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Paizo Jessica Price (ex Paizo employee) spills the beans

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TheSword

Legend
Just say what you mean. You're upset about the dreaded ... cancel culture! You know, that thing that doesn't actually exist, except in the fever swamps of right-wing rhetoric. In the real world there are very, very occasionally consequences for bad workplace behavior, but in general management types can survive just about any accusation, whether it's backed up or not.

But also, the person she was saying was fired didn't quit the company amicably. They left in protest because of a colleague's firing. That's still an extremely bad look for Paizo! You can go ahead and complain about the travesty of a non-journalist posting on Twitter without living up to some sort of journalistic standards of source-checking and corroboration, but, ultimately, you're flipping out about a relatively minor detail that has almost no bearing on the larger accusations being presented here. And yes, you'll die on this hill for a while, railing about how "Facts matter!" and such, but this story is exponentially bigger than your rage over a mistake (again, from someone who isn't a journalist, and has no relevant professional code of ethics that they're violating). This is simply how it goes in the real world. Social media is messy, people are messy, the way news travels is messy, that's just how things have always been, long before Twitter threads were a thing.
Woah. No need to go personal. I’m a left wing supporter of the Green Party not a right wing cancel-culture-nut. I just believe in natural justice and accountability… neither of which Jessica Price is displaying. You are right, she isn’t breaking a social media code of ethics… I’m saying there should be one.

The people she talks about aren’t faceless execs. They’re household names in the gaming industry that have had some serious accusations leveled at them. These people stand up at conventions and are accessible to the public, through their work, social media. Scrutiny and oversight is a good thing, but it should be measured, judicious and considered. Not vengeful and salacious.

If she has stuck to the key, matters, and delivered them professionally, I would have a lot more respect. If she had approached the matter with less sarcasm, less sensationalism and less personal animus then her points would land with far more respect.

The stuff reads terribly for Paizo. I don’t accept that ‘social media being mess’ is grounds for Jessica to behave unprofessionally either.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Presumably they refused to clean a carpet because of cost and effort (that's the reason management always gives when avoiding things like this). Well, how much is it costing your company now? Some things I just don't get. The short sightedness I see in this industry (see also Blizzard/Activision) blows my mind. I'm a low level manager for a corporation, and I don't claim to be a management genius, but some of the decisions these people make. I don't get it.
 

darjr

I crit!
It makes more sense when looked at in the light of bigotry being done in secret or with plausible denial. I’m not saying these particular instances are it, but sometimes it’s what makes sense. The other is management with toxic privilege, which can make it impossible for management to see the real issues or even recognize them.
 


Retreater

Legend
Curse my old man unfamiliarity with Twitter. I'm not sure if I'm reading the entire thread or not, but I haven't seen anything that bad in what I've read so far. Most of it has focused on carpet cleaning. Haven't seen anything about actual discrimination, etc.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Curse my old man unfamiliarity with Twitter. I'm not sure if I'm reading the entire thread or not, but I haven't seen anything that bad in what I've read so far. Most of it has focused on carpet cleaning. Haven't seen anything about actual discrimination, etc.
Hello

I had the same difficulty, and you are indeed missing a fair amount of stuff. I do wish this was published in a more readable format. In the meantime, at the bottom of the tread (if you are on desktop), you will see this:

What you have to do is click "show replies" and NOT "show more replies"... yes, I know, this is TERRIBLE design from twitter. But if you do so you will be able to see the rest of the thread - and you will have to do it more than once.

(edit: you have to do this in the twitter thread, not here, this is just an image so you can see what to click (and what not to click)

1631719956300.png
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's not a great look for paizo and I'm not doubting the veracity of the post in anyway, but before any conclusions are made it must be worth hearing paizo's side of the story?
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Paizo employees talking about a toxic culture, but I also don’t see what we will learn from what will doubtless be a corporate doublespeak statement that says next to nothing aside from “fake news!”.
Curse my old man unfamiliarity with Twitter. I'm not sure if I'm reading the entire thread or not, but I haven't seen anything that bad in what I've read so far. Most of it has focused on carpet cleaning. Haven't seen anything about actual discrimination, etc.
There’s a lot more than carpet cleaning, for sure. Hopefully someone will do a blog breakdown or soemthing soon, but one highlight for me was an exec propositioning a subordinate and then sabotaging her work when she politely declined.

The proposition itself, not necessarily anything bad.

He wasn’t her direct boss, different departments, and she didn’t suggest anything disrespectful or anything like that about the initial exchange, other than that he had a rep for hitting on all single female employees in the office, which is a bad look regardless of anything else.

It’s the retaliation that ends up being a big damn deal.

Maybe someone has done a “thread unroll” thing, idk.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
As someone who greatly enjoys paizo products, reading this troubles me greatly. I'd always come to regard them as a progressive company, who championed inclusivity. It would seem this is just an image they portray to grab the dollar.

However saying all that there are two sides to every story, and before I dive in with both daggers, I shall wait to see paizo's response. Until that time I've cancelled all my current orders for paizo products.
The nice part about having a negative expectation of human nature is that you never get dissapointed, only pleasantly surprised.
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
Carpet cleaning sounds like it's petty, but when it's SEVEN years of built-up dust, dirt, and God knows what else has been tracked in from outside (and remember, this is the Pacific NW, where there's rain, snow, road deicing chemical, pollen, etc), to the point where it's triggering asthma attacks in people, that's a serious safety violation. When the physical work space affects people's health and management's reaction is to roll their eyes and say "deal with it," that's some serious disregard for the health and safety of your employees right there.

It's probably actionable. No one should have to work in an environment that makes them physically ill, or exacerbates conditions they already have. An indoor office environment should be free from problems like that, it's not a freakin' construction site where you'd expect dust and dirt to be all around.
 

Retreater

Legend
Carpet cleaning sounds like it's petty, but when it's SEVEN years of built-up dust, dirt, and God knows what else has been tracked in from outside (and remember, this is the Pacific NW, where there's rain, snow, road deicing chemical, pollen, etc), to the point where it's triggering asthma attacks in people, that's a serious safety violation. When the physical work space affects people's health and management's reaction is to roll their eyes and say "deal with it," that's some serious disregard for the health and safety of your employees right there.

It's probably actionable. No one should have to work in an environment that makes them physically ill, or exacerbates conditions they already have. An indoor office environment should be free from problems like that, it's not a freakin' construction site where you'd expect dust and dirt to be all around.
Yeah, they should've taken care of it, absolutely. I'm in management, and there's no way I would let something like that happen to my employees. I was just concerned that I was missing the rest of the story.
 


Ringtail

World Traveller
In case you didn't realize, this post by Kenada has a collection of all the tweets in a more readable format.

I'm disappointed so far. The evidence does look pretty damning, but I'm also wary of Price. Her stuff certainly comes across as vengeful, but I believe that's it's probably true. Sometimes in our anger we can exaggerate or forget stuff. I'm curious what Paizo has to say about this, the only response I've seen so far was one from Mona claiming there were a lot of false claims, but it read a little like internet drama, two personalities firing back at each other. I'd like to see an official and professional response to some of these claims.

At the moment I'm reserving my judgement. I've never had a subscription since I play 5e, so I don't have to worry about giving them money right now. I can just abstrain from any purchases until I know more. Still at this point I'm leaning towards siding with Price and the other affected employees. I was just about to propose switching my 5e Group to PF2, but that's gonna be on hold for now.
 

Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
Woah. No need to go personal. I’m a left wing supporter of the Green Party not a right wing cancel-culture-nut. I just believe in natural justice and accountability… neither of which Jessica Price is displaying. You are right, she isn’t breaking a social media code of ethics… I’m saying there should be one.

Genuinely sorry for lumping you in with the right-wingers on this one. Basically the worst thing I could assume of someone, so, really, apologies.

But I also think a lot of notions and expectations of professionalism are antiquated, and have been more often used as a way to stifle criticism and protect institutions than to help the people who really need help, particularly those with less power. Same goes for the discourse on civility. Not much worthwhile has ever been gained by people being cautious, civil, or even professional, a term that's hard to define but easy to weaponize. Even if you disagree--which you obviously have every right to--there's no putting all of the genies back in all of the bottles. This is just how the world is now.
 


John R Davis

Adventurer
Sad..I haven't transitioned to PF2 so haven't supported them with money in a long while but I do hope they get things sorted in good order
 

Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Paizo employees talking about a toxic culture, but I also don’t see what we will learn from what will doubtless be a corporate doublespeak statement that says next to nothing aside from “fake news!”.

Yeah unless a company issues a full mea culpa, including at least one person in management actually suffering a permanent consequence, no official response will ever matter. I was at Facebook during some of the worst of their scandals, and I couldn't believe that no one got sacked or resigned "to spend more time with my family" or whatever. The best-worded assertion of contrition means nothing of someone's head doesn't roll.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I'm disappointed so far. The evidence does look pretty damning, but I'm also wary of Price. Her stuff certainly comes across as vengeful, but I believe that's it's probably true.

Read the whole thread now: I believe every word of it.

I do too, but not because of anything Price said, but I'm basing my opinion on what everyone else is saying. I'm sorry, but Price has a history of being untruthful and trying to make everything sexist when it isn't. And her very first tweet to start this issue was not true (why highlight the gender/ethnicity of the two people who left unless you thought that was the reason they were let go, when nothing suggests that. And the "PoC" she mentions wasn't fired like she claimed either.)

So I'm afraid there are too many red flags there for me to trust her. However, there is plenty of collaboration by others, and it's plausible (sadly all too common in this industry), so I believe this has happened. Which again, blows my mind that something so easily resolved was allowed to blow up. If I were an investor in a company that did this, I'd be peeved.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
In case you didn't realize, this post by Kenada has a collection of all the tweets in a more readable format.

I'm disappointed so far. The evidence does look pretty damning, but I'm also wary of Price. Her stuff certainly comes across as vengeful, but I believe that's it's probably true. Sometimes in our anger we can exaggerate or forget stuff. I'm curious what Paizo has to say about this, the only response I've seen so far was one from Mona claiming there were a lot of false claims, but it read a little like internet drama, two personalities firing back at each other. I'd like to see an official and professional response to some of these claims.

At the moment I'm reserving my judgement. I've never had a subscription since I play 5e, so I don't have to worry about giving them money right now. I can just abstrain from any purchases until I know more. Still at this point I'm leaning towards siding with Price and the other affected employees. I was just about to propose switching my 5e Group to PF2, but that's gonna be on hold for now.

Yeah, it's disappointing. I'm definitely going to be sending an email threatening to cancel my subscription if things aren't done in response t this.

Though perhaps we should have always expected this sort of stuff. Jessica states that the problem isn't the writers, editors, or actual creators, but management. And the problem with this entire industry is so much of management comes from a different era, one where this sort of s*** (particularly the sexual harassment) was not a big deal and you could have more regressive views on things (the story about the "Madness" mechanic and the response to why not putting a stress mechanic out was definitely bad). Hearing that Paizo's progressive outlook is largely because of a push from the bottom is heartening at a certain level (since it does show that change can occur bottom-up) but at the same time incredibly depressing as it seems like the top just isn't interested in that sort of thing. After watching Wizards continually Sideshow Bob themselves on this stuff, it was nice to think that Paizo was doing good stuff with the Mwangi Expanse book and such. Now it seems like Paizo's editors were just more adept at getting good stuff through by comparison.

Given that it's a smaller company, I hope this manages to have consequences. They are certainly warranted for what seems to be coming out.
 
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