By Brandon Luong, @BrandonTLuong
Once again the Internet is being torn apart by another controversial topic: the 25-year-old former Yelp Employee who wrote an open letter to her boss,Jeremy Stoppelman. I’m actually surprised we are debating on a real issue rather than another #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch or who should not be voted off on The Bachelor. Talia Jane faces a situation some millennials know too well: graduates from an accredited university with hopes of obtaining the American dream to only be crushed by reality. Her blog post has separated the Internet into two categories: millennials sharing the same boat and those who feel millennials are entitled pricks. Blogs are found circulating on this topic net, like Stefanie Williams’Medium post called An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…, to comments on her post, and of course, this wouldn’t be a complete war without Tweeters.
To know which side you land, you’re either feverishly typing a clapback to this post or sharing this to your social networks. This issue has risen to a catastrophic level, the Pop Culture War, a rank reserved for the likes of Color-Confused dress and Starbucks’ (lack of) Christmas cups. The real case is whether this war over entitlement issues or the job market is dire disarray.
Albiet the overall conversation is about whether Talia is entitled or truly suffering, one of the over-glaring factor that effects metropolitan workers is the fact the standard of living in the major cities, especially the Bay, is extraordinarily high compared to the actual wages of the workforce. When breaking down the cost of living to the penny, it can be downright depressing of how many hours you would have to work in order to achieve a decent living as Tara Golshan’s covers in her article:
Jane pays $1,250 for rent, about $120 for gas and electric, and $11.30 a day to commute to and from work. She said she makes approximately $1,500 a month; according to Glassdoor, Yelp customer service employees make around $12 an hour. Factor in the price of food (and we will put away the idea of eating healthy in this equation), and the numbers don’t match up.
Here's The Problem...
Even if Talia was to eat the cheap, crappy ramen, it still would not put her in a better position, needless to say her health. Given the current job market status, college grads are looking at obtaining another degree, but not towards higher education. They’re looking at community colleges, which is a step backwards in our balance between higher education and employment prerequisites. There’s a problem in the system when bachelor graduates, granted they are initialed B.S. for a reason, are forced to believe if they continue school, they will land a better job. However, they would have to downgrade to a community college to reposition themselves, apply for loans that will take decades to repay or skip grad school as it won’t fit their budget. It’s like purchasing Evan Williams Bourbon for the table, then realizing nobody in the group wants it, and having to order several PBR as replacements. Yet, still paying for the bourbon plus the pee-flavored beer and the satisfying feeling that you wasted a month’s rent. All this means wages do not match to the rising standard of living for many metropolitan cities.
The idea of a nonexistent equilibrium between work and life in a person’s first 10 years of “adulthood” is downright depressing, cynical and ludicrous. If this is the mindset of those in positions in creating change, then there’s no wonder why America is not listed in the Top Ten Happiest Countries in 2015. Hell, Mexico, the same group Drumpf (#MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain) is attempting keep out, out ranks us. The same country whose people are supposedly are stealing our jobs is still happier than we are. Granted there’s plenty of millennials who are pieces of shit, but we still need to push our economy forward by passing on realistic advice and knowledge to others. Thus, beating Mexico as #14 Happiest Country.
What do you think?
Now comes the big one, which side of the spectrum does Talia fall: entitled or keeping it 100? We can look at her purchases as an inside look of her character, like this $45 Bulleit Bourbon or whatever online price you can find, and eating ghetto food as prosciutto and brie, but there’s no in-depth analysis on her posts to distinguish gifts from direct purchases. We can make as many speculations on her financial expenditures, yet we won’t know for a fact on which items are what they are. She could be living on rice and starve herself to pay the bills. Or she could be spending her money Kanye West style on frivolous products.
In the end, this girl is out of a job for undisclosed reasons, for better or worse, gained a few weeks of fame or notoriety depending on your stance, and still have bills to pay.