I created a lot of negative posts but there were some really great times and things only soured in the 2013-2015+ range once the parent company and woke warriors took over or when the REAL president left or was pushed out. This post took about 10+ hours of work. There’s still some negative feedback here and there in this post.
These are the GOOD times of Casino portion of the movie.
But what was great about working for a game company? It was great for quite a while. Maybe I’m giving away all of the content of the book I’d never be able to legally write. There still is some negativity here because they had all these great things and then cut them all.
I pretty much accomplished the best of anything that could happen there decade(s) ago so I’m not at all losing out on not being there. My line is “I dined with kings.” I already beat the game pre-2010. Anyone talking shit on me never did anything there the likes of what I did except perhaps moneywise (whocares), or knew what I did there, or knew about my accomplishments documented in my reviews. They mostly only knew what happened post-2010 which wasn’t a lot as mentioned in previous posts. Wow, let’s work on the 12th version of this or the 3rd version of that. hah. Some websites were on the 4th or 5th redesigns. We were just sucking down time on the chart heading off a cliff. It wasn’t about your position rank, or money, it was about what things you had accomplished there for the company, games, forums, web, launcher, or even customers. I won’t brag too much about my accomplishments because I really don’t care if people know them all and I really don’t care what opinions the scrubs have of me. I have a long list of credits on real titles (some guy actually took over a department having worked on a Barbie game). The people I really cared about, knew my worth.
Toward the end only under 75 people even knew who I was due to everyone leaving and length of time.
Best to worst desk space
From 2004-2006 or so, I had the absolute best office in the entire company except for a few execs. I even had a couch to take naps at lunch. From 2007 and on it was continual desk downgrades because the hiring never stopped. People always made this joke when they saw my new shitty desk each time we’d move. I always watched Office Space dreaming I had their cubes which woulda been an upgrade. There was like 7-10 downgrades and maybe only 2 upgrades. They crammed about 3x the amount of people that should be in a building. One building had 4 stalls and 300 people. I went to one building and the entire hallway was people in the hallways to the point where you couldn’t even walk around or exit a door. If you picture any workplace with a computer, even this shit below woulda been an upgrade from the 15+ years of being crammed into tiny spaces. For the last two years, my boss’s desk was like 5 inches away from the left of mine. Meeting rooms for 5 people would have 20 in there. Meeting rooms for 10 people would have 30-40. I’d have to sit on the floor. I got sick all the time from all the crammed meetings. Just picture the absolute worst computer desk setup and that’s what they would give you. It shoulda been an osha violation. Only Covid forced them to make any changes.
As mentioned, 2013 was the ideal bailing point but I drug it on another 8 years as the nearly last person (rank #14) for a few reasons:
- Saw it as my perm job and never imagined working elsewhere. I’m stuck in my ways and stick with shitty games, companies, or tv shows until the bitter end. For whatever OCD reasons.
- The game aspect of being THE LAST SURVIVOR. I outwitted and outplayed all but 13. haha. Rank 14 is pretty good in the battle royale game vs. 3000 people. There was so many bosses that were after me that were then later gone and I outlasted them (as they got fired).
- From 2013-to 2017 I really cared about my stupid ass Ingress (pre-cursor to Pokemon Go) portals in the town and campus. Way too much.
- I was trying to get the 25-year reward (1 year short) that DOES NOT EXIST. So I knew that for years and shoulda bailed at the 20-year reward. I was treating it too much like a real-life game where I was leveling up my time there experience (POINTLESSLY). And there never was a reward past 20 years and just a dumb party. When everyone in the year 20-30 range bailed and didn’t care, that was my clue I shoulda gone too hah. One of the bosses got a custom-made statue with the character flipping people off which is fucking hilarious.
- I kept falling for 6 years of my boss lying to me saying next year is going to be a better year $$ wise. He was just repeating what the people above him gave him. Then magically each year the record profits would never filter down for bullshit reasons.
ON TO THE POSITIVE
And keep in mind I shilled all of these benefits for years.
As mentioned, the campus was impressive early on but didn’t at all keep up with the times and there are way better buildings/campuses elsewhere.
- 1999-2007 OLD CAMPUS – Free Soda – For a period of time we had a free Soda fridge. But then fuckers from QA (please halp the distraughten QA people!) would bring a damn cooler and fill it up with free soda and take it home. They shoulda put a camera on that shit and fired them. In the end they quoted some outrageous cost it was costing them to stock and keep the free Soda going. I forget but something like $250,000 per something (month). And they canceled it. But in the later years, they coulda at least put a free Coke Freestyle machine in the cafe instead of charging us for it. They probably thought by charging for it, it’s healthy like the schools who want to determine our health without our consent. Who knows.
- There would be all these stars that visited. I typically don’t give a shit about stars but it’s cool in general.
- Saw Rudi Guliani, but didn’t get to talk to him because I was scared. He was just by the soda machine eating at a table by himself.
- The 3 playboy girl wives that Hefner abused
- James Hong,
- I saw Deadmau5 walking around and I was like what’s up with the guy with the weird tattoo on his neck.
- Saw Gary Coleman at E3.
- Saw Denzel Washington at Comic Con.
- John Romero from Doom
- Elon Musk came to campus with kids cuz he liked one game. They told us to never talk to him unless he asked something. (dumb).
- Saw some costume creator for all of the Star Wars that told us what a douchbag George Lucas is in real life and that he helped him install some slutty artwork of Leia in his bathroom.
- Who knows how many more I didn’t recognize.
- Saw and got an autograph from the creator of G.I. Joe / Snake Eyes/Storm Shadow (comic not the lame movies).
- Got to hear a talk by an Apache Pilot that went in at the start of Desert Storm 1991. He said before they all went into Iraq with the fleet of jets/helicopters they said THIS.
- Subsidized Cafe – From 2007 until who knows, 2015? The first version of the cafe was great. There were only 2 registers so the lines would queue up all over the cafe but that was because the f-ers would never stop hiring people, upwards of 100 a month. Anyway, they had great workers that we befriended for years. The food was great. Then they redesigned the whole place (not sure what year) and the new cafe BLEW. It was way bigger, it had way more space, a better salad bar, and better cash registers. Everything in appearance was better but the new vendor’s food BLEW compared to the previous people in my opinion. It was hippy shit. Watch [Part 1] and [Part 2]. About the best thing I got was they had this peanut butter and jelly day. And you can’t imagine a $5-6 (in old dollars) sandwich would be awesome but it was the most awesome. Otherwise, the prices were insane. $8 juice. The old cafe was cheaper and had better food. Don’t miss that place. During the first whatever years, they paid to keep the prices low but in the end they were so fucking cheap that it was cheaper to go get food elsewhere. They had the money to pay but didn’t like giving it to employees. It’s all about how many people you hire. They hired 20+ buildings worth of people. Throwing people at a problem doesn’t always make it better as clearly shown.
- Free Food Booths – Ever so often they’d have booths with free food. That was great. They even would sometimes have free ice cream booths.
- They brought the Taco Bell truck for free food. I made jokes all day about us getting sick. You’re not doing us any favors bringing that truck here. Then I ate an ORANGE Dorito taco and was sick the rest of my day. I should have listened to my own joke.
- Free Food – Donuts a week or month, Bagles a week/month. Awesome coworkers that would bring in food. Sadly the pay was so bad I relied on that f-ing free food. OH I CAN EAT NOW. I was a master looter. I figured out when a team meeting with donuts ended (another team) and would set an alarm to then go get the donuts. My damn teams never had food. I found this free food fridge I looted for years that wasn’t widely publicized (but OK).
- Free In & Out Truck. They wouldn’t have fries but would give you chips. It was great although the lines would stretch all the way around the buildings in hilarious lengths. Loved it. They did it a bunch but I didn’t count how many times. Just once a year. The trucks they had for this purpose by In & Out were AMAZING. One was a full semi.
- Health Care Fair. All these booths would come on campus with free little crap. You’d get a loot bag and fill it up. The best is a few years ago when the Red Bull Truck came on campus and I jacked like 10+ Red Bulls which is a ton of $$ to us poor people. I believe Red Bulls are super healthy. Great addition! They also had Ice Cream booths and I got like 6. Do you know what’s funny? I had an apple or something from one of those in a bag then forgot it for months on my shelf.
- Intern Fair – They’d have this end-of-the-season intern fair where they demonstrated their projects or how they had worked but I just got the invite and jacked the free food. OK, I walked around and said hi to the interns I knew to not appear rude. The Intern operation was super scammy overall but normalized throughout corporations who try to attract talent and then pay them $5 once they get there. They got treated better than employees. Who them with free housing, pay, events, then pay them nothing if hired. haha.
- Release Speech + Food + Champagne Toast. When a game would release they would meet in the courtyard and give a speech or Champagne Toast. The lame part about this was everyone would spray that shit all over people for no reason. So they put areas that were “splash safe zones” but f-ers would even go through those. It got so bad that I had to listen to the speech from 1/2 a building away and get ready to run when the alcohol wars started. I don’t want to rain on their parade or enjoyment that they justly deserved but I also didn’t want to get doused in alcohol then have to deal with that at my desk the rest of the NORMAL WORKDAY. Overall it was cool if you didn’t get hit. People brought extra clothes. People went home to change. I’d love to see that alcohol all over my dan car seats. They’d also give you a special Champagne flute which is apparently worth nothing now.
- Alcohol – If you drank this was the best place to be because 20-25 years of free alcohol but I didn’t drink and later we learned that people had problems as a result. We’d also have a Saint Patrick’s day or Christmas party with free alcohol. Speeches with Campagne toasts. Tons of free beer events. Just wear your wooden underwear if you’re worried. Company events would give you 2 free drink tickets and I’d get Red Bull or give to spouse or give them to the drunks. One day this guy got so drunk he was sitting on everyone’s laps at work and saying I LOVE YOU. Another off-site this friend got so drunk people had to help him use the bathroom, he pissed all down his pants and someone had to take him home. Loved him though.
- $4 Rideshare. Paid you $4 to ride your bike, car share, etc. Some f-er moved in and cut that benefit (and nearly every other benefit) in 2019 or so. I made $900+ one year.
- Basketball Court – who cares but it was themed
- Parking Garage – I guess if you care? The most fun I had was taking my bike and coasting from the top floor to the bottom. That was pure enjoyment.
- On-site Starbucks. I hate them but sometimes I’d just buy one instead of lunch because I was poor.
- I’d say Food Truck Thursdays but they want $10-12 a meal PRE-PANDEMIC so only rich employees could afford it. I got to watch the rich people eat though.
- Massive Outdoor Gym / Gym clubs – Didn’t care but probably should have. My friends all enjoyed it and it changed their lives.
- $20 Chiropractic. But I discovered the guy was just bilking insurance and doing like 2 mins of work.
- CONS: Never any f-ing parking past 2005. Too many nerds. They had to build 2 parking garages and parking there added 10 mins to your trip.
- More Free Shit – People would dump free stuff in the individual buildings or in the cafe on a table. Got lots of great stuff. Then some f-er decided we weren’t allowed to do that anymore (at which everyone quit en mass) haha. I got a free case of oil and then used it for years to top off my car. I got monitors.
- On-campus yearly sale – Once a year they’d drag out all the stuff that wouldn’t selll and sell it to employees for big discounts which were super helpful since we were so poor and needed $5 shirts. Lots of it resold for lots of $$. (didn’t sell anything until I left). They even let the public or friends come over on the final sale days. It was awesome until you didn’t care about displaying your company pride in the final years., haha. My spouse worked as a contractor to woman the store one year too. She worked one show & tell and a X-con. It was super funny when SHE went and I still didn’t go.
- That one month Pokemon Go was big, seeing all the buildings clear out to get one stupid pokemon. It was so funny/epic to see 100s, 1000s of people come out of the offices. It was a life time experience never recreated.
- For Sale Channel. It started off with a forum and then they shut down the forum which was super lame and switched to a chat room which was much worse. They tried to keep saying year after year the forum was coming soon. There were great deals in there because, in pre-woke hiring, people actually cared about each other and wanted to help each other out. I gave away a bunch of free items to coworkers in there. But in chat, your message scrolls off or people don’t fix their PINS on the item. Or people babble (like me) and your message scrolls off. I did sell a ton of non-work items in there. Until, 3 years of extreme woke hiring and it got so bad that some literal NECKBEARD reported to HR that I had “too many hair clippers.” HR contacted me and did a video chat where I showed them all my receipts and they closed the ticket. Fucking backstabbing bastards seriously. All my work friends couldn’t believe some coworker had done that. The coworkers were worse than the angry customers that I sell personal goods to in real life toward the end. In that, I meant customers of myself personally off-site (not my WORK customers). To which someone tried to say I was against all the work customers which wasn’t true. I spent 20 years serving the customers to the best of my ability and the stats and job reviews reflected that.
- Another hilarious random story was this lady was ranting that some coworker had put one of those pre-printed bad parking tickets on her car. To which someone asked, did you park bad? She thought it was the worst thing anyone could have done IRL. haha. The car chat was dying. These last two generations are paper-thin. They needed some World War 2 or Vietnam to toughen them up.
- Free Shit – Sold it for a ton of $$$ hahaha. Hey, their video games are about looting. I sat there saving up all the free shit (but had to spend $3k for a few years storing it) for 20+ years and sold it all at the end. They did their best to give you free things including action figures, comics, shirts, and all kinds of random things. This really died out in the final years. The more people the more free stuff you have to hand out. (didn’t sell until I left per rules)
- Yearly December gift that was awesome and available. sold 2007 one for $1500 haha.
- Had better badges than QA or Support until they cried and gave everyone blue. (and I did 6 months in QA quit bitching). The top x people had BLACK badges. Who gives a shit really., but people CRIED. This guy designed pink badges to shame the people who forgot their badges but then as women joined and people more friendly to pink, the insult died. haha.
- We had this Mp3 server going where I was exposed to all sorts of awesome music I would have never seen otherwise. And this went for years until this dipshit employee takes his Apple and shares the damn mp3s publically. So then we got some takedown requests from Sony. That one apple douche fucked it up for EVERYONE. Always one of those people. Mp3s was over. Then we can just share youtube links (5+ years later). It wasn’t as good.
The best thing was that everyone could give feedback on anything and you’d see changes. I took the most benefit from that.
- Started off the first referral bonus after seeing it in a parent company employee handbook. Argued with the main business guy until I got a bonus for someone I hired. Then managed to make $10k off referral bonuses. Some people made a shitton but I don’t have any numbers to impress you but that was all because I started it off. Later on there’s a whole clothing line about referrals. My first round of people worked for 15-20+ years plus and then they started ignoring my suggestions for hires and NONE of them made it. Based on my success of the first bonus and their complete failure on the 2nd bunch, they shoulda listened. haha. No one knew I was responsible.
- Started off as the first producer in my department. I had to come up with all these job listings and supporting stuff to argue why my dept even needed a producer. I was already doing the work for years. Then they OKed it. Then later on they hired so many f-ing producers. We loved them as people but were making jokes about how dumb it was they hired so many of them. It was like 20-30+. They were pitted against each other and fought for survival. The first round got fired or forced to leave so if I was in that position, I probably woulda have been gone in 2007. I switched to content though. To me it was a bad idea to hire so many producers but who knows. There were a lot of websites and I had a ton of them I loved and they did great work when they worked with me.
- Making updates that reached MILLIONS.
- Bonus – One year I got a $58,000 bonus but we heard stories of an artist that got $330,000.
- Arrive at 10 am, leave at 7 pm, 2 hour lunches.
- Seeing game changes from me making it into live games. I was one of the “best” feedback people for game changes. I got multiple emails proving it. One idea I had turned into a race in a game with 14 million games in sales. It started off with a joke I created until the next game had a single character of that race. Then a later expansion based around that. That was MY idea and every f-er playing that expansion was playing it because of my idea. Now the artwork and the lore were created by other people but I packaged that into one idea that was then sold to the customers. They loved it so much now it’s a thing. Plenty of other examples including the first double-person mount.
- I was friends with all the major designers for years and I could go to them for any questions or suggestions, even on the unreleased upcoming games. They were mad about my hard-hitting feedback that shocked them to the core but appreciated getting a heads up before it hit the real angry fans. Over the years I softened it down to not offend them. One producer was on Facebook flaming me the other year but as I think back, he didn’t complete one project without being bailed out by better people.
- One major figure told me, I want player housing to be a mf-er castle floating in the sky and you fly up to it. Never happened but still cool. haha.
- Getting characters in the game. This one guy though just was captured in a private chat talking shit in 2013 and was taken out of the game after giving them 15 years of service. Maybe I don’t know the whole story but I think that’s ALL he did.
- I got in a 5-player Everquest 1 group with 3 VERY FAMOUS people. We would play until 1-3am every night for 8 months then I sold my character on ebay in 1999 for $1400. It was a work-life long friendship after spending that much time together.
- Being on teams that decided content. I was on lots of teams that decided on content for the games. I’d be in a meeting where people didn’t care as much as me and I could determine real game changes. I have a bunch of credits. Toward the end years, everything was just an upgrade to a previous game so it didn’t really matter to me.
- Really had nothing good for discounts the entire time. They tried but it was always about as good as full price. At one point were were owned by a corp that owned Hertz and Hotels and stuff but before I could enjoy anything from there we got sold to France. (hey quit banning all the French people now that they own us)
- I did get a used computer from X-con for my daughter for $200 or whatever. I had to sit there reloading all day vs. other employees but I got one and she’s used it for 3-4+ years now. Pretty much the ONLY thing I got from them. I beat out 1000s for it.
- 2 free games a year. Of course, it was for the same games at that same company that were $10 anyway so who cares really. It helped $20 worth I guess. Only a few times were there good games by other companies within the group.
BACK WHEN PEOPLE WERE COOL:
(some jerk then took them off)
In the end, they cut all of this even pre-pandemic to save $$. So my line is: “if you go to a company that has a good company picnic, it’s a step up from this place.” My family loved all of these events and when they stopped doing (ALL) of these, my family started hating the company because there was no reason to like them without these events. They even got rid of the cool Halloween event. I gave a lot of event suggestions over the years since toward the end I had been to more of them than the people creating them. One event team leader went to RIOT. They probably get all the good events now. If you get through this page or list, realize that without any of this stuff you’re left with nothing but a paycheck.
These are the events that made working at a game company worth it:
- Free Movie & Show and Tell – You would go to a movie theater they would rent out and by the end, they had to rent out (4)+ theaters. You’d get some demos of different departments and upcoming content that was VERY INSPIRING. You’d not give a shit about a game and they’d show you something cool about it and then you’d care. Then after that was over they’d show a free movie! Then aholes would start leaking all the content so we couldn’t do them anymore. The record was like 1 second or 1 minute.
- Saw TONS of free movies for 10-15 years. We saw the best movies and also saw lots of the worst movies including: “XXX, Hulk Movie, Dungeons & Dragons. Tomb Raider 2?” The funniest moment was when 1/2 the theater was coworkers and a character died in Dungeons & Dragons and it was supposed to be a sad moment. But all the coworkers started cheering and clapping and the normies/audience was like WTF? haha.
- Employees would yell out random shit that was hilarious.
- They had a general problem where they wanted to do a show & tell but there were no good movies out so we’d have to see something crappy. The success of the event was determined by the content of Hollywood and how shitty their movie were. So they just got rid of the movie and just had show & tell which was lame! I think a few times they did a movie here and there but overall it was gone.
- I did start to fall asleep during the show & tells cuz they were so early 7-8am or the movies were boring.
- We had a thing where our team would get there in line before everyone else and save an entire row just for our team for YEARS. Then they hired so many non-gamers PLUS so many people they’d have these wankers that love getting up at 6am who would f up that whole process and destroyed it because by the time you’d get there at 7-8 am the line would be massive. Hiring too many people really killed that event (general theme).
- Yearly Game Convention – I honestly didn’t care about the yearly convention because I already knew the information and they forced us to work it to save costs on actually hiring people. CHEAP. I can’t even remember when I last went. 2014/2015. I’d get out of it every year. And it was cool the first few times but like anything, got old the more times you went. Tons of nerds packed into each other. Hard to get to the bathrooms. Everyone got sick the week after (“the X-con flu”). However, for the first 5-10 they had really good bands with about 5+ bad band years. I went to all the good bands. I enjoyed watching the old RTS games on esports stages. I enjoyed getting the loot bags that I later sold. haha. I mean it’s pretty much the best gaming convention but I’ve had enough of game conventions for 5 lifetimes. I did really enjoy the costume contest. Here’s what blew though. At the start, they’d give you a ticket and 3 guest tickets. In the end they would only give YOU a ticket and just give a discounted price for an additional ticket. You couldn’t take your spouse(s) or kids anymore. And why? BECAUSE THEY HIRED TOO MANY PEOPLE. As a company grows to too big numbers, it sucks. Each new person wants to be a boss and control everything until there’s 50 people for approvals for a simple change. Anyway, we found a way to flip tickets using the company BUCKS. I was making $700+ a year by selling them (which due to bad pay really helped). What you’d do is just sell to an employee (legal) and they’d pay you in cash / or / use their internal currency to buy the tickets and sell for cash. If they paid people that wouldn’t have been such a desperation move.
One top 6 leader goes, I’m never being a part of a big company again
- Las Vegas Trips – They would do a trip after a major game launch. Went on a TON. I don’t know if I even documented them all or how many times I went but we went so many times that I got sick of the place. However, they stopped going past whatever the year, 2016, and it sucked because that was a main benefit of employment. They would bus you there. They’d pay for a hotel room. After 2021, they’d NEVER do that again I’m sure, not they were doing it anyway. I learned that they’d pick and choose developers or big wigs and give them better hotels or rooms which was bullshit. But whatever I guess. I almost never met up with people after going but would instead go with my spouse and one time with my kid. I generally tried to avoid these people outside of work which we’d later learn in 2021 was a good idea (but bad for $ and career). Hotels stayed at: The Palms, New Orleans (2-3x), Mandalay Bay (mass murder hotel but my fav), The Saharah, and The Aladin. Maybe missed a few. On one trip they gave us a free (2nd expansion) rolling suitcase. Another they gave us some RTS themed glasses. One time the bus had a VHS player and I bought some VHS (late 1990s) and made the people watch SOLIENT GREEN on the bus. I forgot my 2nd movie choice, I think The Warriors or Planet of the Apes. They would also have one company event during the event at Las Vegas for employees to all gather which was typically a BOWLING event at the NEW Orleans where they had food and WORK bowling shirts (that sell for $200). The whole bowling alley was just employees as far as you could see. That started the bowling shirt theme. Also early on they’d give you a free ticket to a show but later on there was too many people (yet again).
- Company Picnic. When it started we were one of the FEW families with kids, like (4-10 families). As time progressed, then lots of people were hired with kids or peope got older and had kids.
- First Company Picnic – It was a this Irvine Park place in a big field. See the website. (I’m not sure if they had other company picnic events in the first 6 years prior to me getting there.) This place was great. The food was the absolute best. The president would preside over games with prizes. In later years, the execs wouldn’t even show. They would hire a character artist and we’d get pictures created each year and frame them of our family. The single people would get their free meal and GTFO. People would set up in the grass or picnic tables and hang out all day. It was AWESOME. My family loved it.
- Next picnics? Whoever decided to not go to that place anymore and it was crappier ever since. Maybe they thought we went there too many times or there was some logistical reason. They would have an event at the OC Fairgrounds but it was WAY crappier than the original picnic. They’d just send you to food booths there that were very expensive and you’d lose more $ going there than not going there. It was like the company was picking your entertainment value but it was a bad deal. It’s supposed to be a benefit, not a punishment. The only positive one of that event is they had some great REAL CARNIVAL games in the middle with WORK-THEMED prizes. Some of which sold very well. hahaha. At the last one they had, they at least gave you some tickets to buy food at the booths. Who wants to go pay for food at a place where you can get BETTER food for possibly cheaper.
- Medieval Times – DINNER AND TOURNAMENT. I don’t know how many times we went but at least so many that I was sick of it but now I’d kill to go again. This was an A+++ event and toward the end, they even modified the show for a complete “work” storyline and characters and even some outfit changes. Amazing. All these after-newbs will never experience it.
- Yearly Halloween Event. For 10-15+ years the parents would bring their kids to campus and they would wander around each building to each person’s desk and get candy. The kids loved it. It was the only time of the year they got to see the campus and their parents’ work or desks. The QA building started decorating the whole building. They had amazing themes each year that were as good as any haunted house. So then people started worrying about confidentiality and would block of certain buildings. FINE. Then someone decided to have some good food choices at the cafe that the kids would enjoy because the kids wanted to eat afterward. They had packs of hotdogs, fries, things kids would eat. They would also go around and dump off big bags of candy at people’s desks for all the workers who didn’t have time to go get candy for the kids. A+++++++++++++++++ BUT THEN someone fucked it all up. It had worked fine for decades but whoever made this change needed a kick in the #*#*#*#. They decide to run some kid’s fair in the middle of the campus and NOT LET ANYONE IN THE BUILDINGS. WTF. The campus was in no way set up for that traffic flow so a huge glob of people would gather in the middle and you couldn’t even move. Then the lines would all block each other and you’d spend like the entire time in f-ing line and doing nothing fun. Then in the end the kids wouldn’t even have candy. So they started just randomly throwing it around but that still wasn’t good enough. The faire was designed for kids age 3-5 I swear so the older kids then thought this place was lame as fuck and they were too old to be here (valid observation). So then they decided to take over 2 sections of the parking lot and set up booths which was a bit better but still not as good as the original event. People always f things up that work.
- Battle of the Bands – Employees created a band of 4 people and played Rockband dressed up in the courtyard. They were judged and there were prizes. They even let family members come. It was really awesome. But it died out as the games died out. They even gave us a guitar/game in 2007 when bought.
- One-off: Christmas party at the Queen Mary. They projected the company logo places. It had amazing ice decorations never seen again. And I think I missed a bunch of Christmas parties from 1998-2004.
- One-off: 2008 an on Campus Easter Event for the kids and family. Never did that S again.
- One-off: Some guy was trying to get some business for accounting and offered a free bus ride and tickets to the Magic Castle., which is impossible to go to otherwise. It was so awesome. 2007. I still regularly hear how awesome that event was. We even got to see some dude give a show that was on a regular TV show. Most people missed that event. It was just something dumped on the counter on reception.
- Disneyland Hotel – Christmas Party – It USED to be great, but toward the end, they hired so many f-ers they couldn’t fit them all in the place. You would go there and you’re lucky if you even saw anyone you knew. So while we cry for 2 years about POOR QA, the QA/support had a separate party. They then combined the parties + hired too many and that resulted in what? 3000+ spouses? 6000? Who knows. TOO MANY PEOPLE. The event was completely ruined once those parties were combined. You couldn’t get into the place parking-wise. You couldn’t park. I mean if you did make it in there (late) they had really good food and desserts and a great time. They would give people year 15, year 20, and year 25 rewards in front of everyone on big TVs. The newbs kept scrolling off the list where 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year people no longer got mentioned. So funny. I was always ahead of that curve. the 25-year people got a party on the beach. (but no reward). They tried to gate people into it to avoid people sneaking in but the line was so long, that the president goes, just let everyone in. Other times they had these ipads and confirmed people and got everyone in quickly. They would have a photo gallery up top (and I curated that a little. Photos I submitted showed for years up there). Bingo (that we never won). Someahole won a vacation and he wasn’t even happy. Made me and spouse were enraged. His winning response: “meh.” We would have really enjoyed that vacation. In a few of the later parties, they stopped having real dinners because they had so many f-ers they didn’t even have enough tables to seat them. You had to fight other people for a table. It’s a huge lesson in don’t let your company get too big or everything sucks. Once they stopped doing it, it was so bad that you didn’t miss it. But most of the earlier ones were great! The rich employees would get a Disneyland Hotel room (their prices were insane like $500+). For a 20-year reward, they gave ME a free room for the party. It was amazing/epic/awesome. At the end of the party you could get work Christmas ornaments (which I sold).
- 2 Disneyland California Adventure Company Events. They would open just a portion of the park for work people only. Then the world of color had company things inserted into it. It was definitely an epic and amazing experience, unforgettable. (they had another one in 2022 but we agree we’ve already done it). They would only let you have one guest so I’d get free tickets from friends to get the whole family in. (was no age limit). For the very last one, we couldn’t find that 4th ticket and spouse just hid her arm past the guards and got in and was in the whole time. hahaha. If you wanted to do well at that place you gotta exploit whenever possible as you’re fighting 3k people. And spouses mostly got nothing throughout the year, specially later years.
- 1 Disneyland company takeover. That was the best one really. We had the park to ourselves. They did a company speech overlooking Tomb Sawyer’s island/World of Color. No one gave a shit about the speech and it was super awkward for the guests. But then that guy got fired so our judgement of his speech was justified. I got 2 extra tickets from coworkers that had no 2nd person. Later on, they cracked down on that demanding that you do not give your tickets away and that you return them so they could get a refund. CHEAP BASTARDS. After getting rid of EVERY FAMILY event, it was the only family event you could possibly do. Families were forced to choose one kid to take or lie to the other or just their spouse and the kids couldn’t go. But my family worked that shit.
Here’s the chart of how much food we jacked from the free food booths in whatever, 2018 prices.
- One-off: Had some event in downtown University Citywalk (or Shittywalk to Southpark Fans). But one lame thing they did was bus us all to a TALK by the parent corporation then didn’t let us go into Universal Studios or pay for it, and then just bussed us home. Total bullshit.
- One-off: Aquarium of the Pacific. They paid for us to go after hours. But they fucked it up and had near Zero Food. They had these carts with the worst snacks ever like carrots and chips that we had to fill up on. You have to combine food with an event because otherwise, people have to eat beforehand or get hungry during the event. We did go to Roscoes Chicken & Waffles in Long Beach afterward (at our own expense).
- One-off: Some Hollywood event. I can’t even remember why we were there or what it was about. But it was at someplace overlooking Hollywood walk which was awesome on a 2nd floor. I think we got to see the Matrix there too.
- One-off: Knotts Berry Farm Picnic. We got to have the picnic at Knott’s Berry farm in a side area that had the character artist and free food. Then we were let into the park for free. Whoever did that event is a hero.
- Department: Cube Holiday Party. Now elsewhere they’re calling them CUBE Crawls and acting like it was a bad thing and bad things happened but not at all in my department/building. They were GREAT. Everyone put food at their desks and put a map and they were often themed each year. These were great and fuck the haters. Everyone enjoyed them. Now if bad things happened at other departments or buildings, who knows. The game teams were often crazier areas then the rest of the company. Our party was over by like 6-7 pm and people went home. I would bring my kids and spouse to them until the final years where there were so many people that no one knew who they were anymore. This was one of the other few family events (although not sanctioned).
- Department: Christmas Partys (OK HOLIDAY) with great food, speeches (whocares), played games one time, and again awesome food. This girl did the last one we had before the department was dissolved and had the best party in the whole company in comparison.
- Department: K1 speed. Was fun.
- Department: Dave & Busters Party. Was cool with free tokens.
- Department: Saint Patrick’s day where we’d all bring in themed items. My spouse even ran one for the year as a non-employee back when they were cool. I mean FFS she spent more time a part of that group than nearly everyone 17 years.
- Department Event: Magic Mountain. They bussed us there and had a great picnic and games with prizes and let us off into the park. I f-ed my back up on a ride (as they warn you) and had to spend the rest of the few hours just hanging out because it f-ed my neck/back up too much. I think they did this two times. Otherwise it was fun. This one gay dude used his water backpack to sneak wine into the park. Everyone was taking a drink off his “nipple” it was so funny.
- Department Event: Yearly BBQ at the beach in Dana Point. Great BBQ food that is catered. I absolutely enjoyed it each time. The food was great and I metal detected and even found a silver tie pin. One year the place wasn’t watered because of our horrible government that sends water to the ocean instead of the state. One year I took my kids. It was workers only but they had no babysitter. It really bonded us together.
- Department Event: Quite a few paintball trips by bus for free with Pizza for Lunch. Liked it but always had the wrong gear. And I was too P$$y to be aggressive. This little Asian girl producer was the most aggressive and badass player. haha.
- Department Event: Boat Ride to Catalina. Did that 1 time. it was 3 hours one way. It was so cold on the way back but I had a snow jacket luckily. They took us to one side that had a 7-11 as the main attraction though. We coulda stayed in town for that. They didn’t take us to the city with the city or actual things to do. Still a great experience I enjoyed.
- Department Event: 2 “booze cruises” around the harbor. I don’t drink.
- E3 – I will comment on that in a future post.
- Comic-Con – Free industry tickets (but never got them)
Haven’t sold any of those nor are trying:
- Years later added a 2-year stein which is cool. My joke is 1 year you get the foam white cup. I thought I didn’t get mine and asked for one then found it. I should kept that 2nd copy but honestly returned it. Esp after there were no post-20-year rewards.
- 5-year sword. Later I discovered they were just buying them off some website for $100 and they weren’t unique. They have since created a unique sword but I never got it. They were working on replacements but who knows how long after I left if that will ever happen cuz they’re cheap. The sword came with a $300 wooden box that this idiot drove to the movie theater in his pickup truck and broke to shit. I would have liked to just have the $300 in cash. But they did give $100 and I bought a suitcase to use for years. I got my sword announced at show & tell. Later newbs just got a private team mention or a poster in the lobby.
- 10-year shield – Got a mention/speech at the Disneyland Hotel party. And $100 again. I bought another suitcase that I only donated last year.l Lasted 14 years. I was so excited about this shield but they sent it from INDIA in a box with what looks like a beat up pinata. The whole thing was bent to shit. I was about to cry. You work 10 years for this thing and it’s bent. They said I could look through the other ones and I picked out the one that was least fucked up. Others said it was cool that my shield had battle damage. For years, there were only about 4-5 in the dept that even had shields even when I was on to 15/20 year reward.
Then as countless people joined post-2004, they stopped giving $100 with the first 2 gifts. Lame. You shoulda got a cash award with 15/20/25 too. But didn’t. Theme: Cheap
- 15-year ring. That was the one I really wanted. You could pick male (big / small ) version. The small version has less gold so you’re an idiot to pick that one. They even had a cool women’s version. Again a speech at the Disneyland Hotel Holiday party. (later 15-year newbs just got a team mention hahaha). I got in an email war with this dbag on ebay asking to buy my ring that wasn’t even listed. He seemed to think he could get it for something stupid like $1000. I’m sure there were employees dumb enough to sell that cheap. The jeweler had it listed for $3,000. This one also had a disappointing flaw where the black writing on both sides of the ring would wear/rub off. I had to keep taking it back and just gave up on that.
- 20- year crown. Not a lot of those. I thought about 20-30 max. But as time goes on, more common of course. This was the crowning achievement. I got a special party at the $10M+ president’s house overlooking the ocean along with 4 other friends who also had earned it. Then you get a cool chest that is cooler than the crown. Everyone can f off on their opinions about me if they don’t have the crown. IMO.
- 25+ NOTHING but a party I guess.
They were so cheap about travel. They never let me go anywhere past a certain point other than company Las Vegas trips (which were cool). F-ers wouldn’t even let me visit the Texas office in 10-15 years. They only let me go to E3 after it was in LA. The bosses regularly got to travel to China, Korea, France, Ireland, “the Hogue” (whateverthefuckthatis). Or do business related events in Hawaii.
- NYC – Got to go with 2 publically famous leaders to some esports thing in 1999 or so to NYC. We also got to see Episode 1 (ouch) at a famous theater and a broadway show “Little Miss Siagon.” Also got to meet Nolan Bushnell of Atari / Chuck E Cheese which was awesome. Of course, the f-ers are trying to cancel him now.
- San Francisco – 1999, got to go to the PGL one of the first pro esports leagues to document the event. John Carmack was there and I know you nerds love him for ID, Doom, Quake but he started giving a speech and everyone was bored to tears because it was too technical for the audience. But they were excited to see him as a player.
- I got sent to the year 2004 game company conference in Palm Springs where they gave me this big giant personal bungalow / room.
Best Girl Ever
So there were a lot of great years until they dried up and it wasn’t at all pandemic related although that was the final nail.