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Subject: Sad news ONLY. Come join in the misery. rss

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Pat
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Incoming vent. Be advised.

My mother in law is undergoing radiation treatment on Thursday, and would very much like to have family around for a couple days afterwards. My wife was going to be there for her anyways, so her and kiddo will be heading that way for a couple days later this week into the weekend.

But first, some backstory.

Originally my sister in law was going to be there during the day on Thursday to bring her home from the hospital, but there were some "complications", and she's no longer able to help. Extremely long story short, my sister in law, her husband and their two very young kids moved back to the East Coast from California this weekend, only to find that the Air B&B they rented for two months was somehow already occupied. Always good to find out that you suddenly don't have a place to stay immediately following a cross-country move. They spent their first night in a hotel, and are currently staying at my brother in law's parents house until they can sort out a new place with Air B&B (who has been very accommodating through all this, I might add). What that all means is that my wife and daughter will be heading up there a bit earlier in the day on Thursday, and we'll have some "Plan B's" lined up just in case.

So my family will be gone again, and I feel bad that I can't join them. I do think this is one of those situations where it's probably better that my mother in law gets to spend the time with just her daughter and grand daughter, but still. I feel bad. I never like the feeling of them being away.

But my family being away, or my wife having to alter her plans because of my sister in laws difficulties are just annoyances, and not the reason I'm posting here.

The big unknown right now - and my reason for posting - is regarding my mother in law and her "long term" prognosis. She was diagnosed with stage four carcinoid cancer five years ago, and has been undergoing treatment since her diagnosis. While she has done remarkably well considering (perfectly illustrated by her making the 4.5 hour car trip this week to visit us for a few days), her treatments have become less effective, and now require more intense protocols. And of course, there are no guarantees. The type of treatment she's about to undergo was JUST approved by the FDA in the US, and at the moment, that's her only - and last - option.

Five year survival rates for carcinoid cancer - especially later stages - aren't good. While she has shared some information about her disease with us, there's still a great many details she's keeping close to her chest. The fact that she's getting this type of treatment essentially confirms that she is in the advanced stages of the disease, but we don't know much beyond that. To further complicate matters, survival rates and long term prognosis is dependent on so many variables, that any type of estimate regarding her longevity isn't worth trying to figure out.

Yet, we know this will ultimately kill her. We just don't know when, or what her state will be as time progresses.

The part that's eating me up, however, is not knowing what to do for my wife. She's a strong woman, and she's been living through this for years now, but I'll never really, truly know what she's feeling. Like me, she's a problem solver, and I think her approach to this has been trying to understand what the options are, learning what happens next, and what every step of her mother's treatment is. Take things a day at a time, take action when needed, and always know what happens next.

My fear is what happens when there are no more options, and things inevitably begin to progress. Her mom has still been active in our lives the past five years, and despite some discomfort and challenging moments, it doesn't feel like much has changed. I'm worried that when things start to go South, it's going to be devastating for my wife once she realizes the inevitable is coming. Up until now I've done my best for my family to continue to live our lives and enjoy what we have, but this does feel like a milestone, a point after which the path is unknown.

And I don't like that. I'm not sure what to do, what to say, or how to act. And I hate the "not knowing". I want my wife to be happy, and there's no way this isn't affecting her.

I just don't know what to do.
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Rose
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HUGS, Pat. That all sucks a lot. Cancer blows. And it sucks when you want to take care of someone but aren't sure how.

If you want some advice that might be completely wrong. Feel free to ignore and just take an extra HUG.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
For your wife, just be there in whatever way she needs you. To do extra things around the house, to get out of the way if she needs to do more things to keep busy, as a shoulder to cry on, as a person to be yelled at, all of those in the same day. She might not have any idea what she needs either.

An amazing love letter to her might be listing a bunch of ways that you would like to be there, from the mundane (doing extra dishes so that she can stare off into space) to the touchy-feely (a 20min massage) to whatever you are okay with. It might be hard for her to think what she will need, but she will know she can count on you. And THAT is what she really needs.



Regarding your MIL, yes, switching to a new drug does mean that her last treatment didn't work. However, switching a newly FDA approved method does not mean that she's at the end of her options. It might be that this is the best option available, but it wasn't an option to her before because she didn't meet the clinical trial requirements for whatever multitude of reasons. But it does sound like time is becoming limited.
Cancer is frustrating and draining and awful.


More HUGS and prayers for all of you.
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These things suck. Just try to be there for her is all I can tell you. And maybe even just tell her you're unsure what to do, and that she can simply call on you when she needs extra attention or help with something.
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Just be available for what she needs or wants you to do. You don't need to have answers.
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As per usual, you guys and gals are awesome. And in particular Rose - your advice rocks!
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@ Rose - I'm responding to a comment you made that was wrapped in spoiler tags. I've responded in same, as I do touch on more of the specific circumstances regarding her cancer. It might help to better explain our concerns, and why we feel the issue is escalating.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
anjulka wrote:
Regarding your MIL, yes, switching to a new drug does mean that her last treatment didn't work. However, switching a newly FDA approved method does not mean that she's at the end of her options. It might be that this is the best option available, but it wasn't an option to her before because she didn't meet the clinical trial requirements for whatever multitude of reasons. But it does sound like time is becoming limited.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
Your assessment is remarkably accurate, and especially impressive since I didn't really provide the specific details on her condition. Unfortunately in her case, we are now to a point where there are limited options available. I'll elaborate as I think that might explain why we've felt like a milestone has just been reached, and why we're all a bit more anxious as a result.

For this type of cancer (as is the case for many types of cancer) stage 4 means the cancer has spread to other organs and tissues in her body. That's obviously bad, as it means controlling further spread and growth becomes increasingly difficult - and in some cases - impossible.

In her specific case, the most prevalent problem is that she has two rather large tumors in her abdomen, which have grown to the point that they are beginning to affect nearby organ function - especially her liver and kidneys. That's the concern, as the fear is if they get too large, her internal organs will start to shut down. In many cancer patients, organ failure is often the "official" cause of death. She's gone through some protocols both to inhibit their growth, and to prevent further spread of the cancer. Several years ago she had a form of radiation treatment which involved injecting radioactive materials directly into the tumor sites. The good news is that the treatment was effective in that it did prevent new growth, and actually shrunk the tumors - for awhile, anyways.

Since then, she's been receiving monthly hormone injections that also prevent further spread and tumor growth. That also has worked, but has become increasingly ineffective, as was to be expected over the long term. A couple months ago, doctors determined the treatment was no longer effective in that the tumors had resumed growing in size, and blood tests confirmed the cancerous cells were spreading again.

The new protocol is another form of radiation treatment - more direct, more aggressive, and targeting the cancer cells themselves, rather than just the tumor. She is again injected with radioactive material, which identifies and binds to the cancer cells in an effort to neutralize them. It's only been in the states for a year or so, but because of her progression, she is now a candidate for it. Like other protocols it is risky, and she didn't respond well to the first (although different) radiation treatment - so we're understandably concerned. The risks here are that her already compromised organs will not respond well to the radiation, and could end up shutting down regardless. A case of the "cure" potentially being worse than the disease. They do think she's strong enough for the treatment, but still, it's scary. For the moment at least, this is the last protocol available, as the hormone treatments are no longer effective, and the previous radiation treatment is no longer an option. Basically, this is it unless a new protocol or trial becomes available.

What's interesting however, is that this particular protocol has been previously used to treat other types of cancer, and has been shown to be effective in increasing the survival rate, so that is positive. Due to the complicated nature of carcinoid cancer (and particularly how it spreads throughout the body into internal organs), it hasn't been used to treat this cancer before, but hopefully it will be as effective here as with other cancers. Time will tell.


anjulka wrote:
Cancer is frustrating and draining and awful.


Yea. It really is.

Thanks again to all for the thoughts and letting me vent. It really does help to get this stuff out there, get other thoughts, and just talk through what's going on.
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I can't say much to help - but I'll be here to listen!
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Quick update - MIL just finished with the radiation treatment. Administered via IV. She's pretty much KO'ed at this point since they pumped her up with anti-nausea meds to combat the side effects of the radiation. She's still admitted in the hospital, and under observation until she wakes up.

Wife doing okay.
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IceFire1424 wrote:
Quick update - MIL just finished with the radiation treatment. Administered via IV. She's pretty much KO'ed at this point since they pumped her up with anti-nausea meds to combat the side effects of the radiation. She's still admitted in the hospital, and under observation until she wakes up.

Wife doing okay.


Saying prayers (if that's okay with you) for all y'all.

I've been haphazardly on BGG this last couple weeks, but I'm willing to read in great detail anything about the treatment you need to get out of your system. You can also gm me directly if you are uncomfortable posting on the forum. I would get that within the day.
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Really sorry to read all that PAT. I know from experience what you are going through. While obviously not exactly as horrible as being in the situation of your MIL or of your spouse, being the supportive spouse is a terrible challenge, at times requiring superhuman strength. From what I'm reading, I'm sure you're doing your very best. Don't be too hard on yourself if your very best doesn't magically make the situation easy for your relatives because it can't.
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My friend's dog ran away today while she is at a market here in Denmark; so she have had a quite shitty day with being so far away from home while her husband and many people in Sweden try to search for the dog.
I don't really like dogs, but I am not heartless and I feel how it is; I know how I would feel if my cat was missing.

I hope it gets home safe!
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Cancer sucks. My wife is a 13 year survivor of breast cancer and uterine cancer so she is good. No sad news here, really, except for small world view bitching and moaning about stuff that I have no reason to bitch and moan about.

She just had surgery this week to "update" her reconstruction, which is recommended every 10 years. It went well. She feels like hell but is bouncing back nicely. Not her first trip to the rodeo. She's an old hand at surgery at this point. That sounds bad, but I'll take it. 13 year survivor. there is nothing but good there.

But cancer just fucking sucks.

Pat. My heart goes out to you and your wife. It is just so goddamn hard. Cancer just makes you feel powerless in every part of your life. I remember all too well going to chemo with my wife wife and sitting there powerless while she had an IV in her. I've spent a chunk of time in waiting rooms powerless waiting for news about surgery. It just sucks. Everything about it just sucks. The waiting. the uncertainty. The wanting to do something and not being able to do anything. Cancer just takes your power away, your ability to feel like you are fixing something. It just makes you a spectator to something awful. And it sucks.

But you can take that back. What people need is love. You can't fix it. You're wife can't fix it. But you can just give love. Listen. Be there. Hold each other other when you can't stand any more.

I don't know what your family is going through. I simply cannot. I think I can think of what you are going through, but that's not enough. I've been through something somewhat similar, but not the same. So I don't want to overstep my bounds.

It's crazy hard on your wife. Chances are she feels like there is nothing she can do except be there. And that never feels like enough. It feels like you are failing because you can't fix the problem. But honestly being there is what you can do and it means a lot, I think. Your MIL is going through hell, you wife is going through hell, and you are going through hell.

The stupid answer, which is the only thing that half assed worked for me, is just be there. Support your wife. Let her rage when she needs to rage. Let her cry when she needs to cry. Just be there. Don't necessarily try and come up with solutions except for the times you need to come up with logistical solutions. You can't fix this but you can help to make it less intolerable. You wife will need to go through what she needs to go through and you just need to be there to love her while she goes through it. It's so hard because there just feels like there is nothing you can do to fix the problem. And you really can't fix the problem. You can just ride it out. And when your wife isn't strong enough to carry on step in and carry her. Just love her. Just be there for her.

Now you. You. Obviously everyone else is going through a lot. But you are too. You need to be there for your wife and be her strength. But Pat needs support too. Don't forget that. You need something that brings you peace and will give you the strength to carry on so that you can be there to help your wife. The last thing your family needs is for you to get ground down so that you can't support anyone. As much as you want to help your wife and her family, don't forget that that Pat is going through a shit storm right now too. I'm not saying be selfish. I'm saying it's hard to be selfless and supportive if your self is so worn down that there is no self left to give. Voice of experience here. I worked so hard at being positive for my wife without finding a way to keep my own head above water that I became massively depressed away from the situation. I worked so hard at keeping my wife and her family propped up and positive that I couldn't prop myself up and just started going down the drain. After a short while that accomplished exactly nothing. I know you want to be there for your wife and you damn better should be there for her. Just don't forget about you. It sounds may sound shitty to think about your self at this time, but if you don't keep yourself strong you can't be there for anyone else.

I don't even know what I'm really trying to say, but I do know that what I've said has been poorly worded and confusing. It's a hard topic for me.

Scratch that. I do know what I'm trying to say. I love you Pat and take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself you'll be able to take care of your wife. Don't try and fix the unfixable. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just love and be there. This will help give your wife the strength she needs to face what the present and the future holds.

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Feeling down in the dumps. Just split up with my latest girlfriend. I am really bad at this dating thing. Feel like giving up. But also don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. Breaking up sucks, especially when you're the instigator. But I just didn't think there was enough glue between us. Cultural differences, language barrier, personality differences. I feel bad, especially for her daughter.
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First and foremost - you guys and gals are all awesome! Kevin - your response floored me. Very thoughtful, extremely well written, and your advice spot on. It gave me a lot to think about, and was more helpful than you probably realize. So thank you for that.

Quick SITREP. MIL's procedure on Thursday went well. VERY well, in fact. There were some initial complications with inserting the IV, but once that was resolved the treatment progressed largely as expected. She did experience some pain and nausea (which is expected), of which a change in pain medication quickly resolved (with the side effect of basically causing her to fall asleep, which was probably for the better). She was released to my wife that afternoon, and QUICKLY snapped out of it once the meds wore off...surprising pretty much everybody. That evening she was feeling tired, but good...and quickly did a number on the box of pastries and treats I sent with my wife. So that was good news.

She was only a little uncomfortable the next couple days, but my wife did a great job of keeping her rested, although MIL was feeling well enough that she wanted to be more active than she was. My wife and daughter being there was certainly welcome, and undoubtedly made the whole ordeal much easier.

My wife and kiddo left Saturday afternoon, and I'm pleased to report she's doing very well - almost like the procedure never happened actually. It's a bit surprising, if I'm honest. It will be some time before we learn what impact the procedure had, but so far everything seems to be going really well. My wife is MUCH less anxious now that it's over, and we got to spend Saturday night and Sunday as a family, which I think helped everything return to a certain level or normalcy.

Again, thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. It has been greatly appreciated. This really is an awesome community.

All that said, and now feeling much better about everything, I'll go back to being my smartass self for awhile. Sorry about that part.

- Pat
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manukajoe wrote:
Feeling down in the dumps. Just split up with my latest girlfriend. I am really bad at this dating thing. Feel like giving up. But also don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. Breaking up sucks, especially when you're the instigator. But I just didn't think there was enough glue between us. Cultural differences, language barrier, personality differences. I feel bad, especially for her daughter.


I'm really sorry it didn't work out for you Simon. Some of those differences are hard to overcome, and sometimes can prove to be insurmountable. It's unfortunate.

Don't give up. I've found that sometimes things have a way of working out when we least expect them to, and it only requires us to press on, and live our lives the best way we can. During our time here we inevitably meet people and lose people. Some stay in our lives for awhile, while other relationships are fleeting. I personally think all of those relationships help us define who we really are, and discover what is important to us. Whether we realize it or not, I really think we take away something from every relation ship that we have, and that continues to shape us as people.

Anyways, I'm sure it's going to take some time to process this. Find something that makes you happy, and take time for yourself. Get a new game you've been meaning to try out. Go explore somewhere. Treat yourself to a favorite meal. Those little things can make a huge difference in your mentality.

Take care buddy.
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So, yesterday I mentioned I had some NDA news related to Fallout 76... really it's more NDA related to Amazon Game Studios relating to the game... and then yesterday went all pear shaped and surreal so I need to discuss this (and hopefully won't break NDA).

So... Amazon is making some games. Most haven't come out yet. One was cancelled yesterday and won't ever be coming out. But let's say it was really close to another game mentioned...

Anyway, normally this wouldn't really affect my team at all - after all, our game project hasn't been cancelled, and is still awesome and unique. But... because one team is going away, we suspect they want places for those people, so a number of the full time employees on my team were given 60 days notice. Since we're an at-will state, they didn't even have to tell them why they were being let go. And I know some asked.

One of those being let go is my current boss. He's a great guy - good for morale, great at his job. We're baffled as to why he was the one cut. Several of the more pessimistic team members think that the QA Manager on the team that is being cut is going to take his position (despite being bad at his job, he schmoozes and sucks up to his boss...) and they flat-out stated that if that happens, three of them will walk.

Now, we don't know who is taking over when our boss leaves. We have three possibilities: the guy who sucks up but is terrible, a friend of my boss's boss - nepotism in action! who is also not great, or someone completely new.

So... yeah. The office yesterday was like a ghost town, all those affected or friends of those affected were across the street drinking at a bar starting at noon. Many of the QA members of the team were in tears. I was just... stunned.

We were told not to talk about it at all yesterday, so, being humans, we didn't send pings or e-mails, but discussed it at the bar across the street, because we weren't on Amazon property anymore.

Anyway, I expect most of QA won't be in today. I spent last night updating my resume and sending it out to three places. Because while I wasn't directly affected, if the guy coming in is as bad as they say I want to be prepared with an exit plan.
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adularia25 wrote:
Anyway, normally this wouldn't really affect my team at all - after all, our game project hasn't been cancelled, and is still awesome and unique. But... because one team is going away, we suspect they want places for those people, so a number of the full time employees on my team were given 60 days notice. Since we're an at-will state, they didn't even have to tell them why they were being let go. And I know some asked.


That sucks. Having experienced a sudden layoff from both sides (being one that saw a friend let go and then later being the one sacrificed from the department), I know it kills the morale of everyone in the company. For the higher-ups it's a regrettable part of business, but for the cogs in the machine it can upset your entire life. I know for me it was a real cut to my self-esteem since I felt like I was just useful enough that my pay being reduced to $0 would make a difference, but not useful enough that I was necessary to keep around.

I hope your new boss isn't actually as bad as the rumors say, but if he is, I also hope you find an out soon.
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vyran wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Anyway, normally this wouldn't really affect my team at all - after all, our game project hasn't been cancelled, and is still awesome and unique. But... because one team is going away, we suspect they want places for those people, so a number of the full time employees on my team were given 60 days notice. Since we're an at-will state, they didn't even have to tell them why they were being let go. And I know some asked.


That sucks. Having experienced a sudden layoff from both sides (being one that saw a friend let go and then later being the one sacrificed from the department), I know it kills the morale of everyone in the company. For the higher-ups it's a regrettable part of business, but for the cogs in the machine it can upset your entire life. I know for me it was a real cut to my self-esteem since I felt like I was just useful enough that my pay being reduced to $0 would make a difference, but not useful enough that I was necessary to keep around.

I hope your new boss isn't actually as bad as the rumors say, but if he is, I also hope you find an out soon.

Yeah, we're supposed to get an official e-mail today saying what all is going on.

Sadly, it's not just my boss who is going, I think QA is also losing an SDET and the Narrative team is losing their Producer (though to another team) makes me wonder who is coming in to take that role, or if one of the two people who handles it will just continue to be perpetually overworked.

The artists are up in arms since someone they tried to get on the team for a year finally joined, was with them for a month, only now to find out they have 60 days left. It's crazy!
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adularia25 wrote:
So, yesterday I mentioned I had some NDA news related to Fallout 76... really it's more NDA related to Amazon Game Studios relating to the game... and then yesterday went all pear shaped and surreal so I need to discuss this (and hopefully won't break NDA).

So... Amazon is making some games. Most haven't come out yet. One was cancelled yesterday and won't ever be coming out. But let's say it was really close to another game mentioned...

Anyway, normally this wouldn't really affect my team at all - after all, our game project hasn't been cancelled, and is still awesome and unique. But... because one team is going away, we suspect they want places for those people, so a number of the full time employees on my team were given 60 days notice. Since we're an at-will state, they didn't even have to tell them why they were being let go. And I know some asked.

One of those being let go is my current boss. He's a great guy - good for morale, great at his job. We're baffled as to why he was the one cut. Several of the more pessimistic team members think that the QA Manager on the team that is being cut is going to take his position (despite being bad at his job, he schmoozes and sucks up to his boss...) and they flat-out stated that if that happens, three of them will walk.

Now, we don't know who is taking over when our boss leaves. We have three possibilities: the guy who sucks up but is terrible, a friend of my boss's boss - nepotism in action! who is also not great, or someone completely new.

So... yeah. The office yesterday was like a ghost town, all those affected or friends of those affected were across the street drinking at a bar starting at noon. Many of the QA members of the team were in tears. I was just... stunned.

We were told not to talk about it at all yesterday, so, being humans, we didn't send pings or e-mails, but discussed it at the bar across the street, because we weren't on Amazon property anymore.

Anyway, I expect most of QA won't be in today. I spent last night updating my resume and sending it out to three places. Because while I wasn't directly affected, if the guy coming in is as bad as they say I want to be prepared with an exit plan.


Ugh. Hopefully this catalyst puts you into the job you've always wanted.

Or you get a good boss.

I don't understand. I'm so glad I don't work in that environment anymore. I guess, inefficiently working at a company can efficiently help some people meet their personal goals, like wielding power over others or making money for themselves by manipulating the incentive pay. Blech.
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Carrie, that sucks. Gentle punch to shoulder.
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Yeah, it's the not knowing who is replacing my boss that's the problem right now... because despite our meeting this morning, we still don't know.

And our old boss isn't allowed to do any work (he can come in for the next 60 days to put his affairs in order, or search for jobs from work, but can't do actual work we need done for the team) which puts us in an awkward limbo. Some people need manager level permissions for things... and until we have a new boss, we can't get them.
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Carrie, as someone who has been working in an environment with crazy high attrition for the last four years, I completely sympathize. Whatever happens, I hope that you are able to get into a work situation that will be good for you, and helpful to you in becoming your best possible self.
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Jythier wrote:
Ugh. Hopefully this catalyst puts you into the job you've always wanted.

Or you get a good boss.

I don't understand. I'm so glad I don't work in that environment anymore. I guess, inefficiently working at a company can efficiently help some people meet their personal goals, like wielding power over others or making money for themselves by manipulating the incentive pay. Blech.

I hope so too! I applied for a writer/designer position I really want!

A good boss would also be nice, since I like my team, and would like to stay at least until the game is launched.

I don't understand either... but we suspect it's because our old boss cared more about us as people than as number-producing cogs in a machine... which is depressing to think about.

anjulka wrote:
Carrie, that sucks. Gentle punch to shoulder.

Thanks! It's been a weird Friday.
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Spirit of 70 wrote:
Carrie, as someone who has been working in an environment with crazy high attrition for the last four years, I completely sympathize. Whatever happens, I hope that you are able to get into a work situation that will be good for you, and helpful to you in becoming your best possible self.

Thanks. I hope so too. I thought this was a good place! Heh, I should have remembered Amazon is known for pulling this kind of stuff.
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adularia25 wrote:
Yeah, it's the not knowing who is replacing my boss that's the problem right now... because despite our meeting this morning, we still don't know.

And our old boss isn't allowed to do any work (he can come in for the next 60 days to put his affairs in order, or search for jobs from work, but can't do actual work we need done for the team) which puts us in an awkward limbo. Some people need manager level permissions for things... and until we have a new boss, we can't get them.


What nonsense.
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