She is on the receiving end of my disdain for multiple reasons, none of which are because she lost…
Stefanie Williams
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Stefanie,

You know very little about Talia and her story. In fact, none of us really know much at all about the whole ordeal. We don’t know what her circumstances where, why she made the decisions she did, even what influences in her life were important. If Talia’s post and tweets are to be believed, and Yelp has confirmed some of the details, then she has my sympathy for losing her job and having to suffer the way that she did. No, Talia isn’t a Syrian refugee or a homeless, destitute inner city worker, but her struggles are real and I freely and unequivocally give my compassion for her plight.

My issue with your post, Stefanie, is it has little to do with Talia and is more about broad condemnation of Millennials as a group. You entitled your post “An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…” (my emphasis). Within the first moments of writing you neatly place Talia into a category with the rest of Millennials and paint your disdain with as broad a stroke as you can muster. Talia is merely a supporting context to your thesis: that Millennials, as a group, are whinny, entitled, lazy, and greedy. I quote from your post:

And that’s the trouble with not just your outlook, but the outlook of so many people your age. You think it is somehow more impressive to ask strangers for money by writing some “witty” open letter than it is to put on your big girl pants and take a job you might be embarrassed by in order to make ends meet.

I’m sorry but I don’t think that statement is fair or accurate — you do not personally know everyone in their mid 20s, nor do you even really know the specifics of Talia’s plight.

You also ignore the reason that Talia’s post went viral and is the topic of so much discussion: that a large, profitable multinational corporation pays its workers slightly above poverty levels in San Francisco, a city that is notorious for having a high cost of living. I contend that is a topic worth writing and arguing about, and regardless of what you think of Talia as a person her writing has started a discussion about wages and cost of living in San Francisco that should be had.

Millennials are people just like you and I: they have hopes, desires, and a need to be accepted and loved. Talia is a complex person with many needs, desires, hopes and aspirations. You too, are a complex person with a unique experience and unique perspective. We are not all alike and our stories are all slightly different, but that does not make any of us less deserving of understanding and compassion. Save your disdain for truly heinous acts, not the (mis)judgments of a young woman trying to find her way in the world.

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