Talia Jane. Get used to seeing this face over the next 15 minutes or so…
The story: A 25-year-old entry level Yelp (at Eat24, which is owned by Yelp) customer service agent named Talia Jane posted an article to the social media site Medium titled, An Open Letter To My CEO. Addressed to “Jeremy,” Yelp Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Stoppleman, Jane’s epistle was a long. angry, often sad, more often snarky lament about her low compensation, current poverty, and lack of satisfaction with her job; her personal hardship as she struggled with Bay Area living expenses like rent, food, electricity, internet, transportation; and her criticism of company policies and Stoppleman’s millions (Yelp was his creation.) The letter quickly went viral, especially among Bernie-files and on left-leaning websites, as the post was a rant against the lack of a living wage and greedy corporations generally. A couple hours later, Talia posted an update that she had been fired, and Stoppleman responded to some of her concerns on Twitter, protesting that he and his company were not as callous as she claimed. Stoppleman also tweeted that he was uninvolved in her firing and it was unrelated to the Medium post.
1. Of course, Yelp had to fire her. Any company, large or small, would and should fire a low level employee who intentionally attacks her employer and the company’s CEO in a public forum. That the letter was read far and wide just sped up the process. The Bernie Brats, being so ignorant of the way of the world that they actually believe Sanders’ Socialist fantasies, naturally faulted Yelp for her fate. In Bernie World, you see, everyone is guaranteed a job, even after they go out of their way to embarrass the people who write their paychecks, or so they appear to believe.
2. Jane wrote that her firing was “unplanned” but not unexpected. I don’t believe that for a second; in fact, the statement is contradictory. She wrote a 2500 word attack on her employer and posted it online, and says she “expected’ to be fired. When you take deliberate action that you know will have a specific result, that’s a plan. The plan is to get out of a job she hates and that doesn’t advance her desired career—apparently to be a highly paid web commentator and wit—by making herself into a sympathetic celebrity long enough to exploit her fame and re-boot her ambitions. Isn’t that obvious? I’m sure that Talia is being booked on radio and TV shows as I write this. For her plan to work, however, she has to lie about her intentions in writing the letter. To some extent, I admire her audacity, and the plan may work. But this is The Saint’s Excuse: she made a deal with Yelp; they held up their end of it; she miscalculated, she was dissatisfied, so she made Yelp a public target for her own benefit. Unethical. It is also the rationalization called Ethical Vigilantism: she thinks this is right because she deserves better, and is justified betraying her benefactor.
3. I wouldn’t trust Talia Jane to run my lemonade stand. Continue reading →