Seattle Weekly article
on the day labor side of testing, games testing in particular. Reading the article, it's not clear if the writer thought this was a "slice-of-life" article or an exposé.
As exposés go, well, maybe I'm jaded. Sure, it's not a job I would want. On the other hand, it sounds better than other jobs I've had. In the late 80s, I got $6/hr for kid wrangling at a non-profit. According to the BLS
, low-level child care a median wage of $8.25/hr now, comparable with the low-level games testing discussed in the Weekly.
Duties? I would keep 10 preschoolers engaged and safe. I also tied 8 or 9 pairs of shoes at a time; cleaned kids (with wipes) and cots (with Lysol) after "napping accidents"; made lunch or snack for 100; cleaned tables, chairs, and the floor after 100 kids had lunch; held a screaming kid under the sink while washing sand out of his eyes (had bruises for a week after that one); carried upset or sick kids; read out loud a lot; organized; cleaned; turned jump ropes; et cetera.
And, of course, there's also the bit about how screwing up as a games tester means a support call, maybe a recall, or being fired. In a day care, negligence can cause a child's death.
Not that child care is the worst job in the world, either. Yes, you deal with bodily fluids (and yes, waste solids) fairly regularly, but they are pretty well contained. Working in a center meant I had other adults for comradarie and assistance. As jobs go, it was steady, had flexible scheduling, and included vacation, sick time, and health insurance.
But I can't help wondering if an article on how day care isn't all hugs around the knees and experiencing wonder through the eyes of children might be a nice companion piece to the one on how low-level games testing isn't the happiest job on earth.