a problem, because he was doing work, it was just apparently worthless work. If he could've received the check without showing up at that business making crappy flash games that never got released, he could've then instead spent the time looking for an actual job, which is what I've always assumed is the point of unemployment benefit.

    I'm sure if he hadn't "shown up" he would have just been kicked off his job placement scheme, and lost his benefits...

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    ted1138 wrote: »
    I'm sure if he hadn't "shown up" he would have just been kicked off his job placement scheme, and lost his benefits...
    It's a bit difficult because we have limited details on the author's situation. It does sound like if he had just quit the "job", he likely would've lost that "benefit" check he was receiving, but it sounds like he was getting that check incorrectly, and he knew that. Whatever the "other name" for the unemployment benefit was, it wasn't for designing flash games for a possibly non-existent business. The job center was obviously trying to strong-arm him into going along with it, but the fact remains is that he knew it was wrong, and possibly illegal, and yet went along with it. If he had tried to alert authorities, even anonymously, that'd be another thing, but he doesn't mention that at all.

  • fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I'm sure if I was close enough to not making rent that I took a shitty job for shitty pay, I would proudly tear up my paycheck and contact the nearest authorities if I suspected something was fishy. Sure, I'd be living in a cardboard box a week later, but goddam it, I'd have my dignity.

    fearsomepirate on
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  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    I'm sure if I was close enough to not making rent that I took a shitty job for shitty pay, I would proudly tear up my paycheck and contact the nearest authorities if I suspected something was fishy. Sure, I'd be living in a cardboard box a week later, but goddam it, I'd have my dignity.
    Don't tear the check up, that's evidence.

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