An Open Letter To My CEO
talia jane
3.4K1,352

Wage inequality is real and has been wreaking havoc on Americans for decades now. However, Talia, your message above does little to address the actual systemic problem(s). Somehow, you got the idea in your head that writing a very public, and very sarcastic, open letter to your company’s CEO would reverse a societal trend that has plagued our entire country since middle and working class wages went flat in the 1970s. Instead, you should have gotten the idea in your head that doing so would get you fired.

By your own admission, YOU made the decisions that placed you in a very bad, and inarguably, desperate position. YOU decided to earn a degree in English. I’m not saying you should not have pursued your academic passions, but it was YOUR responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. YOU made the decision to move to the area of the country with the absolute highest cost of living because you liked the weather and wanted to be closer to a parent you admittedly don’t have much of a relationship with. You had to leave the last place you lived, and I get that. But no one forced YOU to pick a location that is well known for its off-the-charts cost of living. YOU decided to apply for and accept a low-wage position in customer service. As a 25 year old adult, YOU are expected to know that being hired for job A is never a promise you will be promoted to job B. That is a leap of faith on YOUR part. YOU opened a line a credit and maxed it out to relocate to accommodate YOUR decisions outlined above. YOU rented an apartment you could not afford, even though you claim it to be the cheapest you could find. When I was in my early to mid twenties and could not afford to pay full rent, I got roommates, got rid of my phone, internet and cable. I sold my car and walked to work. Despite what felt like paralysis from mountains of debt, I peeled myself off the floor to go to part time jobs. I put in the work in the entry-level position to earn raises and promotions within my organization. Did you? If you haven’t done those things, I don’t think you can demand anything.

What I would suggest you try is to look for a new area of the country to live that has a lower cost of living. A BA in English isn’t going to carve out a living in the Bay area. Look for an apartment with roommates to split the rent and utilities. Look for a job that will cover those subsidized costs and leave enough to feed yourself. Spend some extra time and see if you can find that sort of situation close enough to said job that you can walk to work and get rid of the car. Those are the sorts of things YOU will need to do to fix YOUR situation. YOU have the power to make your life better. Expecting your CEO to do them for you won’t get you there.

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