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Writer blasts ex-Yelp employee, fellow millennials on entitlement and 'lack of work ethic'

A young woman is taking aim at a fellow millennial who complained her Yelp job didn't pay enough for her to eat.
/ Source: TODAY

A 29-year-old millennial is drawing applause for ripping into a 25-year-old peer for making the rest of their generation look like whiners.

Stefanie Williams wrote a response to a young Yelp employee, 'Talia Jane,' who, over the weekend, posted a long, scathing letter to her company CEO because she couldn't make ends meet.

Stefanie Williams' open letter to millennials
Stefanie Williams via Medium

Talia's note ultimately led to her job dismissal, along with compassion from people sympathizing with her plight of living in the insanely pricey San Francisco Bay Area.

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But it also solicited scorn from readers who told Talia to suck it up: Move to a cheaper city, get a roommate, find an extra job — or do all of the above.

That was the sentiment expressed in the fiery rebuke from Williams, a New York-based writer who noted she was barely older than Talia but “worlds apart in the concept of work ethic.”

“Work ethic is not something that develops from entitlement. Quite the opposite, in fact. It develops when you realize there are a million other people who could perform your job and you are lucky to have one,” Williams wrote. “It comes from sucking up the bad aspects and focusing on the good and above all it comes from humility. It comes from modesty. And those are two things, based on your article, that you clearly do not possess.” TODAY reached out for comment from Williams but didn't hear back.

Stefanie Williams wrote an open letter to fellow millennials
Stefanie Williams, who penned an open letter to fellow millennials.Stefanie Williams / Facebook

In her original post, Talia Jane complains about low wages and being told she would have to work a year in her customer service job with Yelp’s food delivery service, Eat24, before being allowed to rise up the ranks. She also takes a shot at the full health coverage she received as part of her job — free aside from $20 copays that could “determine whether or not you could afford to get to work the next week.”

That prompted Williams, in her letter addressed to “millennials like Talia,” to respond with incredulity.

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"She believes she deserves these things that most of us would call luxuries," she wrote. "You expected to get what you thought you deserved rather than expected to work for what you had to earn. And that’s the problem entirely.”

The comments made by Williams are striking because they come from someone in the same cohort often criticized for unrealistic expectations and a sense of entitlement from both employers and society as a whole.

The group is increasingly being drawn out by educational leaders tired of dealing with a generation they say are being raised by enabling parents.

Last summer, a former Stanford dean released the book, "How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success," after she tired of seeing waves of incoming students lack a basic understanding of how to take care of themselves.

More recently, an Oklahoma university president called out students for being "self-absorbed and narcissistic" and playing the victim any time "their feelings are hurt."

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Williams touches upon similar criticism in her letter, noting she survived comparable struggles, including being laid off from her first job out of college. She moved back home, waited tables and tended bars, often serving former high school classmates and their parents who looked down upon her job. But within time, Williams made more in discretionary income than many of her friends with office jobs. She also had the flexibility to devote time to her passion and current profession, writing.

"I paid my dues. I did what I had to do in order to survive, with the help of my family," she wrote. "I was gracious and thankful and worked as hard as I could even if it was a job that sometimes made me question my worth. And I was successful because of that."

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.