The millennial generation is, at times, a clueless one. Or, at least certain millennials are clueless. That may explain then why 25-year old Talia Jane ranted to Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, about her job Jane was employed in customer service for Yelp’s Eat24 delivery service when she sent out the open letter over Medium.
Jane was shortly thereafter fired. Stoppelman tweeted out that he had nothing to do with the decision. Despite the inappropriate tone of her letter, Stoppelman even seems to be taking some of it to heart.
1/5 Late last night I read Talia's medium contribution and want to acknowledge her point that the cost of living in SF is far too high.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
2/5 I have been focused on this issue, backing anti-NIMBY group SFBARF and speaking out frequently about the need to lower cost of housing.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
3/5 I've not been personally involved in Talia being let go and it was not because she posted a Medium letter directed at me.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
5/5 entry level jobs migrate to where costs of living are lower. Have already announced we are growing EAT24 support in AZ for this reason.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
Relevant or important or not, Jane’s points were hardly communicated in the appropriate manner. She starts her letter off with “Dear Jeremy,” and it only gets worse from there.
Her long letter includes irrelevant anecdotal tidbits which do not belong in communication to a CEO, but rather a personal blog. She whines, complains, and seeks to guilt the company which has employed her.
Sadly, Jane is not alone in her situation. But, she is a college graduate. She should be able to market herself as such and be able to take better than a minimum wage job she says pays $8.15 after taxes.
Her letter also expresses a naivety about sacrifices to make in life, about where she ought to live. Does she not know that San Francisco is the most expensive place to live? Has she heard of getting roommates? What about financial help from or living with her father? What about other careers besides media?
I left college, having majored in English literature, with a dream to work in media. It was either that or go to law school. Or become a teacher. But I didn’t want to become a cliche or drown in student loans, see. I also desperately needed to leave where I was living — I could get into the details of why, but to sum up: I wanted to die every single day of my life and it took me several years to realize it was because of the environment I was in. So, I picked the next best place: somewhere close to my dad, since we’ve never gotten to have much of a relationship and I like the weather up here. I found a job (I was hired the same day as my interview, in fact) and I put a bunch of debt on a shiny new credit card to afford the move.
She also asks that her company treat its employees as charity recipients. And oh, there’s that attitude again:
Originally, I suggested that Eat24 offer special coupon codes where half of the code’s value ($1) goes to charity. Maybe instead, you can give half the code’s value ($1) to helping employees who live across the bay pay their transit fares? Mine are $226 monthly. According to this website, you’ve got a pretty nice house in the east bay. Have you ever been stranded inside a CVS because you can’t afford to get to work? How much do you pay your gardeners to keep that lawn and lovely backyard looking so neat?
Jane shared in an update to her letter that she was let go, something that she said was “entirely unplanned (but I guess not completely unexpected?).” She is asking for financial help in the meantime. She “guess[es it’s] not completely unexpected?” That may be the first smart thought Jane has had in the whole letter. Her situation is an unfortunate one, but if she’s not grateful for her job, why should Yelp be expected to keep her on?