The Viral Letter That Got A Yelp Employee Fired Just Shows Her Immaturity

by Talia Koren

People love to play the blame game.

Most do it privately, but others -- like a customer service staffer for Yelp/Eat24, Talia Jane -- choose to do it publicly. Her digital open letter, addressed to Jeremy Stoppleman, CEO of Yelp, gained viral attention this past weekend for its portrayal of the Millennial privilege so many love to discuss.

Talia ranted for more than 2,000 words about her (exceptionally ordinary) struggles as a 25-year-old juggling rent, debt and life expenses while making a San Francisco minimum wage of $12.25 an hour.

Her letter went viral because Talia's rant game is strong, but now she's unemployed and publicly linking out to her GoFundMe and PayPal accounts.

This situation is her fault, not Stoppleman's, not the Bay Area's, not even Yelp's.

It's kind of a no-brainer, isn't it?  Write a ranty letter chomping at the hand that feeds you, and you'll probably end up getting sacked.

The choice to move to the Bay Area was Talia's own, though she could have easily picked rural Idaho. She could have also left Yelp if she was so unhappy.

Both those choices would've been a smarter than publishing her letter.

the HR lady & my manager straight up told me that the letter violated Yelp's "Terms of Conduct" and that's why they had to let me go. — Lady Murderface (@itsa_talia) February 20, 2016

Most post-grads look forward to the luxuries of adulthood, like making doctor's appointments, paying off student loans and thinking about car insurance. Oh, wait! Those things actually suck. The reality is that the Talias of the world dream of independence, without considering how hard they'll have to work to get there.

There are some sacrifices we shouldn't have to make, like health. Talia describes coming home from work, suffering from serious hunger pains and only being able to eat rice because that's all she could afford. However, I'm curious as to why she never quit if she was literally starving.

The CEO is not responsible for her budget.

Talia was struggling to pay her rent of $1,245 and gave up on finding a roommate when no one at her job was able to swing it. Why didn't she go on Craigslist? There are other ways to find roommates.

According to her letter, Talia tried freelancing on the side, but was unable to pay attention because she was “stressed.” Guess what? Side hustling sometimes involves less sleep. There are no excuses. You can't expect your success to be served to you on a silver platter just because you show up to work.

will i get fired for @'ing our ceo asking for a living wage? is public begging fireable or just not cute? — Lady Murderface (@itsa_talia) February 19, 2016

Talia originally took the job because she saw herself working in the well-known company's media department. The customer service job was a way to get her foot in the door. As someone who has worked in the entertainment industry, I get the appeal of working for a “big name.” It looks sexy on your resume.

But, if she wanted a job in media specifically, why didn't she work for a smaller company in a position where she would actually learn and train in what she aimed to do?

Talia could have turned her cons into pros.

Talia was angry that it would have taken a year to be eligible to transfer out of the customer service department.

In that year, Talia could have networked with people in the media department, worked her ass off and impressed her boss. When she finally got the promotion, she could've negotiated her salary so she wouldn't have to starve. If Talia were smart, she would have calculated the cost of living before she got her offer.

When you put your career in perspective, a year is not that long.

Everyone has job struggles, everything from hard commutes to tough bosses. The way Talia dealt with her frustration was unprofessional, and it makes total sense she was fired.

.@jeremys anyway, fire me or ignore me. either way I'll keep on struggling all the same. — Lady Murderface (@itsa_talia) February 19, 2016

Adulthood is not about cars, credit cards and apartments. It's about being accountable for your own decisions.