New Hampshire Mom Moves Family to Florida for a Job That Disappears When They Arrive

Heartbreaking 53

moving houseA big story out of Florida is putting a rather chilling twist on the unemployment crisis. Erinn Alberts actually had a job with Digital Domain ... or at least, she thought she did. That is until she and her husband sold their furniture, packed their kids in the car, and drove all the way from their home in New Hampshire to Florida, where she was greeted with the news that the company behind Titanic and The Transformers was filing for bankruptcy.

The job Erinn had been promised was cut in the process, along with about 280 positions at Digital Domain's offices in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Now she's out of a job, 30 hours from home, and she and her husband have to try to figure out how to feed their three kids.

It's the kind of story that's so terrifying because it could happen to any of us, to anyone who follows the "rules" when it comes to job hunting. You don't just up and move until you have a plan, but they did. Erinn had a job, what seemed like a good job.

Both of the Alberts had worked for major media companies like MTV and Universal Pictures. The job as a production accountant with Digital Domain seemed to fit right in. The production company was going to pay her $46,000 a year. They even had a specialist assisting the family in finding temporary housing. Moving for a job, even moving a long distance like the Alberts, is not uncommon in this economy. You take a job where you can find it.

I feel for the Alberts because it seems they're another family victimized by a system that gives corporations the power to put profits ahead of people.

Digital Domain has clearly been having trouble. It listed debts of $214.9 million on its bankruptcy statement. And yet, they were hiring? They allowed their human relations department to extend the offer of relocation assistance to a woman, bringing not just her but a husband and three kids all the way from New Hampshire? That's callous and cruel, inexcusably so.

It never should have gotten this far. No company in that position should be hiring, and no potential employee should have to put themselves in such a risky position.

I'm sure the people at the top will be fine, of course. They always are. Digital Domain was able to sell its production business to Searchlight Capital Partners for $15 million, so the big guys will make out just fine. It's people like Erinn Alberts, her husband Aaron, and their three kids who are left to scramble because a company played around with people's lives.

If you can help them with a job lead, Aaron is sharing his email:

What do you think of companies that hire people only to fire them because they can't keep the doors open? Should that be illegal?


Image via Nathan O'Nions/Flickr

corporations, economy


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Donna Merkle

@wamom...I hear what you are saying and I congratulate you on your charity and contributions to your community. That is the big difference between you and some other big businesses. The little guy is more responsible to their employees and the communities, but I've seen too many big businesses become deaf and blind to their responsibilities because of the shadow that the money seems to be casting their way. What scares me about you is the lack of pity that you seem not to be able to drum up for that family. If your company hits that big tax bracket and become more successful than you are now, does your lack of pity spread to your current and future employees? If, and heaven forbid, you would have to eventually file for bankruptcy, would you continue to hire for your company if you couldn't meet your expenses which was why you filed in the first place? I would hope that if you had the common sense to care for your employees and the community that you would follow through with that same common sense and not put others at risk. That family may have found out after that fact, that they had made a very bad decision, but it wasn't their fault. They threw in all their chips because they were promised that it was a sure thing because the company told the mom "You're Hired!" Think about it.

jessi... jessicasmom1

how awful .. how can a business do some such thing?

Todd Vrancic

Could they sue, or does the filing for bankruptcy protect the company from the judgement they'd get?

Think... ThinkingK

I agree with Jeanne this should be illegal. It's horrible what was done to her. No one at the company will probably even acknowledge being responsible for doing something this callous.

wamom223 wamom223

Call  me cold and heartless all you want but I still don't think the company owes them anything.  We get screwed in business all the time, and I mean all the time.  Three times just this year.  Sometimes people tell you things that aren't true, in fact people do that a lot, so its your job to protect yourself.  I don't have a lack of pity, I lack pity for these people that chose not to educate themselves and put them self in this position. I have been in their position before and chose not to make the gamble.  When I was pregnant one of the job offers we got was in Detroit, we researched not just the company and the owners of that company but  how the economy was doing in that area.  I was out of work and the company was not making enough to support us let alone a baby, and we really wanted to make sure we made the right choice.  Moving to Detroit would  have been the worse choice we could have made, we would be in that couples position. I would also like to add we would never leave our home and family for a measly $47,000 a year.   

wamom223 wamom223

Are there big bad evil corporations out there? Yes, but it doesn't mean you become their victim. I hope they find work soon, or that maybe they can raise funds to get back home but they will have to do it without my help.  And too Donna we are small business owners don't you get that we have many times put all our chips because of promises we were so sure were true just to get screwed over?  What you call a lack of pity, I call business smarts.  I do my part for my community but I look out for my family and have learned not to put a lot of stock in empty promises.

wamom223 wamom223

I would also like to ask all of you: would you move half across the country with your two children for a job with out an employment contract to ensure this didn't happen to you?  

Margaret Contard

I would say she should sue them, but I doubt they have the money.

That being said, both parents should apply for FL teaching jobs. You don't even need a degree to teach there.


nonmember avatar jackie skevingt

This happened to my family in the late 80's. Hubby was promised a job . We sole our furniture, etc and the company paid to move us, put us in a condo for one month, and then fired him. Said in one month they learnt all he knew and didnt need him anymore.....its a common practice in industry in Florida. Unfortunately.

nonmember avatar a

I dont know that I would move my family until things were settled in the new area, but I cant say for sure because Im not in that situation, Im not desperate for a job (thank the Lord) or a way to feed my child.

Dont judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

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