Revenue Canada employee fired over customer service video game

The Right Click

It seems that a Brampton, Ontario game developer got his wish after being fired by Canada Revenue Agency for a computer game that mocks his day job.

Game developer David S. Gallant created ‘I Get This Call Every Day,’ a point-and-click PC game with rudimentary graphics and a very basic premise: you’re an office worker, in a cubicle, taking phone calls from customers and are given a limited number of reactions to choose from to progress the game. You can choose to be snippy with the frustrating customer, or string along the tedious conversation for as long as you can. Most of the time, no matter what you do, you end up getting fired.

If this doesn’t sound like much fun to you, don’t worry, it wasn’t for Gallant either. He created the game as a means of expressing the doldrums experienced at his part-time job answering phone inquiries at Revenue Canada.

Now, in a case of life imitating art, Gallant’s been let go from his position. Gallant said in a tweet on Wednesday morning that he was indeed fired.

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While the game doesn’t expressly reference the crown corporation, The Toronto Star says that there is one graphic in the game which references “Last Tax Return,” implying that in your role as an office worker, you probably work for a tax agency.

The initial story from The Star on Gallant’s game caught the attention of National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, and not in a “I’m-flattered-by-your-work-of-fiction” kind of way. An email from Shea’s Communications Director, Clarke Olsen, to The Star clearly stated her position:

“The Minister considers this type of conduct offensive and completely unacceptable. The Minister has asked the Commissioner (of Revenue, Andrew Treusch) to investigate and take any and all necessary corrective action. The Minister has asked the CRA to investigate urgently to ensure no confidential taxpayer information was compromised.

The publicity around the game and Gallant’s firing has worked out in favour of his burgeoning career as a game creator. Sales of the game have dramatically increased since the news broke about the creation of the game and Gallant’s subsequent firing:

It might not be enough to retire on, but according to other tweets from Gallant, it should be enough to get by until he finds another job – or makes another controversial game.

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