Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Can he really do this?

A long time ago, I was a tester at a video game company in Montreal.

For some time, each week, we had less and less people on the floor. It was probably a good indication that the company was in trouble, but the real tip came when the coffee and hot chocolate machine went
from free to 50 cents. Our paychecks began to come late, and we even got the classic “The financing check is in the mail, we just have to wait” and “It must be lost in the mail.”

One morning, I was busy breaking the piece of software I was assigned to, when the accountant busts out of the president’s office shouting “You can’t do this Don!” How bad is it when the accountant is shouting at the president in front of the whole office?

Three weeks later, on a Monday, I got a promotion. On friday, a special meeting was held. We all got envelopes, thinking it was our due paychecks.

“Those with thick envelopes are fired, permanently. Those with slim onse are for 6 months.”

I eventually got rehired… One morning, waiting for the elevator, a guy asked me to give the president a letter, and left as soon as I took it.  It was unsealed, so, curious like a rat, I peeked. A partner was suing the company.  I left the next Friday.

Funny thing - that place is still in business.