I have been seeing headlines today about a Yelp employee who was fired after posting an open letter to the CEO on Medium.com, where she voiced her frustration with compensation she, and many others in the organization receive. She claims that 80% of her monthly income goes directly to rent, and simple things such as having 3 meals a day are a struggle. These are all things that I’m sure many people recently out of college deal with and worry about, but Talia Jane took her frustration to a dangerous new level by making the letter public. This is the first time I have heard of Medium.com, but the interesting thing about social media is how often things get shared across different platforms. It had come across my Facebook and Twitter several times before I decided to click through and read the story for myself. Medium.com describes itself as “…a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.”. Pretty fitting place to air out your gripes with your employer, I’d say
Opinions on her thoughts and method of sharing this information aside, I think it’s incredible that something like this had the impact it did, but it is not very surprising to me. I can’t imagine that any company with a public profile like Yelp could let this go by without comment or action, but especially in the case of an entrepreneurial and tech friendly company. In a Q&A posted today she says of her feelings on the impact of the letter before posting it that”…maybe he’ll see it and send me an email or something, or someone would talk to me and say, “Take that down and let’s talk about it.” I seriously question her judgement and lack of foresight, but the main thing at play here is how the average person could get so much traction in just a couple of days. Her story is one that many people can align with because of the nature of our economy, but she made herself the sacrificial lamb of the under compensated workers in America. Since this story has gone viral, there have been pieces on Forbes, Business Insider, Buzzfeed and more, all taking different angles on the story, but sharing the commonality of coming from the same post. Interesting to think of the power social media gives to the average citizen.