I had been trying to handle things privately and stay out of the online fray, but I now realize that isn’t possible. So here is what I have to say, from the heart.
This has been the most difficult week of my life. There have been moments when I felt like I couldn’t breathe from a pressure that just wouldn't go away. Having what feels like the entire internet come weighing down on you is a level of hatred I wouldn’t wish upon even my worst enemy. Every single action I took (or didn’t take) was scrutinized to a level few are familiar with. I’ve never felt more vulnerable or isolated or hurt.
And it hurts that this stems from people that I truly do respect and did consider my friends. Just the month before they departed GX, one of them even stated that I was “one of [their] closest friends.” I can only speculate about what changed or if there was ever truth in that statement in the first place, but it’s partially why I was caught by surprise.
Working remotely can be extremely challenging as I’m sure a lot of people have learned this past year. You rarely see your coworkers face to face and transparency isn’t inherent like working in the office. One can only be aware of so much beyond what they’re being told. And I’m learning now to be much more proactive in reaching out to prevent issues from arising later.
I definitely recognize truth in some of their statements. I have done a lot of self-reflecting over the last week, and I am committed to improving how I manage staff in the future. And I would also like to give some context into some of the issues that have been raised.
First, “$1 to $2 dollars an hour.” I did some quick math and I cannot find a way to understand how this makes sense. Maybe it was said offhandedly? Or maybe the individual in question was spending far more time on these assignments than I ever possibly realized. If this was an issue, had I been made aware of it, I would have immediately taken action to reconcile it. Regardless, the general point of the pay being too low for the workload is fair, and we’ve since addressed this with better pay, combined with clearer expectations and timelines, both for contractors and full-time employees.
Next, working severe overtime to finish a game before embargo. This shouldn’t have happened, period. The reviewer seemed eager to dive in and I got caught up in their excitement, but I know only too well how draining rushing to meet an embargo can be, as I’ve subjected myself to those same conditions multiple times. We’ve addressed this by improving communication with the staff on their current projects, tracking how their progress matches up with the planned deadlines, and then making adjustments as needed.
Untimely payments? Yep, I often did take an unnecessary amount of time to send out payments and there really is no excuse. There is a lot of work that goes into managing a channel of this size, with tasks and notifications constantly beckoning for my attention -- and I’m unfortunately forgetful and easily distracted. But that doesn’t excuse anything and paying my staff should have been a top priority above all else. I have since taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again by automating payments through a payroll service.
I never set out to become “YouTube famous,” or to employ a staff for my channel. It just grew over time as demand increased. And the policies that we had in place when we were much smaller don’t work for a company of this size. I know that now. I had already spent the better part of last year taking the steps to put a better system in place, and it’s a bummer that the original members aren't around to benefit from it. But this truly has been a learning experience, and I’m going to deploy these lessons as I continue working on myself and my company’s policies as we move forward.
If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading. I’m far from perfect, but I am trying. I love my current team, and we are truly united by our passion for gaming and fueled by our incredible fans. I really appreciate those who have reached out to me over the past week. I will be forever grateful. I’m sorry for those I have hurt and I promise that I will do better. Much better.