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"38 Studios Spouse" Speaks

Gamasutra has a story from someone they're calling 38 Studios Spouse in the vein of the "EA Spouse" whistle-blowing incident several years back. They have verified the author is married to one of the developers displaced by the studio's move to Rhode Island and closure, and her story puts a human face on the upheaval this all caused in a lifestyle that's unsettled to begin with due to the mercurial nature of game development work. Here's a portion of her account of what this has put them through:

Again, they knew the problem existed and chose to not tell us or give us any notice. On the 24th of May, my husband was laid off officially after six days of wasted gas, with no payment of wages for all of May (1st-24th), no insurance, slim chances of ever seeing any money since the State of Rhode Island would be paid first by all asset sales, and had to drive in once more to get his belongings and attend a meeting on unemployment benefits.

Ok, so time to lick our wounds, get back on the horse, and find a new job. At least we stuck it out and won't have to pay back our relocation costs according to the Chief Operating Officer. Wrong! On June 1st, we get a letter from Atlas Van Lines with 10 days to pay our overdue moving bill of a sizeable amount. Six months has gone by since our move. There was no notice at any point that this had not been paid and now we get a bill with 10 days to pay. Why now? Haven't they had 6 months to collect this? Didn't the company say we would be let out of our contract since they folded? Couldn't they have given us a head's up at any point before we were broke and our savings gone to feed our children? After all, a head's up on this might have alerted us to a problem with 38 Studios before we got to this point. Well on one page in a series, of approximately 45, we signed a document stating in tiny print that we would be responsible if the company does not pay. I don't know if most people are aware, but moving with three kids, a dog, and a cat from one coast to another is a bit tiring and this document was of course presented on the day our stuff arrived in Rhode Island, which was chaos.

So, there goes our credit rating no matter how hard we are trying to still pay for all bills with no income. We have no income, no time to prepare, and I will not let my children starve to pay for a move that did not exactly work out. Why hadn't Atlas collected from 38 Studios? We were told by an Atlas representative that they had a special working relationship with Curt Schilling, therefore they were trying to work with him. Must be nice to have at least 30 days, let alone six months to pay for this bill.

Am I angry? You bet! I have been taken for a ride and am having to take a handout from the government for the first time in my life. Who do I get to direct my anger at? Nobody! The ones responsible aren't around to chat with or pay for the consequences of their actions. At moments I think Curt Schilling trusted the wrong people, but at least he is having to deal with this mess too. At other times, I am angry and think Curt Schilling is a smart man and should have done better!

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50. Re: Jun 13, 2012, 22:40 .Drifter
 
Dev wrote on Jun 13, 2012, 16:45:
Beamer wrote on Jun 13, 2012, 15:13:
But he needs to have broken a law to be a target. Starting a business, running it poorly and having it go out of business isn't a crime, if it was no one would ever start a business. Yes, there may be some civil issues that pop up, but on the surface there's not even a hint of a crime committed by Schilling.
Since when? The gov painted a target on him when he was looking for a scapegoat. If someone wants to target someone, they don't need to have any obvious laws broken. There's tons of obscure things or things one wouldn't think are a problem that can be an issue. Like if a cop wants to find something wrong with your car and pulls you over, they will. Maybe that oil sticker in the corner of your window merits a fine for instance. Or maybe your headlights aren't aligned and calibrated properly.
On a business, just bring in OSHA or something and they can find things wrong. Maybe that railing is 3 inches too high. Maybe someone ran a power cord across the floor.
Which reminds me, they could bring in BSA and have them do an audit of the computers. There's ALWAYS at least one copy of a software somewhere that wasn't properly licensed at all companies.

And those are just a few things off the top of my head.

Based on my experience, OSHA's a joke, but I understand mileage may vary and all that.
I've worked for two different companies that had OSHA sic'd on them, the worst one having a building that the fire inspector barely signed off on. Out of date wiring, barely adequate fire suppression system, door lock system kept doing out randomly and jamming the magnetic door locks on so the doors wouldn't open, air vents coated in dust, one of the bathrooms shut down for nearly a year to repair it (repairs didn't start for most of that year, and were completed in a few weeks).
Multiple employees got together, complained, and what did OSHA do?
Sent a letter that was posted on the wall for all to read that basically stated no, they would not be doing an inspection, everything was in spec per the company, and if it wasn't to please bring it in spec.
Needless to say but I'm not working there any more.
 
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