Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Keep your head down, lest you lose it.

Game testing was my first job upon leaving college. Naturally, I was fresh-faced, and like most college students, was not truly prepared for the realities of a professional environment. I made mistakes and
suffered for them, but I also learned from them.

However, not every mistake I learned from was one of my own making. While I was working as an associate (contract) tester for a large company in the Pacific Northwest, there was another tester in the office working on another project that was the sort of guy that thrived on attention. He was loud (though not generally disruptive), was friendly to everyone, was excited to let people know when it was his birthday, that sort of thing.

Now, one of the core rules of the department was that if you were caught sleeping when you should be working, you’d be sent home. If it happened a second time, you’d be shown the door on a permanent basis. While it wasn’t too common, between the long hours, long commutes, and everything else going on in one’s personal life, it was bound to happen. And it happened to Mr. Exuberant. He was caught sleeping, and
sent home.

And then it happened a second time, which would have been sad except for the circumstances in which it happened. He was found sleeping while sitting on a toilet in the men’s room.

By the department manager.

The office was a lot quieter after that.