An Open Letter To My CEO
talia jane
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Talia,

It seems like most people either want to wrap you in a big cozy hug or punch you in the face. I oscillate between the two.

It’s not just the old mansplainers who think you sound entitled. It’s fellow female Millenials. It’s minority groups who have been facing this bullshit for decades, without the excellent health coverage and free snacks. I can see how, from your perspective, working in a shitty job for a year is ludicrous. Our generation was raised to believe that the World was our oyster, that we had to have jobs that were both fulfilling and lucrative, that we could do anything. I can see how reality seems cruel and unfair after decades of being led to believe otherwise (and I mean that sincerely, not in a snarky, condescending way). Unfortunately, the truth is that lots of people end up in those jobs for the entirety of their working lives, whether it be lack of resources and opportunity or even the fact that they just weren’t lucky enough to be born with higher intelligence. Because as fun as it is for you to make fun of the woman with poor grammar who commented on how she is 33 and works 3 jobs, the fact of the matter is she was either a) not a winner of the gene pool or b) not a winner of privilege and opportunity in society. Those things aren’t her fault and she is trying to compensate by working hard, and your response is to tweet her poor grammar and make fun of her.

Your attitude is distasteful because you pit them as the Other. You view yourself as better than them. You point out that there is no aptitude test for this job, and that they’re “first-time employees with…poor habits and lack of work ethic”. It seems that you find it distasteful that you are in the same position as them. And again, I can see how it seems unfair to you. You went to college. Your attitude leads me to believe you were lucky enough to not grow up in a poor neighborhood. Being hungry seems to be a new experience for you. Part of the American Dream was that every generation would do better than the next, that if you came and worked hard (which FYI working in customer support for 6 months and expecting a raise and a promotion does not really align with) you could get ahead. With your current entitled attitude, you’re fucked. Where I actually get really sad and want to give you a hug is that you might be out of luck either way. Our generation is facing a terrible labor market, one where we want to talk about how unemployment is shrinking but the quality of the jobs available are increasingly menial labor. It gets worse — it’s not going to get better. More jobs will be automated. The plethora of workers to available jobs will mean that wages can stay low. Even if you do work hard, even if you swallow your pride and check your privilege at the door, the future could be really bleak for you… and that sucks. It’s scary and I’m sorry it’s a reality our generation is facing. It’s not fair that minorities and impoverished populations have always faced that reality, but the difference is that they weren’t raised to believe it would be any other way. Even though you might be an entitled Millenial, I don’t think it’s fair that the job market you’re facing is terrible. Nobody deserves it — not 33 year old Barbie with 3 jobs, not entitled Talia who gets great healthcare coverage and free snacks and complains that she can’t take the bread home or that she has $20 co-pays. Trust me — if this is all you will ever know of struggle, you are incredibly blessed.

The good news for you is that, while the future is decidedly bleak for many college educated, reasonably intelligent people in our generation, it might not be the case for you. You just started — have hope. I worked for 2 years out of college as a nanny because it was the Great Recession and it was better pay than any entry level job I could find. After that I entered a lucrative industry I hated but did the job so that we could pay off my husband’s grad school and save for a house. I thought the World was my oyster and it turns out this is a pretty shitty oyster where very few people get to do the job they love for a great wage and live in a reasonably sized home in the Bay Area. And I speak from experience — we recently left San Francisco because we couldn’t afford (on two tech, high income salaries) to live comfortably and save for retirement and for college for our children. It broke my heart and seemed tremendously unfair, that we both had worked hard and found our way into solid career paths but still couldn’t afford to live well in the city that we loved so much. So your reality may be similar. If you can’t move home with your parents or find a higher paying job or a roommate, you really should not be living there. And I can understand your heartbreak and the seeming injustice of it all, but from one entitled Millenial to another — we are so extremely lucky, and here’s an entitled analogy you might appreciate: people are like wine, it’s the struggle during their development that makes them better and more interesting.

Best of luck (sincerely),

Kathryn