Call Center Game Costs Developer His Job

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Call Center Game Costs Developer His Job

The Canadian Tax Authorities descended upon game maker Gallant like a ton of bricks.

Many people are frustrated by their jobs. David S. Gallant, former call center worker - aka numb meat popsicle - for the Canada Revenue Authority, took his frustrations one step further, and made a game, I Get This Call Every Day. When his bosses found out, Gallant got canned.

It came all the way from the top. "The Minister [National Revenue Minister, Gail Shea] considers this type of conduct offensive and completely unacceptable," said an official spokesman to The Star. "The Minister has asked the Commissioner (of Revenue, Andrew Treusch) to investigate and take any and all necessary corrective action. The Minister has asked the CRA to investigate urgently to ensure no confidential taxpayer information was compromised."

So Shea has no sense of humor whatsoever - perhaps that isn't one of the attributes a tax enforcer needs - and Gallant is out of work. However he's not out of luck; sales of his call center game have gone through the roof. "I have an incredible opportunity now," Gallant Tweeted, "and I have received a massive outpouring of support. I am so thankful."

If you want to have a shot at living Gallant's life, in game form, go here; if you'd like to buy I Get This Call Every Day, and maybe even vote for Gallant's Greenlight on Steam, go here.

Source: David S. Gallant

Permalink

Well, I know the feeling about having a job you don't like. Kudos to him about doing something about it I suppose.

Gotta love the modern workforce.

"One of our employees hasn't completely merged with his desk chair?! He must be removed before this scourge spreads!"

I'm gonna buy his game. No idea if it's any good, but this guy deserves support

No thank you, I already worked in customer service. Can't imagine a call center is much better.

Oh great! Next time someone is killed with a phone the media will be all over this.

Wonder if there's a wrongful dismissal case there. Unless he specifically named names you've got to wonder exactly what he's been fired for, it's not illegal to complain about your job after all, nor is it illegal to publish works of fiction.

fix-the-spade:
Wonder if there's a wrongful dismissal case there. Unless he specifically named names you've got to wonder exactly what he's been fired for, it's not illegal to complain about your job after all, nor is it illegal to publish works of fiction.

All employers have the right to terminate your employment at any time for any or no reason. It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

Anywho, wrongful dismissal is only relevant in cases where what the company did is in violation of the law or the contract. Unless this guy can prove that the company is firing him on the basis of discrimination, or his unwillingness to commit an illegal act at their order, etc, then there's no case to be had.

Zombie_Moogle:
Gotta love the modern workforce.

"One of our employees hasn't completely merged with his desk chair?! He must be removed before this scourge spreads!"

I'm gonna buy his game. No idea if it's any good, but this guy deserves support

Or public servant makes a game insulting the people who pay his wages.

aww, aint the truth too much of a bitch for them to handle?

Kopikatsu:

fix-the-spade:
Wonder if there's a wrongful dismissal case there. Unless he specifically named names you've got to wonder exactly what he's been fired for, it's not illegal to complain about your job after all, nor is it illegal to publish works of fiction.

All employers have the right to terminate your employment at any time for any or no reason. It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

Anywho, wrongful dismissal is only relevant in cases where what the company did is in violation of the law or the contract. Unless this guy can prove that the company is firing him on the basis of discrimination, or his unwillingness to commit an illegal act at their order, etc, then there's no case to be had.

Obviously, you're not aware of how union jobs work, especially public sector unions.
This looks to me like a case of a government bureaucracy flexing it's "you can't say that about us" muscles. Good luck to the fellow.

albino boo:

Zombie_Moogle:
Gotta love the modern workforce.

"One of our employees hasn't completely merged with his desk chair?! He must be removed before this scourge spreads!"

I'm gonna buy his game. No idea if it's any good, but this guy deserves support

Or public servant makes a game insulting the people who pay his wages.

Someone complained about their job? Shocking

Irony is that this game never would have been a story if his employers had just rolled their eyes & ignored it

Kopikatsu:
It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

But the law tends to say they can't fire you without a good reason.

Getting fired because the boss didn't like something you said or did (that wasn't illegal, wasn't a breach of contract and made no specific references to employees or customers) and specifically singled you out would make for a pretty nailed on case here in English land, regardless of what's in any contract you signed.
Unless they could prove that you specifically breached your contract to a court of law (and that their behaviour was consistent with other people who'd done the same thing in the past) you'd have them by the balls.

Of course this is in Canada, so I have no idea what their employment law is like compared to ours.

fix-the-spade:

Kopikatsu:
It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

But the law tends to say they can't fire you without a good reason.

Getting fired because the boss didn't like something you said or did (that wasn't illegal, wasn't a breach of contract and made no specific references to employees or customers) and specifically singled you out would make for a pretty nailed on case here in English land, regardless of what's in any contract you signed.
Unless they could prove that you specifically breached your contract to a court of law (and that their behaviour was consistent with other people who'd done the same thing in the past) you'd have them by the balls.

Of course this is in Canada, so I have no idea what their employment law is like compared to ours.

Canadian law regarding the issue is that if you breach the contract in any way, then they can fire you. While it's not really possible to know what was in his contract without seeing it, it's very likely that the content of the video did break at least one stipulation. Generally speaking, making negative comments about either your job or the establishment is going to get you canned.

tangoprime:

Kopikatsu:

fix-the-spade:
Wonder if there's a wrongful dismissal case there. Unless he specifically named names you've got to wonder exactly what he's been fired for, it's not illegal to complain about your job after all, nor is it illegal to publish works of fiction.

All employers have the right to terminate your employment at any time for any or no reason. It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

Anywho, wrongful dismissal is only relevant in cases where what the company did is in violation of the law or the contract. Unless this guy can prove that the company is firing him on the basis of discrimination, or his unwillingness to commit an illegal act at their order, etc, then there's no case to be had.

Obviously, you're not aware of how union jobs work, especially public sector unions.
This looks to me like a case of a government bureaucracy flexing it's "you can't say that about us" muscles. Good luck to the fellow.

See above.

Just bought and played this and I actually really enjoyed it. I found it fun to continually keep my temper, be professional, and keep explaining everything to the best of my ability without faltering, even though the call ended up having no net result.

Maybe I should be working in a call centre!

People need to grow a sense of humor.

This whole thing really hinges on whether confidential taxpayer information was divulged or not. If that was the case, then of course he should have been fired, but until the minister is sure of that, she should have only suspended him. This whole thing reeks of medieval punishment, where evidence is negligible to the conviction. Sadly, that's politics for you, where a good image is far more coveted than any rational solution.

Kopikatsu:

fix-the-spade:
Wonder if there's a wrongful dismissal case there. Unless he specifically named names you've got to wonder exactly what he's been fired for, it's not illegal to complain about your job after all, nor is it illegal to publish works of fiction.

All employers have the right to terminate your employment at any time for any or no reason. It's in every contract ever made, although people tend not to read those for whatever reason and then get annoyed that it gets pulled on them.

Anywho, wrongful dismissal is only relevant in cases where what the company did is in violation of the law or the contract. Unless this guy can prove that the company is firing him on the basis of discrimination, or his unwillingness to commit an illegal act at their order, etc, then there's no case to be had.

Actually, that's only true in America. In Europe we have job security which prohibits employees from being fired at random. I would have thought that job security would be a lot tighter in Canada as well, at least compared to the U.S. Then again, even if it is, ministers have a tendency to use their privileges in unsavoury ways. The upside of democracy is, of course, that if a judge were to determine that this was a wrongful termination, Minister Shea can kiss her job goodbye.

Zombie_Moogle:

albino boo:

Zombie_Moogle:
Gotta love the modern workforce.

"One of our employees hasn't completely merged with his desk chair?! He must be removed before this scourge spreads!"

I'm gonna buy his game. No idea if it's any good, but this guy deserves support

Or public servant makes a game insulting the people who pay his wages.

Someone complained about their job? Shocking

Irony is that this game never would have been a story if his employers had just rolled their eyes & ignored it

Guess what his bosses are the politicians elected by the public, the people he was making money out of by insulting. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Estelindis:
Just bought and played this and I actually really enjoyed it. I found it fun to continually keep my temper, be professional, and keep explaining everything to the best of my ability without faltering, even though the call ended up having no net result.

Maybe I should be working in a call centre!

No. Nononononono.

I work in a call center, and the stress is incredible. It's amazing how many otherwise intelligent people move their brains firmly into the "off" position once they call in to tech support. I work with car mechanics, and the cars they work on are a lot more complicated to fix than they computers they call about - not that you'd know it when they call in.

I try to keep my temper under control but I'm no saint. On the other hand, I also know to only make vague posts about my job rather than a detailed game with my real life name on it...

Farther than stars:

Actually, that's only true in America. In Europe we have job security which prohibits employees from being fired at random. I would have thought that job security would be a lot tighter in Canada as well, at least compared to the U.S. Then again, even if it is, ministers have a tendency to use their privileges in unsavoury ways. The upside of democracy is, of course, that if a judge were to determine that this was a wrongful termination, Minister Shea can kiss her job goodbye.

It's true in Canada as well, which is where this took place.

Gallant's job is gone for good either way, though. Even if the court decides that the termination was wrongful, they won't reinstate your lost job. Even if the employer wants to take you back, the court won't let them. The only punishment for wrongful termination in Canada is that the company has to pay the former employee damages.

albino boo:

Zombie_Moogle:

albino boo:

Or public servant makes a game insulting the people who pay his wages.

Someone complained about their job? Shocking

Irony is that this game never would have been a story if his employers had just rolled their eyes & ignored it

Guess what his bosses are the politicians elected by the public, the people he was making money out of by insulting. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

From what I've seen of the game (playthrough videos), he doesn't seem to make any reference to his employers or any politician. It just pokes fun at the nature of his job & irritating customers he deals with

Terminating him was a strange overreaction, plain & simple

The person that you speak with in the game reveals their personal (taxpayer) information.
Whether or not it was entirely fake information (which the crucial bits probably were), the people that fired him cited confidentiality and the potential breach of taxpayer info as a primary reason.

It's understandable that he got fired and I imagine that he knew it was an inevitability (hence why every possible route in the game itself leads to the player character, aka the person who made the game, getting fired).

The good news? No more shitty call-center job for Canadeh, likely some work ahead as an indie developer/artist.

Cheat Code - "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

Anyone who makes an honest game (or talks publicly) about their call center job is going to get fired. Because the reality is never flattering to the company, the customers, or the workers. It certainly doesn't help if you're working for a big evil bureaucracy.

I think the important thing here is that the creator took his anger and frustration and turned it into something constructive instead of getting depressed, self destructive or going postal[I have trouble handling tech support for people I know without screaming, working call center is my hell].

I wish Gallant the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Kopikatsu:

Farther than stars:

Actually, that's only true in America. In Europe we have job security which prohibits employees from being fired at random. I would have thought that job security would be a lot tighter in Canada as well, at least compared to the U.S. Then again, even if it is, ministers have a tendency to use their privileges in unsavoury ways. The upside of democracy is, of course, that if a judge were to determine that this was a wrongful termination, Minister Shea can kiss her job goodbye.

It's true in Canada as well, which is where this took place.

Actually no. It does require a breach of the employment agreement that the employee signed at some point to be fired.

In this case, the setting of the game probably wasn't generic enough and could be construed as "revealing confidential workplace procedures" which would have been used in his dismissal.

Zombie_Moogle:

albino boo:

Zombie_Moogle:
Gotta love the modern workforce.

"One of our employees hasn't completely merged with his desk chair?! He must be removed before this scourge spreads!"

I'm gonna buy his game. No idea if it's any good, but this guy deserves support

Or public servant makes a game insulting the people who pay his wages.

Someone complained about their job? Shocking

Irony is that this game never would have been a story if his employers had just rolled their eyes & ignored it

That actually seems to be the norm, the attempts to deny things like this always always get more attention than the thing they're trying to stop does.

HR never understands how PR works

I believe there's a name for this tendency, but I have no idea what it is.

I wish the best for this guy. I really do. I hope he goes on to work in the field he dreams about working in.

But you also can't really be surprised if you get fired after demeaning your employer and more importantly their customers in public. Besides, millions in the western world are unemployed and either on government handouts or living off of savings or the genorosity of family. Whine harder.

I worked at a call center for about a month. It was called a call center but really it was thinly disguised telemarketing. I scammed little old ladies for a living. I'll explain.

OK, say you saw a late night commercial for Time Life's Country Music Collection. You call in to order it. It was my job to take down your information and sell it to you.... then it was my job to try and push what we called "Up Sales" on you which was things that had to do with what you called in for. Other Time Life CD collections, a collector's box, etc etc.

THAT wasn't the bad part. The bad part came after that when we had to try to sell you what they called "APO"s

These had nothing to do with the product you called in for and were ALL SCAMS. Yes they sold a legitimate service, but it was crap, and once they had your credit card number they would never stop charging you their monthly fee. No matter what you did to stop them. You could even have their charges be blocked through your bank etc. They change the name of their company every two months so the charges will go through again. The only way to stop it was to cancel your card and get a new one.

Selling APOs was what determined your employee performance. The only people patient enough to listen to all the Up Sale offers then the APOs, AND be gullible enough to fall for them, were often little old ladies. My co workers had the "Little Old Lady" thumb up to signal they had a little old lady on the line which meant APO sales and their job was safe for a little bit longer.

I lasted two weeks before walking out to my car to get my lunch.... then just got in and drove off.

Atrocious Joystick:
I wish the best for this guy. I really do. I hope he goes on to work in the field he dreams about working in.

But you also can't really be surprised if you get fired after demeaning your employer and more importantly their customers in public. Besides, millions in the western world are unemployed and either on government handouts or living off of savings or the genorosity of family. Whine harder.

I hear the logic alot, but it just plays into the hands of the cruel. The usual thing is 'there are 100 people wanting your job, so work 10 extra hours'. Demanding something better is not in and of itself wrong and is actually extremely positive. If employers could they would have one doing the work of 2 or 3 and have done in the past. Because of labour movements this is no longer the case and more jobs have opened up and the conditions improved as a result.

So complain about valid things (and call centers are anything but decent places without un-needed stress (my father worked in one for 2 years, I know well enough from him). It is time more people spoke out so standards improve.

* Not having a go at you specifically, just the general position your words reflect.

OT: I wish him well and hope he can find a better work environment in the future. I am also interested in knowing the specific grounds for his dismissal and whether they were legally right.

sapphireofthesea:

I hear the logic alot, but it just plays into the hands of the cruel. The usual thing is 'there are 100 people wanting your job, so work 10 extra hours'. Demanding something better is not in and of itself wrong and is actually extremely positive. If employers could they would have one doing the work of 2 or 3 and have done in the past. Because of labour movements this is no longer the case and more jobs have opened up and the conditions improved as a result.

So complain about valid things (and call centers are anything but decent places without un-needed stress (my father worked in one for 2 years, I know well enough from him). It is time more people spoke out so standards improve.

* Not having a go at you specifically, just the general position your words reflect.

OT: I wish him well and hope he can find a better work environment in the future. I am also interested in knowing the specific grounds for his dismissal and whether they were legally right.

I am all for strong unions and demanding fair treatment and a good work environment. And I do think it is disgusting how whenever the economy takes a downturn society turns to the unemployed, the working class and low level service employees and go "You know, if only you had it worse this would all be fixed."
The social democrats had a slogan once "Gör din plikt, kräv din rätt." It pretty much translates to "Do your duty, demand your rights". I think that is a nice slogan.
Do the job you have been hired to do, show up on time, respect your employer and your career whatever it may be. But then demand to be treated with equal respect in return, full pay for all hours you put in, no obligatory or de facto obligatory overtime unless your job absolutely requires it (law enforcement, healthcare). Employment is a two-way contract and you're not being given a handout. You do a job and get paid for it. You and your employer have an agreement, he is not your king.
Of course, you need a strong union to act the bully if the employer refuses to play ball for that kind of policy to work. Strong enough that it can fuck up shit for work places not directly connected to it.

I just think that defaming your employer for no reason but "I don't like my job" is poor work ethics and that should be discouraged as much as poor employment ethics.

I don't need to play his game, I've already lived it.

That being said, a game like that is more or less "work trash talk" being put into tangible form for all the world to see. It's never a good thing for a companies' image for anyone working in said company to publicly announce "90% of my customers are idiots!", so they will sever all ties immediately.

The last company I worked for sued an employee for slander for posting crap about his day on his facebook. the company before that? There was a video posted on youtube about some guys messing around in the operations room at an airport. A company logo was spotted on the tail of a plane in that video, all people shown in the video were fired immediately, even the guy who said "c'mon guys quit screwing around."

Both true stories.

Kopikatsu:

Farther than stars:

Actually, that's only true in America. In Europe we have job security which prohibits employees from being fired at random. I would have thought that job security would be a lot tighter in Canada as well, at least compared to the U.S. Then again, even if it is, ministers have a tendency to use their privileges in unsavoury ways. The upside of democracy is, of course, that if a judge were to determine that this was a wrongful termination, Minister Shea can kiss her job goodbye.

It's true in Canada as well, which is where this took place.

Gallant's job is gone for good either way, though. Even if the court decides that the termination was wrongful, they won't reinstate your lost job. Even if the employer wants to take you back, the court won't let them. The only punishment for wrongful termination in Canada is that the company has to pay the former employee damages.

Well, that coupled with the support he's getting for his game is at least something. A lot of people don't get even that much.

It's Canada Revenue AGENCY not Authority

Akalabeth:
It's Canada Revenue AGENCY not Authority

This. So much this.

OT: It seems odd that things like The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Rick Mercer Report and This Hour has 22 Minutes are working for the CBC, yet someone working for the CRA can't make fun of them through a video game. Interesting stance...

And the great thing is, their firing him for his 'offense' has now put it on the map. Well done, you just made his game get popular attention.

Somehow, I don't think he's going to regret this in the future. Good luck, sir!

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here