Acting Like A Call Of Duty Douche

, , , , , , | Working | July 16, 2018

(I work in video game publishing as a producer. One day we get pitched a game that we decide after a lot of discussion just isn’t a fit for us — for a lot of reasons, ranging from tone to cost vs. scope — but might work for another publishing company we’re friendly with. Up to this point, I have spoken with the lead programmer once before on the phone to ask questions, and he was friendly and polite. I call him back to tell him our decision, as well as to ask if he’d like us to send his information along to someone who might be a better fit.)

Me: “So, while we appreciate you reaching out to us about [Game], and we see enormous potential with it, we don’t feel we’re a fit for it. However, we do have a good relationship with another publisher who we think is more in line with your vision. If you like, we can send—”

Programmer: “You know what? F*** you, you dumb b****! What the f*** do you even know about games, anyway? Did you f*** your way into that job? Because you don’t sound like you’re qualified for more decision-making than which d**k to suck today! Dumb f****** b****!”

Me: *baffled silence* “Uh…”

Programmer: *sharp intake of breath* “Oh! I… I thought you had hung up already! B-but, uh, what were you saying about, um, another publisher?”

Me: “I was literally in the middle of talking. But I am hanging up now.”

(I was mostly just surprised at the complete flip in personality, and considered that we had dodged a bullet working with this guy. He tried emailing me, saying he had just been kidding, and asking me to connect him with the other publisher. Then, when I ignored him, he tried emailing my coworkers and telling THEM to tell me he had just been “goofing.” Trust me, the complete fury and sheer volume of his voice meant he hadn’t been joking. The game never did get off the ground. from what I saw. Even if you’re upset about getting your project rejected, being unable to handle that and instead blowing up in a completely unprofessional manner just shows you don’t have the temperament or interpersonal skills to handle working with other people. I’m just glad he showed his true colors before I connected him with another company; those professional relationships are important no matter what industry you’re in, and, “Hey, why did you recommend us this guy who was, in reality, an actual lunatic?” isn’t a great look.)

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You Spelled It Spelt It

, , , , , | Working | October 9, 2017

(I’m a Canadian immigrant working for an American company, and one of my jobs includes copy editing and writing for various projects. One of the things I playfully gripe about is my boss’s insistence that I use the Americanized English, for example, “color” instead of “colour”, across projects for consistency. It’s sometimes a struggle for me, because after ten years in the US, I still instinctively use British English spelling while typing and have to manually correct myself for work. He calls to check in since I work remotely, and I’m editing a batch of text while listening to a randomized playlist. We joke around with each other a lot.)

Boss: “Now, don’t forget. None of this extra ‘U’ nonsense.”

Me: “You’re so mean. I won’t stand for this.”

Boss: “Oh, I think you will. Don’t forget to kill the extra British ‘L’ in ’fuelled,’ there.”

Me: “This oppressive American regime isn’t going to last, you know.”

Boss: “Whatever. Just do it.”

Me: “I want it on record that this is detrimental to my emotional well-being. This makes me very sad.”

(Right on cue, my playlist randomly switches over to one of the saddest, most depressing songs known to man: Gary Jules’ “Mad World”.)

Me: “There, you see?! Even the soundtrack to my life is sad because of you.”

Boss: “You’re ridiculous.”

Me: “Everything’s gone all rainy and black and white, [Boss]. The ennui, [Boss]!”

Boss: “I’m hanging up.”

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Video Games Belong In The Kitchen!

, , , , | Working | October 3, 2017

(I’m a woman, working for a video game publishing company that also publishes smaller games by indie creators. I’ve actually worked in the industry for almost ten years, and I get along great with all my colleagues, who are mostly male. We’re in a video conference call with a young developer who is pitching us his first game. Everyone in this call, except for me, is a guy.)

Boss: “We’ve all had a chance to look over your packet, and we think it looks pretty promising, though we’ll have to play the prototype to be really sure.”

Developer: “Ah, I have that uploaded to your FTP server.”

Coworker #1: “Great. We’ll all give it a try and get back to you with feedback.”

Me: “I’m excited to check this out; I love this type of game.”

Developer: “Oh.” *looks visibly uncomfortable onscreen* “[Boss], I didn’t know… she would be playing. Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Boss: “Uh, yeah. Why?”

Developer: “Well, I mean, she’s… she’s a… g… ” *trails off*

(It seems to dawn on everybody at once that he’s uncomfortable with me testing his game because I’m a woman.)

Coworker #2: *sputtering* “What? Wh… WHAT?”

Boss: *looking furious* “Yeah, well, don’t worry; when it comes to her feedback, I’ll be sure to have it read to you in a deeper voice so you can understand it! If you’re lucky enough to hear back from us!” *slaps laptop case shut, ending the call*

(My boss and all my coworkers are angrier than I’ve ever seen them, probably angrier than I am.)

Me: “Okay, let’s all calm down. I agree that was pretty gross, but… I don’t know, he’s pretty young. Maybe this can be a teachable moment and he can have a chance to redeem himself?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, but then we’d have to time-travel back to the 1950s to work with him. UGH.”

Boss: “I do NOT want somebody like that representing us! I don’t even want to talk about it right now.”

(We did NOT end up working with that kid. I felt a little bad for him, in spite of everything, but also grateful that I worked with such awesome people who had my back. To his credit, he did send me a private e-mail about a year later apologizing for his behaviour, saying we were right to turn him down because it made him think about some prejudices he had, not just about women but other people as well. I accepted his apology, and I hope the rest of his life is a lot more fruitful… and less ignorant!)

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Time Zoned Out

, , , , | Working | October 2, 2017

(I work for a video game publishing company, and some of us work remotely from home. One of our developers is foreign, and we have weekly catch-up meetings via video chat with him to check in with the status of his project, see if there’s anything he or his team needs, and so forth. One of our new employees has just been brought into this process, and I wake up the morning of the weekly call to a slew of increasingly frantic messages from him.)

Coworker: “Where were you guys?! I’ve been waiting for you for eight hours!”

Me: “What? Why? That’s like… 1:00 AM.”

Coworker: “Uh, the meeting?! I mean, I guess [Developer] didn’t show up for it either, but this could have been a disaster. I didn’t have any of the information for him! That’s your and [Other Coworker]’s job! What if I’d screwed up?”

Me: “Well, the meeting is at 9:30 AM, EST.”

Coworker: “Yeah, but he’s in [Overseas Country]! Adjusting for time difference, that’s—”

Me: “Dude, he’s from there. He’s been living in [US City] for, like, 20 years, hence the EST meeting time.”

Coworker: “But… I thought… God, I’m so tired.”

(At least we know he’s a dedicated worker, if not detail-oriented!)

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Animal Retraction, Part 2

| Working | May 5, 2017

(I’m on a phone call with one of my coworkers early in the morning, and am admittedly only paying half attention because I slept poorly.)

Coworker: *blah blah – apps – blah blah – company – blah blah – furry analytics*

Me: “Wait, wait. Why?”

Coworker: “Uh… why what?”

Me: “Why Furries? What am I missing about our demographic?”

Coworker: “…flurry. Flurry analytics. With an ‘L.'”

Me: “…oh.”

Coworker: *hysterical laughter*

(Needless to say, I have yet to live that one down.)


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