Kelly Blazek's Cruel Linkedin E-Mail To Diana Mekota Goes Viral
A nasty e-mail Diana Mekota received from Linkedin job bank founder Kelly Blazek has gone viral after Mekota posted the message on her social media accounts.
Cruel E-Mail To Linkedin Jobseeker Goes Viral
While planning her move to Cleveland, Ohio, Mekota, 26, contacted Blazek about her online job bank, asking if she could be put on the listserve on Feb. 19. Soon after, Mekota received a shocking response from Blazek, completely dismissing her request and belittling her professionalism. Mekota responded and also decided to share Blazek’s response on her Imagur account and various sharing sites.
“Apparently you have heard that I produce a Job Bank, and decided it would be stunningly helpful for your career prospects if I shared my 960+ Linedin connections with you – a total stranger who has nothing to offer me,” Blazek writes.
The job bank Blazek runs is the Yahoo group “Kelly Blazek’s Communications Job Bank." The group has over 7,000 members, and in order to become a member, one must send an e-mail to the group, run and founded by Blazek. Ironically, Blazek was recently honored with the award of Communicator of the Year by the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) of Cleveland.
According to Mekota, she requested to join via e-mail and also contacted Blazek directly through Linkedin after a friend told her that Blazek did not like receiving resumés, allowing Blazek to have access to her credentials. Blazek, apparently, took this move as an insult:
“Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky. Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26 year old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job,” Blazek writes, adding that she enjoyed turning down her request to join the job bank.
“I love the sense of entitlement in your generation. And therefore I enjoy Denying your invite, and giving you the dreaded ‘I Don’t Know’ [redacted] because it’s the truth,” Blazek continues. “You’re welcome for your humility lesson for the year. Don’t ever reach out to senior practitioners again and assume their carefully curated list of connections is available to you, just because you want to build your network. Don’t ever write me again,” Blazek concludes.
In her response, Makota apologized for offending Blazek and explained her reasoning for trying to connect with her on Linkedin, writing, “Upon submitting my request to join the job bank, I found you on Linkedin. I did not add you under the pretense that I would use your contacts. I added you so you, if desired, could gain further information about me via my page; as a way to share my experiences and honors without the use of a resume.”
After the post went viral, people flocked to the IABC to lodge complaints about their decision to award Blazek ‘Communicator of the Year.’ And as Blazek’s offensive letter continues to grow in popularity, the IABC has been forced to make a public statement regarding their relationship with Blazek and have announced that they are reconsidering giving her the award for Communicator of the Year.
“The IABC Cleveland chapter Board of Directors is very much aware of and is actively reviewing the current situation with Ms. Kelly Blazek. The award of Communicator of the Year is not given lightly and any decision about her award will be made mindfully. We are in that process. While some might want a very quick decision, we will react only after thoroughly considering all aspects,” said the IABC in a statement.
Blazek Apologizes To Makota And Others
The public pressure, and the IABC scrutiny no doubt, encouraged Blazek to release a public apology, as well as to apologize personally to Makota. Due to the negative press, Blazek has deactivated her Twitter account and erased all content from her official WordPress blog.
“I am very sorry to the people I have hurt,” Blazek wrote in an e-mail apology, “The note I sent to Diana was rude, unwelcoming, unprofessional and wrong. I am reaching out to her to apologize. Diana and her generation are the future of this city. I wish her all the best in landing a job in this great town.”
Makota confirmed that she received an apology on Twitter.
#CLE is amazing, thank you all! Would like to let you know Kelly Blazek has sent a very nice apology email, for which I thank her.
— Diana Mekota (@PettieBettie) February 25, 2014
Makota also tweeted that she has received nothing but support from the people of Cleveland, and looks forward to her move.
“Since this story became so viral, I have heard from hundreds of people in the Cleveland area. Their reaction has been worth all of this. Knowing that people in the Cleveland area are excited for ‘boomerangs’ and young professionals is the best homecoming I could ask for,” Mekota told The Plain Dealer.
Others Come Out With Similar Stories About Blazek
After Makota’s story gained popularity, similar e-mails Blazek sent to other jobseekers were released. Rick Uldricks released an e-mail he received from Blazek in December 2013 after he requested to join the Job Bank. Blazek sent Uldricks a personal apology via e-mail on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Blazek ends her e-mail to Uldricks with a line she later recycled in her response to Makota, writing, “I suggest you sign up for the other Job Bank in town. Oh, guess what – there isn’t one.”
To Makota, she wrote, “I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town. Oh wait – there isn’t one.”
Finally, according to Wendie Forman, yet another jobseeker who had attempted to join Blazek’s Job Bank, Blazek used the same line in an e-mail after Forman commented on Blazek’s rude initial response to her inquiry.
“Therefore, since my tone is so offputting, I think you’ll be happier with the other Job Bank in town. Hint – there isn’t one. You have a geat day,” Blazek wrote according to Forman.
The scandal has inspired more than one parody Twitter account, and people even started their own Job Bank called The Other NEO Job Bank (@OtherNEOJobBank). The Other NEO Job Bank picked up Blazek’s catchphrase in their profile, writing, “Oh wait, there is one. And it’s run by a couple of millenials.”
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong