Talia Jane a former Yelp employee has been promptly fired after an open letter she wrote addressing the company CEO in which the worker complained of being paid too low to even be able to afford to buy food.
The woman’s dismissal over the weekend (barely two hours after a blog post made the rounds) comes after the customer support employee published an essay on Medium Friday evening explaining how little she was paid, and how she couldn’t afford to buy groceries or heat her apartment on her $8.15 an hour after tax salary.
Wrote in part, Talia Jane in an open letter addressed to Yelp CEO and founder, Jeremy Stoppelman:
‘So here I am, 25-years old, balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week. Every single one of my coworkers is struggling. They’re taking side jobs, they’re living at home. One of them started a GoFundMe because she couldn’t pay her rent. She ended up leaving the company and moving east, somewhere the minimum wage could double as a living wage. Another wrote on those neat whiteboards we’ve got on every floor begging for help because he was bound to be homeless in two weeks. Fortunately, someone helped him out. At least, I think they did. I actually haven’t seen him in the past few months. Do you think he’s okay?’
And here; ‘Because 80 percent of my income goes to paying my rent. Isn’t that ironic? Your employee for your food delivery app that you spent $300 million to buy can’t afford to buy food. That’s gotta be a little ironic, right?’
And more eyeball stuff here, which many of you will recognize:
‘I just got a text from T-Mobile telling me my bill is due. I got paid yesterday ($733.24, bi-weekly) but I have to save as much of that as possible to pay my rent ($1245) for my apartment that’s 30 miles away from work because it was the cheapest place I could find that had access to the train, which costs me $5.65 one way to get to work. That’s $11.30 a day, by the way. I make $8.15 an hour after taxes. I also have to pay my gas and electric bill. Last month it was $120. According to the infograph on PG&E’s website, that cost was because I used my heater. I’ve since stopped using my heater. Have you ever slept fully clothed under several blankets just so you don’t get a cold and have to miss work?’
Shortly after posting the piece, Jane’s corporate email account was disabled. It wasn’t too long before Talia Jane found out she’d been fired.
Talia’s dismissal led to the former employee recounting her firing via gawker.
Told the employee who arguably could represent the common denominator for many American employees living a similar dystopian nightmare:
‘I found out before my manager did. About two hours after I posted the letter, my phone vibrated but didn’t have a notification—my mailbox does this sometimes, I don’t know why, so I checked my inbox for all my linked email accounts…That’s when I knew, because they terminate all your access to the system before you come into work. So I called my manager and told him I got fired. He didn’t know what I was talking about and said he’d call me back after he looked into it. He called me back a few minutes later and told me someone from HR was there with him.’
Since her dismissal, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman went on to tweet that he was not personally responsible for Talia being fired. Or was he?
Tweeted the CEO: ‘I’ve not been personally involved in Talia being let go and it was not because she posted a Medium letter directed at me.’
Curious I also did a bit of snooping around and I came across this page belonging to Talia with row after row of picture of her seemingly surrounded with plenty of food. Delicious and plentiful food.
Which of course leads me to wonder how dire is Talia’s situation in the first place notwithstanding the dilemma of the have’s and have nots and can one still get ahead in America? A dilemma that Talia may have used to cleverly to draw sympathy to her own cause and perhaps get a few paypal donations coming her way?
And then there were these responses on social media that caught my eye. See what you think?
Just read the talia jane letter to YELP CEO. Not impressed. no-one made her take the job. made her go into debt. We are an entitled society
— Faithful Dividends (@FaithDividends) February 20, 2016
— jennifer dillon (@funkinatrix) February 21, 2016
This is so not ok. Our system is broken. I hope everyone will read Talia Jane’s story & help her and others like her https://t.co/zwKxjgg96r
— Diane Taylor (@dianeft) February 20, 2016
controlling information about wages is one or the most powerful tools of capital. talia jane found out capital doesn’t like to give it up.
— Jason Prado (@jasonpjason) February 20, 2016