Talia, thank you for the eye-opening letter about what so many people go through - just to simply survive! It takes a tremendous amount of courage to detail your struggles publicly. I saw a version of my younger self through your letter, except I was no where near as courageous! So much kudos to you. :)
Never mind the haters. You were not wrong to ask. You were not wrong to ask to be paid a living wage. Considering you were saving the company a lot of money by not throwing coupons at every angry customer but instead used your customer service skills. You were immensely valuable and I’m sorry they didn’t see it this way. Maybe that wasn’t the best tone to use with your employer when asking for better pay, but you weren’t wrong to ask! Do you know how many people don’t have the courage to ask? To negotiate? Work on your tone and you can be a kick ass negotiator someday.
I hope you are taking steps to move to a place where you are sharing your rent with roommates so that you have more money left over to pay your bills and also have fun. Housing cost is ridiculously expensive here in the Bay. I make close to an engineer’s salary now and even I still have to have roommates. Something needs to be done about the housing prices in the Bay.
I was astounded by the amount and intensity of vitriol you’ve received. They were coming from people who had it even worse than you do. Instead of relating to your plight and offering you their support, they chose to tear you down. Don’t listen to them. They mercilessly tore apart every little mistake you made. But I have yet to meet a 25-year-old who hasn’t made a rash, unwise decision. But for the ones who weren’t hateful and calling you awful names, but instead had solid advice, I would listen to them instead.
I don’t want to be the old person who says “back in my day, I walked to school in the snow” so I will spare you my own personal tale of struggle. All I want to say is it does get better from here. Change your tone but don’t lose your courage and integrity. That will come in handy when you are in management some day. Good luck to you. Please keep us posted!