Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Not everybody is a soulless asshole.

I’ve been in the “internet” industry for a while. Most of the problems that game testing run into are a sickening parallel here, however, I’ve not come into anything as bad as what happened to my wife once one of your precious games doesn’t come out exactly as you’d like.

Some gamers quickly become frothing, spiteful misogynists once their game waifu’s honor is slighted.

During a rough patch in my career (red tape surrounding a promised raise, par for the course, right?), she got a job to help make ends meet. She found a job working for EA’s Origin Account Support. EA made the onboarding process fairly smooth, worked with her around my schedule as to allow for ride-sharing, and the pay/benefits package wasn’t horrible based on the type of work she’d be doing. Training was sufficient, and her coworkers are mostly human. Everything was fine for the first month.

Then Mass Effect 3 came out.

I’m not going to exactly spoil it for those of you not privy to the story, but an important character dies. Fans were livid and they called. And called. And called.

Remember: she works for account support, a department that never gets ahold of writers, artists, coders, or decision makers.

Some asked for lukewarm things like refunds, credits and the like, but there are some of you that just can’t leave well enough alone. Personal attacks dealing with her gender (“Get a man on the phone, you won’t understand my complaint”), her moral compass being compromised based on her association with EA (“You’re actively ruining my hobby. You.”), death threats, and hour-long tirades picking apart the story (Think “Han Shot First” type rants) were her bread-and butter.

This is where EA could have easily come to the rescue for their employees, but all of us knowing EA, this should not come as a surprise. My wife’s manager told her team they are never, under any circumstances, allowed to end a customer call. The customer must hang up. Managers do not have the ability to override this, they say, which is bullshit. Every VoIP administration box can just shut a phone off.

She managed to get through a week on the floor after ME3’s release before she called me in tears, asking to leave her job.

To put her mental constitution into context, she did a tour in Iraq, and was honorably discharged on medical grounds (repetitive motion disorder).

It’s just a game, everybody. Calm the fuck down, and remember that whenever you need to call support for any reason, they are humans.