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New comics every Tuesday & Thursday

Tales from the Trenches

Week by Week

I spent some time with a recent QA contracting position at a mobile game company.  Development schedules for mobile games can be a bit more erratic, so contracts can be shorter than your typical six month deal.  When I was initially hired, I signed a two month contract.  As the end of the contract loomed close, completion goals for our game had not been met and we weren’t launching on time, so they decided to extend the contract out a month.  This would be repeated once more until the project finally shipped two months late.  This was when the contract extensions got ridiculous.

After the game had shipped, production got word from on high that they would need several patches in the coming weeks, so staffing of the QA contractors became a week by week thing due to budget constraints.  My manager could not tell me on any given day of the week if I would be coming back the next Monday.  My hours were kept through an online site hosted by the contracting company, and on this site I could see when my contract was set to officially expire.

One week, my contract was set to expire on a Wednesday.  I had talked to my boss about making sure to either tell me I’m no longer working there, or to get that extended before I’m legally obligated to leave the office.  Sure enough, Thursday rolls around; I get on the site and notice my contract was not extended.  I figured my boss would have taken care of it since we spoke, but I found myself on Thursday morning working for free.

I decided to approach my boss and let him know that I’d be out of the office until he got the contract business sorted out.  He looked at me annoyed, and said, “Gahhhh, that’s right.  Look, you don’t have to leave.  You’ll get paid.  I just forgot to talk to the producer to confirm the extension.”  I stood my ground and told him in all good conscience, I couldn’t be there.  I walked out.

An hour later, I get a text from him (yes, a text), alerting me things had been worked out and to return to work.  I decided I would, since I needed to eat and pay rent that month.  This business went on for several months before I was finally let go on the last day of one of those weekly extensions (no warning before the day of).