An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…
Stefanie Williams

Dear Stephanie Williams:

After reading your response to the article detailing the absolute struggle you dealt with while working for a Bay Area based corporation (see here, I felt it imperative to address a point that you could not have missed more completely.

The author of the original article laid out a series of problems with her employer, Yelp, citing very specifically that their hourly wages ($8.25 per hour in Northern California) were too low. Several hours later she was fired for this post.

Your response, in essence, was to relate stories of your own life when you were the age of the original poster, indicating that her problems were her own fault because she was lazy and had no work ethic.

In other words, you didn’t address her point — at all. Instead, you called her names while completely avoiding the main issue she raised.

Let’s pretend that the original poster takes your words to heart. She tells her original employer to shove off, gets roommates, goes on to a better job, and in a few years she, too, is financially stable. That’s good news! Hooray for her!

However, the job she left behind will be filled by someone else, who will make that same rate. So will the next person, and the next person, and the next. Someone must always make the burgers, drive the cab, sweep the floors, wash the windows. The people who do these jobs do not deserve to be called lazy or entitled because they expect their paycheck to cover their food.

I would greatly appreciate a response regarding the issue of why you think it is okay for a corporation, any corporation, to pay wages upon which their employees cannot eat. When you do so, please also address that class of workers who hold full-time, 40-hour jobs, whose wages are still so low that they qualify for food stamps. There is a popular internet meme that states that we as taxpayers are subsidizing very profitable corporations who refuse to pay their workers enough for them to eat, and in my opinion, there is some truth to that.

I anxiously look forwards to your next article which, I sincerely hope, will not focus on shaming a single worker or calling her names, but will instead address the issue of why it is okay for companies to pay bottom-of-the-barrel wages while expecting cream-of-the-crop employees .

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