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Opinion

No More Calls Today - David S Gallant Fired Over His Game Development

Ignorance is strength.

Have you ever been stuck in a boring job? Repeating the same set of banal tasks over and over and over again. Staring at the same walls. The same desks. The same dreary, well-trodden hard-wearing carpet. Have you ever been in a job so mired in tedium that you’ve become familiar with every stain on that carpet?

Every scratch or spillage that has marred your desk.

The numbers on your telephone are worn and faded like your spirit.

If you’ve ever found yourself confined in the noiseless feedback loop of drudgery, an administrative factotum for a company that uses you up like a bucket of paperclips, then you might have turned to some form of escapism. You might have channelled your wasted skills into something that distracts you from the white noise of your daily life. And you might have some sympathy for David S Gallant.


It's easy to be fired in the game, for being bad at the job.
That’s the name of the guy who created a quirky little game called I Get This Call Every Day, about working in customer support.

David’s employment with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) gave him plenty of source material on which to base his “personal tale of unwinnable realities.”

On its surface, I Get This Call Every Day is a kind of point and click adventure about dealing with incoming queries from customers who are awkward, unhelpful or witless. They serve as the foil for the player, who can choose to either struggle with helping them or rail against them and be fired.

For David, his coping mechanism for dealing with a boring and infuriating job was creativity rather than rudeness.

That hasn’t stopped him losing his job.

The Toronto Star published an article about David and his game in which they mentioned that Canada’s National Revenue Minister, Gail Shea, was displeased. Clark Olsen, Shea’s communications director, emailed the newspaper to say that there would be an investigation to ensure that no sensitive information had been disclosed in the game. He said that “The Minister considers this type of conduct offensive and completely unacceptable,” and that the ministry would “take any and all necessary corrective action.”

Although David’s game didn’t feature any specific mention of his place of employment nor disclose any sensitive information, it appears that his game now being publicly linked with the CRA was enough to draw the ire of those in government.

David has been fired.

He has confirmed his situation via Twitter (@davidsgallant) but says that he cannot disclose any more information about it.

He also addresses the numerous optimistic calls from supporters, pointing out that he can now focus his time on creating and developing games, “I have to focus on paying the rent too.”


You can buy I Get This Call Every Day for a minimum fee of $2 or vote for it to be released via Steam’s Greenlight system.

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11 Comments
  1. Jakster123x
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    Damn, how completely unnecessary. Have you played the game? Is it any good?

    Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 13:42.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      it’s interesting. Very rough and probably not the sort of thing you’re going to spend hours playing and loving (it’s absolutely supposed to be frustrating, remember) but it’s quite smart simply because of the ideas that it’s exploring – it’s a game about being frustrated at a boring job.

      Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 13:45.
      • Jakster123x
        Member
        Since: Aug 2011

        Interesting. I really like the fact he used his boring job as material for a game instead of just moaning like i do.

        Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:24.
      • kjkg
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        Yeh Jak, but difference between him being productive and you just moaning is you still have a job and he doesn’t ;)

        Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:27.
      • rht992
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        Sounds like “The Office” of computer games. Wouldn’t mind giving this a shot but i’m afraid I’ll get nightmarish flashbacks to time in a marketing company. Such a shame they fired him. Best of luck to the guy. Hope he can use this creativity to find himself employment.

        Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:43.
  2. avengerrr
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    If it goes on Steam will he get money for it then even if the game is being investigated?
    I know $2 is nothing much but it might be something if 200 people buy it and he definitely gets the money.

    Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:00.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      yes, as far as I know, they’ve just said they’re going to look into whether it has confidential info from taxpayers but it doesn’t so sales shouldn’t be impacted at all – and buying through his website (the minimum $2 link) will see the cash go straight to him, I think.

      Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:11.
  3. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Somewhere he or someone has let slip that it is based around his job and that just can’t happen. I’m not agreeing with his firing, just don’t think it’s that strange. I’m sure people are fully aware that insulting the copmpany that you work for can come back and bite you in the ass. Happens all the time.

    Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:26.
  4. Michael
    Team TSA: Development
    Since: Forever

    I’ve been playing it for years. It’s awful, but then every 30 days or so you get a little bonus thingy and then I figure I may as well keep playing for a few more days.

    Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 14:29.
  5. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    i rather think he should be in touch with his lawyer for a wrongful dismissal suite

    Comment posted on 30/01/2013 at 17:13.
  6. Sitorimon
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    As a UK Civil Servant I can barely have an opinion on anything if you read into your contract. Shame really. (uh oh now Im for the chop lol)

    Comment posted on 31/01/2013 at 00:31.

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