An Open Letter To My CEO
talia jane

Oh the things I could say (much more than I will)…

I sounded JUST like you at 22 years old when telling my Dad how broke I was and how I couldn’t afford my $800 rent and $300 car payment WHILE working 2 jobs and going to school at night. He didn’t believe me that I was budgeting and offered to budget & pay my bills (with my money) and IF there really was a deficit he would subsidize my income. Yes, my father offered me an out… A handout. You know what I did? I turned him down and continued to struggle. Sometimes working 3 jobs (80 hours/week), sometimes eating hot dogs and tuna fish sandwiches for WEEKS. I had bill collectors calling at all hours and threats that left me shaking and crying to the point of vomiting.

I am only 33, and sadly… Classified as a damn Millennial! THANK YOU VERY F*ING MUCH for perpetuating the stereotype on ‘our’ generation! I worked for $7.25 an hour, for $10 an hour, for $12 an hour (all BEFORE taxes unlike your post tax figure) and I paid for my health insurance out of that. I remember being hungry and having on $3 to my name till the next day. I was hungry and had to decide if I would get something from the McDonald’s Value Menu or use the $3 as bridge toll to have dinner at my Parent’s house just over the bridge. I chose bridge toll!

I had another step in life you cannot fathom… I found myself a single mom after just starting an undergrad degree (I finally worked through an associates) and working full-time 45 miles away with gas prices at $5/gallon. I had $1000 month rent PLUS $1200/month CHILDCARE while paying about $100/week in gas, etc etc etc. Utilities, etc etc etc. I was making $34k BEFORE TAXES at the time. I made it.

I finished my undergrad degree, got married to my high school sweetheart (reunited and an amazing step-dad) in judge’s chambers on a Thursday night before he went to offer penalties and terms for drug dealers, traffic violators, DUIs, shoplifters, etc because we couldn’t afford a ‘wedding’. You know what my new husband was making? $19k a year…

Where are we now, 6 years later? He is around $50k and being offered a promotion to supervisor in the next 6 months when a new dept is opened, and I (having sacrificed A LOT these last 8 years) finished my Master’s Degree last May (working full-time at 50–70 hours a week in progressive roles and going to school several nights a week while spending weekends writing 30 page papers!). I now make about $80k…

We both worked our ASSES off! We both went hungry at night to feed MY daughter… We DESERVE every single thing life has provided us to this point because we EARNED it and FOUGHT for it through HARD WORK and SACRIFICE!

Having a 1 year “Time In Job” requirement is NOTHING and quite common! I spent 5 YEARS in my first corporate job. The requirement was 18 months, but I didn’t have it in me to change things while going to school and caring for an infant/toddler. I also have a belief that you shouldn’t change jobs till you have pretty much mastered your current role, or at least efficient and have contributed growth to the role itself.

GROW UP!!! Stop stop stop being the poster child for Millennial Stereotypes because those who work hard to get where we are, where we want to be, and where we DESERVE to be are tired of being lumped into YOUR bucket.

Oh, and yes, I now have 2 children and worked for 4 hours after my water broke with my first, went back to work 9 weeks later after a C-Section. My second, I worked up until 2 week prior to birth and took 1 week off of classes (15 credits that semester), returning to work at 6 week post-partum.

My degrees? I have an Associates in Business Administration, a Bachelor in Finance, and a Master in Human Resource Development. I am an HR Data Analyst today. Not easy degrees to begin with and especially not while working full-time (or multiple jobs) and raising a family.

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