A self-righteous open letter to people who write self-righteous open letters to people who write…

I wrote an open letter response to Talia / people like Talia. Guilty as charged. In fact, it was my first Medium post because it seemed like the appropriate way to respond to such a post.

Here it is: https://medium.com/@lifewithinterest/dear-the-talia-janes-of-silicon-valley-e02363ff299e

Although I agree with you that everyone’s situation does not apply to Talia’s situation, and we don’t know the details of her background, her family life, or her overall mental health (adding words here to your argument), I think it is fair to say that when we read letters like this, we have a right to react and share our experience/feedback, as some of it is applicable.

We all have our privledges that afford us various levels of early access to success, some more than others, some none at all. But that doesn’t change the fact that as an adult we need to take responsibility for our own decisions and not expect our company or our government to solve all of our problems for us. I think we all feel bad for Talia. She clearly did not have the foresight or financial planning abiliteis to realize that she was taking on a job that she couldn’t afford. She made the choice not to get a roommate (which you say is not something we should be commenting on, but it seems to be her biggest problem since that would cut her rent in half and afford her more than a bag of rice a month to eat and transportation costs.)

It’s almost important for letters like this to inspire dialogue around the issues — for us to recognize the (one) face of the millennial plight. If she didn’t want people to respond in such a manner she shouldn’t have published it openly on Medium. I think one can be empathetic and also impart wisdom from life lessons — there is value in learning from those who have been through similar (not identical) struggles, and hear how they addressed these challenges. Hopefully Talia has heeded some of this well-meaning advice.

After I wrote my first Medium post, I followed up with another where I detail out the salary someone in the Bay Area with a large amount of college debt should have to live a fairly decent life (with a roommate) because I think it’s more important for us to look at the numbers and facts of what is fueling her frustration, versus how it was communicated: https://medium.com/@lifewithinterest/what-should-an-entry-level-job-pay-in-silicon-valley-b9e592826c39

This is the type of conversation I believe we should be having, and we should help younger millennials understand how finances work, and how to budget to be able to eat more than a bag of rice. Although ideally a company cares about the health and well-being of its employees to opt-in to paying higher wages for its entry-level positions, it cannot be required to do so unless minimum wage is legally raised. And despite the low pay in her current role, she was provided an opportunity to move into her dream job in just one year’s time, which is actually really great for someone just out of college. So maybe we just want to provide a bit of a reality check, but it takes a while for some people to recognize that things are actually not that bad, despite seeming so. I think most of us just want to help.

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