Senior business professional’s rude rejection email to job-seeker goes viral

Photo credit: FOX 8

Photo credit: FOX 8

Photo credit: FOX 8

Photo credit: FOX 8

CLEVELAND – A senior marketing communications professional and self-proclaimed ‘Job Bank Mother’ has recently come under fire on multiple social media platforms, after a young job-seeker posted a harsh email response she received from the veteran businesswoman.

According to Cleveland.com, Diana Mekota says she sent a request to Kelly Blazek, who is the head of a well-known communications job bank in northeast Ohio, to connect on LinkedIn, a social media professional networking site.

According to Mekota, Blazek’s responded to her request with an email titled ‘Poor Judgment on your Job-seeking Strategy.’  In the email, Blazek seemed to delight in denying her connection and the tone was anything but friendly.

According to FOX 4’s sister station, FOX 8 Cleveland, another man, Rick Uldricks, has come forward with an email response he says he received from Blazek after he emailed her about no longer receiving the Yahoo! Job Bank email blasts from her group.

**Watch FOX 8’s report at the bottom of this page**

RELATED: Another job-seeker claims he had a similar email encounter with Kelly Blazek

“Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky,” Blazek wrote in the email to Mekota. “Wow, I cannot wait to let every 26-year-old job-seeker 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, and giving you the dreaded ‘I Don’t Know’ [blacked-out name] because it’s the truth,” typed Blazek. “Oh, and about your request to actually receive my Job Bank along with the 7,300 other subscribers to my service? That’s denied, too. I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town. Oh wait – there isn’t one,” said the email.

All of this came from the woman, who in 2013 had been named the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) ‘Communicator of the Year’ in Cleveland, an award which recognized her service to job-seekers.

“We have never met. We have never worked together. You are quite young and green on how business connections work with senior professionals…,” the email said.

To read the rest of the reported email, click here.

According to Cleveland.com, despite being instructed not to, Mekota sent an email back to Blazek explaining her intentions and apologizing for the obvious misunderstanding and miscommunication. She says she told her she only wished to connect through LinkedIn to give Blazek access to her online resume.

Mekota said Blazek never responded back.

Following the lack of response, Mekota took to social media sites, posting photos of the emails to her online audiences on Facebook, imgur and reddit.

Since then, hundreds of people in Cleveland have reached out to her, calling Blazek a bully and apologizing for her poor representation of senior marketing professionals in the area. Several Cleveland area business and communications professionals spoke out against Blazek, and some also posted to IABC’s online story about Blazek and her 2013 award, saying they should rescind the award and called her an embarrassment to the entire organization.

Within hours of the emails going viral on Twitter, Blazek issued a statement and apology.

“I am very sorry to the people I have hurt,” said Blazek.

She went on to say that she “had become shortsighted and impatient” and hurt the very people she set out to help.

“The note I sent to Diana was rude, unwelcoming, unprofessional and wrong. I am reaching out to her to apologize,” the response said.

Mekota, according to the Cleveland.com report, is a recent John Carroll University graduate and had recently moved back to her home state of Ohio from New York. She had also submitted an application to become part of Blazek’s job board.

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14 comments

  • Maureen Reintjes

    We are in this world to reach out and help each other. I have been facilitating job clubs and running job boards since the mid-90’s. You don’t kick people when they are down and facing a major life stressor….you build them up. It was cruel of that woman to lash out at a job seeker. But, I don’t think the job seeker should have taken that communication viral as you should always strive to be better than those that hurt you, don’t stoop to their level.

    Maureen Reintjes
    Founder
    Kansas City Metro Networking Job Club
    Representing over 3,000 job seekers.

    • Joseph

      I couldn’t disagree more about your opinion it should not have been shared. People on the internet think they can say whatever they want without consequences. This woman was in a position of trust and abused it with her ignorance and discrimination (against her “entitled” generation). People need to be held accountable for abuse.

    • Jon Brite

      Maureen, I not only disagree with you, but think you are dead wrong. The woman has a clear discrimination against an entire generation.of individuals she feels is “entitled”. Her sense of self importance is astonishing. Additionally, she showed her true colors and bullied someone over a simple Linkdn request. That needed to be shared. I feel I should also point out (being in the technology field) that none of us have control over what goes “viral”. Their are entire organizations(marketing specifically that fail thousands of times to make something go viral before getting just one of their videos/emails/advertisements/etc… to go viral). This 26 year old college grad shared it with her immediate friends, who shared with their friends, who…..you get the picture. Striving to be better than someone that hurt you is one thing, but sharing an egregious email response from a simple Linkdn request with a small circle of friends is hardly an offense that warrants your criticism.

  • Bryan Stephenson

    I just don’t know Maureen, I see your point, but something THIS blatant needs to go viral. I know the argument is going to be “where do we draw the line?” and the short answer is I do not know. But clearly, if this had been a more professional response, I would say ‘yeah, no need to go any farther than this’. This was a woman in a high power networking position and she probably should have known better.

  • Sheila Cheasbro

    I think sometimes it is difficult for these “marketing professionals” and HR people to relate to those (including me) who are jobless and are scratching at every available opportunity to find one. Why? Well…they HAVE a job – even if that job is to deny others access.

    It has become so routine to apply for a job, follow up and hope to hear back…only to receive a “we’re sorry, but we’ve selected another candidate” or “you did not meet our qualifications” letter or email.

    I believe that these “professionals” have become calloused and forget that there really are living, breathing people who bleed real blood, that are on the receiving end of those responses.

    When in doubt…”do to others as you would want them to do to you”.

    That is all.

  • James Bowlin

    The response really doesn’t surprise me that much as I’ve seen and heard worse in my job searches. The real issue here is that technology and the internet give people a false sense of security and allows them to think they can be bullies. Additionally, this woman’s response shows the real level of disconnect from people in positions of power/employers and job seekers/employees. The old rule of treat others the way you would want to be treated seems to have all but disappeared in this modern world, which is very sad because you never know when you might be down and need a helping hand from others.

  • Bob

    This is exactly why applying online is broken. I’m only 29, but know for a fact that it’s easier to get a job when you are face to face with someone. I’ve heard about HR throwing out “half the resumes because they are the unlucky ones” too many times.

    This isn’t the 90’s, I can’t work at Pizza Hut full time with a pregnant wife working somewhere part time while I also attend school, and come out ahead with a house, a great job in the field of my choosing and major, and live a somewhat happy middle class life off $38k a year.

  • Angela Smith

    Serves her right, her apology is “inappropriate and only beneficial” to her. Blazek deserves to be put on blast. The only reason she has a job is because of job seekers. The only reason she feels sorry now is because it was brought to medias attention. People like that deserve what they get. Don’t get so full of yourself that you become complacent because you can have a replacement. She didn’t just become rude, that’s what she is like normally she just didn’t think it would become a spectacle, well guess who looks like a fool now. I love watching people eat humble pie! Good job Mekota for standing up for yourself and not let people like that get away with it.

  • Ashley

    Blazek only apologized because it was put to the medias attention. I’m glad this went viral some people need to be shown their own true self which obviously isn’t pretty.

  • Maddie Hyneman Wagner

    As a former recruiter, I know you get requests all the time from strangers who are trying to build a professional network. If Ms. Blazek doesn’t want strangers reaching out to her, then perhaps she shouldn’t be running a job bank. Her response was cruel and unnecessary. Maybe Blazek never struggled to get her career going and can’t empathize with the 20-somethings who are well-educated and still can’t find jobs. IABC should rescind her award!

    • fcsanyi

      I wonder if anyone actually honors DISCLAIMERS attached to emails or is SOCIAL MEDIA channels are TOTALLY exempt, must review moving forward. All of this is simply a clever PR stunt as any publicity is good publicity or is old news spread on toilet tissue?!