A Yelp entry-level employee making $733.24 bi-weekly wrote an open (and very long) letter to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman on Medium complaining of her paycheck, various company practices, and reliance on rice to survive. The employee, Talia Jane, has since been fired from her job.
my manager and Natalia in HR (convenient!) said the letter violated terms of conduct & is why I was let go. explain? https://t.co/uDAiXiTqYb— Lady Murderface (@itsa_talia) February 20, 2016
3/5 I've not been personally involved in Talia being let go and it was not because she posted a Medium letter directed at me.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
In "An Open Letter to my CEO", Jane writes that she started at Yelp/Eat24 fresh from graduating with an English Lit degree, and was thus willing to take an entry level job in customer support. She goes on to detail just how impossible it is for her to survive on $733.24 per paycheck.
The 25-year old East Bay resident lists her rent as $1245, leaving $221 remaining from her monthly paychecks. Talia Jane's daily commute costs $11.30, and her monthly PG&E bill is $120 - if she turns on her heater. Talia Jane couldn't take it anymore, tossed her frustrated, rice-covered hands in the air, and let loose on the internet.
Here are our favorite sentences from Talia Jane's letter:
"Bread is a luxury to me, even though you've got a whole fridge full of it on the 8th floor."
"Your employee for your food delivery app that you spent $300 million to buy can't afford to buy food."
"Have you ever seen an angry See's Candies customer?"
"If you starve a pack of wolves and toss them a single steak, will they rip each other to shreds fighting over it? Definitely."
"I see on your twitter that you care deeply about the homeless epidemic in our city."
"Have you ever drank a liter of water before going to bed so you could fall asleep without waking up a few hours later with stomach pains because the last time you ate was at work?"
"I'm pretty proficient at rice, but some hot soup would sure make up for not being able to afford to use my heater."
"I hear your net worth is somewhere between $111 million and $222 million. That's a whole lotta rice."
"...Yelp could save about $24,000 in two months if the company stopped restocking flavored coconut waters since no one drinks them (because they taste like the bitter remorse of accepting a job that can't pay a living wage..."
Stoppleman responded in a 5-part tweet Saturday morning.
1/5 Late last night I read Talia's medium contribution and want to acknowledge her point that the cost of living in SF is far too high.— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) February 20, 2016
And then, Talia Jane updated her letter. "UPDATE: As of 5:43pm PST, I have been officially let go from the company. This was entirely unplanned (but I guess not completely unexpected?) but any help until I find new employment would be extremely appreciated."
Talia Jane then lists several online accounts, including her PayPal, where she is currently accepting donations.
I've been 100% definitely let go so I added my paypal to the letter. Anything would be extremely appreciated.— Lady Murderface (@itsa_talia) February 20, 2016
The former Yelp employee lists herself on Twitter as, "comedy • writing • better at thinking about things than actually doing them." The drama is currently unfolding on Twitter, where most seem to be steadfastly on #TeamTalia.