5 Ways Talia Jane (the Open-Letter-to-Yelp Girl) Has Blown This Struggling Millennial’s Mind Wide Open

Last week, a Yelp employee named Talia Jane posted a scathing open letter to her CEO, detailing her struggles to live on her meagre salary in the swanky San Fransisco Bay area. The contents, let me tell you, were riveting. I had to rush off to find a condom for my mind, as it was being so violently blown.

  1. She’s found a way to monetize online sympathy.

As millennials, we know social media. But as Talia Jane, she knows how to make social media work for her. Case in point:

In the aftermath of her sarcastic letter to her CEO, she’s raised over $2300 on a public GoFundMe, and an undisclosed amount through private direct donations.

This, in case you were wondering, is the reason why Talia is a winner and we are all chumps. You see, I’d gone through my entire life thinking that these cash drives should be reserved for folks who have had sudden, debilitating illnesses, or those facing imminent starvation. To think, throughout all my millennial struggles, I’ve simply been downgrading my lifestyle to match my income, when I could have been slagging off my boss and then telling strangers to give me money on the internet.

Mind blown.

2. She’s redefined ‘imminent starvation’ and ‘rice’

This one hits me close to home. I’d moved to America when I was seven, eating out of the pockets of my underpaid, overworked Chinese parents. We were somewhat familiar with the concept of ‘imminent starvation,’ and comfortably familiar with the concept of ‘rice.’ Rice was what we ate for sustenance — washed down with some pickled vegetables and bone soup for protein. But here’s Talia, fixing to turn my whole world upside-down:

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.

Checking in with the folks at thatsalotofrice.com, I couldn’t find much in the way of the white, granular pieces of grain I’d always thought to be rice. But I did find a whole lot of this:

Pictured: imminent starvation.

And this:

So starve. Such imminent.

And this:

It’s kinda like starvation, I guess.

And that’s when it hit me: I thought I knew rice, but I didn’t know shit. Not the way Talia Jane knew it. That stuff that I’d eaten all my life? That was not rice. This is rice:

Pictured above: rice.

Mind blown.

3. Never question Talia Jane.

Like many of you, I’m used to approaching viral stories on the internet with some measure of skepticism. After all, did a flu vaccine really cause Billy to become autistic, as Jenna McCarthy claims? Did that woman in Connecticut really give birth to Bigfoot’s baby?

So when I first read about Talia’s struggles, I’d thought to apply that same cautious skepticism to her claims. What I did not know, however, was that questioning Talia’s sincerity was not just an exercise in internet skepticism — it was an insidious attack on a martyr who represented the entire millennial generation. In expressing doubts over her personal credibility, I had become an objectively horrible person who simply couldn’t relate because I lacked all human empathy.

Thanks, Talia’s supporters — now I know!

4. As a struggling millennial, Talia Jane speaks for me.

I’d always thought that the challenges faced by millennials were a multi-tiered problem that interwove a stagnant economy with the rising cost of education and the lingering aftershocks of a too-big-to-fail financial meltdown.

We as millennials have always needed a spokesperson for the genuine social problems we face: so what better candidate than the 25-year-old getting facials in her $1250/month Bay apartment, sipping bourbon and eating cupcakes while claiming that she can only afford rice?

The face of poverty.

With Talia Jane at the helm of the millennial cause, we can finally tackle the prickly social issues we face by reducing it to a personal beef between her and her CEO. She’s not just some internet schmuck getting attention and a few quick bucks by publishing a sympathetic populist narrative — no — she cares about us. She is our Buddha, our Jesus, come down to this mortal earth to liberate all millennials from the shackles of wage-slavery. Case in point…

5. She’s given credibility to the struggles of millennials in a flagging economy.

Before Talia Jane came along, the phrase “struggling millennial” conjured to mind a number of things: the meteoric growth of inflation and cost of living, with no corresponding rise in wages; the diminished value of human capital in a stagnant, top-heavy economy; a young workforce burdened with increasing debt whilst holding university degrees of decreasing value.

So I just want to thank God that Talia has come along and cleared things up. Now we know that “struggling millennial” means a 25-year-old sipping expensive bourbon while getting a facial in a $1250/month San Francisco Bay apartment.


Because roommates are for chumps, yo.

From one millennial to another - thanks for opening our eyes, Talia!