Kelly Blazek, the manager of a Cleveland job bank who was known as the “house mother” to job hunters in that Ohio city, was forced to grudgingly apologize this week after a series of inexplicably rage-filled e-mails she sent to hopeful, young job hunters, slapping them down for daring to ask for her help.
The e-mails were were widely distributed on line and the “house mother” turned out to be more like the wicked witch.
Kelly Blazek manages what she says is an e-mail list with 7,300 subscribers, as well as boasting of 1,000 “connections” on the business social media site LinkedIn and more than 2,000 Twitter followers— all devoted to her postings of marketing, communications and public relations job opportunities in Cleveland.
Blazek says of her service, that she hopes that her subscribers “feel like everyone is my little sister or brother, and I’m looking out for them.”
Honored as last year’s “Communicator of the Year” by the International Association of Business Communicators in Cleveland, Kelly Blazek displayed her communication skills to Diana Mekota, who had recently moved back to Cleveland from Rochester, New York, and was looking for a job.
Mekota wrote to Blazek to inquire about joining the e-mail list and also sent the “house mother” a request to “connect” on LinkedIn, which is that site’s equivalent of a friend request on Facebook.
Instead, she was shocked to receive an angry, condescending e-mail back from Kelly Blazek.
“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+ LinkedIn connections with you — a total stranger who has nothing to offer me,” Kelly Blazek wrote in the screed. “Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky.”
But Blazek still had more to get off her chest, blasting Mekota as “young and green,” and adding sarcastically, “Wow! I cannot wait to let every 26 year old jobseeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job. I love the sense of entitlement in your generation and therefore I enjoy denying your invite.”
She concluded her missive by telling Mekota, “Don’t ever write me again.”
Kelly Blazek fired off a similarly callous and self-satisfied message to Rick Ulricks who had been suddenly and without explanation kicked off the Job Bank list and wrote to Blazek to ask for continued access.
“People are removed from my list for spamming me, for annoying me (you’re doing a great job), and perhaps you were removed on purpose,” Blazek wrote back. “I suggest you sign up for the other job bank in town. Oh, guess what — there isn’t one. Done with this conversation, and you.”
Predictably to everyone except, apparently, Kelly Blazek, the recipients of her pointlessly vitriolic rejections posted the notes on social media and they quickly became viral favorites — which was also easily predictable at a time when jobs are exceedingly difficult to come by.
And also predictably, only when she was subjected to an online hate-fest, the “house mother” apologized.
“I became shortsighted and impatient, and that was wrong,” wrote Kelly Blazek. “My Job Bank listings were supposed to be about hope, and I failed that. In my harsh reply notes, I lost my perspective about how to help, and I also lost sight of kindness, which is why I started the Job Bank listings in the first place.”