It’s a harsh job climate out there right now, as anyone scrambling to cope with unemployment and underemployment knows. And it’s an especially harsh world out there for anyone who had the misfortunate of crossing one communications professional in Northeastern Ohio.
Kelly Blazek is kind of a big deal: she runs a Cleveland Job Bank House and has gone off on anyone who has dared to try and make a professional connection with her that they are too “green” to have. As explained to the blog CleveScene, jobseekers reach out to her to get on her members-only “NEOHCommJobs” listserv. According to her, the listserv boasts over 7,300 subscribers and breaks job openings before they are posted elsewhere. It sounds like a great resource for Cleveland-ites looking for communications connections and jobs.
Perhaps it’s too great a resource. See, it seems Kelly Blazek has let running some rinky-dink Ohio listserv get to her head. Read this email from a jobseeker, followed by Blazek’s response:
My name is _______, I currently live in Chicago and am planning on moving back home to Cleveland in the next few months. I was born and raised in Cleveland and am excited to come back, finally. [A] friend of mine referred me to your Yahoo Group and I requested admission, but was denied.
When I told [my friend] about this, he told me that contacting you was the best way to gain access to the group. I am currently active in the employment market and have been in Technology Sales for the past 4 years.
What is the best way to gain acceptance into this group, so I can help find a job?
All the best,
Here was Kelly’s response:
[H]ow about starting with NOT presuming I would share my nearly 1,000 personally-known LinkedIn contacts with a TOTAL stranger? How bush league to pull that stunt. It’s what kids do – ask senior executives to link in to them, so they can mine contacts for job leads. That’s tacky, not to mention entitled – what in the world do I derive from accepting a stranger’s connection request? You earned a “I Don’t Know ______” from me today, for such an assumptive move. Please learn that a LinkedIn connection is the equivalent of a personal recommendation. If I haven’t heard of someone, met them, or worked with them, why would I ever vouch for them on LinkedIn?My Job Bank is a gift of my personal time and effort to benefit my profession. It’s a privilege to help thousands of jobseekers – but I have my limits. You have not earned the right to ask me to connect on LinkedIn, and your Yahoo Group request was denied because you didn’t provide any information when you requested membership – or failed to respond to a request for more information that indicates your background is a match for the jobs I share.
No more questions or requests. Please tap into the other job seeker resources in NE Ohio for your search.
Kelly Blazek | Principal
Gemba Communications, LLC
2013 IABC Communicator of the Year
Maybe this person didn’t adequately demonstrate they had enough “skin in the game” to join Blazek’s highly-esteemed regional Ohio listserv, but that doesn’t excuse rude, insulting emails.
But wait, there’s more: the main image of this post is yet another email from Blazek, via Buzzfeed, which was allegedly directed at another young job-seeker seeking to make connections. Which brings me to say: whoa, lady. You don’t need to drink entitled millenial tears for breakfast. There are ways to nicely let people down and say “no” — which, to be clear, is her right — without the snotty attitude. We all send a snotty email from time to time on a bad day, but this is a pattern of behavior. Once the first email got posted to Reddit, other folks have come forward with similar Blazek horror stories. It’s funny, but it’s more sad.
Clearly, despite being a “communications professional,” Blazek doesn’t have common sense enough to know that writing multiple nasty emails/messages to strangers is just asking for your shithead-ery to be posted on the Internet. (Blazek has since, of course, issued an apology.) Yet what she’s really missing is the fact that she needs these young adults; entitled and annoying as they be — or seem to be — are her professional contacts. The working world is no longer hierarchical according to age. It’s hierarchical according to talent (among other qualities). If she finds herself in the position of jobseek-ee, she’s going to be the one asking these “kids” for connections, recommendations and work. Don’t be a douchebag today to someone whose help you may need in six years — or six months.
It’s a small world. And as a communications professional, I’m sure Kelly Blazek knows that the Internet is forever.
Email me at Jessica @TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.
[Images via CleaveScene and NEOSTC.org]