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.[drop2]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.”