A 25-year-old Yelp employee thought it would be a great idea to post a snarky open letter to her employer on Medium complaining about her working situation and – surprise – she was fired a few hours later.

The woman, who goes by the name Talia Jane, and who worked in Yelp’s Eat24 Customer Service department complained bitterly in her lengthy missive:

“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’m not sure if she is suggesting being a teacher makes someone a cliché and wanting to work in media doesn’t, but it seems that way and that implies that she is not nearly as smart or deserving as she thinks she is).

She explains that she thought it was “fair” that she take a temporary job in the customer service support section of Yelp/Eat24 “before I’d be qualified to transfer to media.” But she was then told she’d have to stay “an entire year” before she could be moved.

    “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?”


    “I haven’t bought groceries since I started this job. Not because I’m lazy, but because I got this ten pound bag of rice before I moved here and my meals at home (including the one I’m having as I write this) consist, by and large, of that. Because I can’t afford to buy groceries. Bread is a luxury to me, even though you’ve got a whole fridge full of it on the 8th floor. But we’re not allowed to take any of that home because it’s for at-work eating. Of which I do a lot. 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?”

I’m not sure what Talia Jane expected to gain from this but she was immediately fired and has since updated the blog with requests for donations.

CEO of Yelp Jeremy Stoppelman has responded to the note on Twitter saying he was not personally involved in her firing.

While I sympathize with people trying to make ends meet in the big city, please allow me to suggest that if you are ever considering shaming your employer on social media that you don’t do it. I know we live in an era in which it’s the norm to air all your dirty laundry on the world stage but this is not a good idea. If, however, you feel you absolutely must do it, do it with grace, like this woman did, and not in a sarcastic rant.

I don’t know the true details here. I get the impression Talia Jane lives alone and that getting a roommate would solve a lot of the problem. Who lives alone at 25? I couldn’t afford to live alone at 25! And I didn’t think anyone owed me a salary that would make it possible. I had roommates.

And I don’t know whether she possesses the talent to work in “media” but think it’s possible that if the people in charge of that department thought she was a good fit, they’d move her. Nobody has to give you the job you want just because you’re poor.

There are all kinds of other issues that could be addressed here, but I’m making assumptions, which I should not. The only point I want to make clear is don’t slam your boss. One day Talia is going to have to interview for a new job and she is going to be asked “Why did you leave your last employer?” I wonder what she will say.

Employers view trash taking former managers and coworkers as one of the number one turn offs in a candidate. Be gracious. Always.

Or you may wind up unemployed with an English literature degree, complaining that life is unfair and asking for handouts – which is not an ideal situation for someone who didn’t want to be a cliché.