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Lemme see if we can agree…or at least be agreeable in our disagreement.

  1. Certainly you can make the hire/no hire decisions based on your own criteria and I 100% agree with your general profile of who should be working at your company based on your company’s goals/reasons for being in business (for which, I think you have something there just bsed on your description so good luck with that). HOWEVER, just because she is your target customer doesn’t mean she would make a good employee and I personally think you would be making a huge mistake in hiring her. There are plenty of millennials and tight budgeted consumers with a different work ethic that your business (and mine) deserve and would ultimately thrive from.
  2. I invest in people too and have a vested interest in their overall happiness. Maybe Yelp doesn’t to the same degree as you and I. Does that make Talia’s expectations and actions right? No. She was not tricked, lied to, or otherwise baited and switched. She clearly wanted to do something else while applying for (literally) any job at the company and when she expressed this, they told her a VERY REASONABLE response of something to the effect of “hey…you have to do what you said you were going to do for a year first. Show us that you’re committed and we can count on you and then we can consider you for something else.” Reasonable.
  3. The “Fair/Living Wage” problem. This is a problem…I agree…but what is a fair wage and what is its impact on the rest of us? Its not as simple as “give everyone raises” when the cost of living in a already one of the costliest places to live skyrockets. Is Yelp (or you or me) supposed to relocate to a less costly place to do business? Maybe. But let’s agree at least on one thing here as it won’t be solved today. If Yelp were paying $1/hr (setting aside any laws) then no one would apply. If they were paying $100/hr then the opposite would happen. Somewhere in the middle is what the job is worth based on the work performed, skill set needed, and available applicants. Every business must adjust to their business realities but this should be dictated by the current conditions to hire and retain quality people.
  4. In your hypothetical scenario where you ask me if Talia is my concern based on all of her bad choices up to this date. My answer to you is yes…to a point…which I surmise is your basic answer too. As long as I didn’t/don’t deceive her about her job responsibilities and expectations, provide a good working environment (and no, not considering her for another job she didn’t apply for doesn’t equal bad working conditions in my book) and ensure that her relevant job related concerns are addressed, then I’m good. The scenario that you outline is of her own doing that she could have avoided if she took the time to think it through with just a bit of her reasoning capability that presumably a college degree provides. Instead, she had this strange fantasy that she would take this entry level job, rack up huge expenses to move to one of the most expensive places to live, sign a lease she could not realistically afford, with the expectation that she would be given this other job within 3 months of starting? HUH????? Listen, I’m all for young dreamers and those that throw caution to the wind and follow their passion, result or failure be damned. This isn’t what chaps many of our hides. Its the *attitude* that she takes once things didn’t work out that makes her difficult to root for. Accept at least *some* responsibility for your choices.
  5. I’ve taken plenty of jobs that I thought I’d be farther along then I ultimately reached. I moved on and took other that afforded me other opportunities…I didn’t blame the company’s lack of vision for not seeing who they had in me.

Of course I can lack empathy for someone…I never said this isn’t possible. You also can. This isn’t the debate here. I’m sure I can come up with several scenarios where you probably would not feel much for the troubled person described. The question is does Talia deserve empathy? My position is no…and it is primarily if not solely because she doesn’t (seem to) accept that anything she did was of her own doing or she had a hand in it directly and what, if anything, she learned. If she ended her letter with something like that instead of asking the public to fund her bad choices (because somehow this is a thing now), then perhaps it would have been completely different because she actually LEARNED something from her life choices and hopefully she will make better ones in the future. That’s all empathy requires.

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