Tales from The Trenches Archive

Submit your own Tale from The Trenches

Full-Time Monster

I worked for a major publisher as a contracted QA Tester. The pay was minimum wage, benefits were next to none, and we were treated as sweatshop labor, constantly cycling in new fresh-eyed college kids to
replace the dozen fired the week before. Everyday the Full Time employees and managers would come in, take a look at everyone’s numbers for the week, and decide who to fire.

Over a year period I watched as managers fired dozens of friends I made there simply for not reaching an arbitrary bug number the manager made each week regardless of the state of the project. I watched as we were only allowed two smoke breaks a day and the worst schedules to be at work while Full Time Employees came in and left at their leisure, and took smoke breaks upwards of 10 times a day.

Then one day, I applied for an open management spot, and I got it. I became a Full Time Employee.

And I never looked back. My hourly pay was doubled, I had insurance, I went out drinking with my manager and his manager. I fired people who didn’t meet arbitrary bug numbers, I took 10-12 smoke breaks a day because I could. I made up my weekly schedule based on what I wanted to work, coming in late or leaving early. Suddenly all the excuses I heard from people who got fired no longer mattered to me, I had numbers to meet and my raises depended on them.

I became the very thing I hated. 

I have no regrets.