Head of Job Bank Apologizes for Nasty Emails

The winner of the IABC (International Association for Business Communication) "Communicator of the Year" award in 2013 may want to give back the prize. Kelly Blazek runs a Cleveland-based job bank and was tired of people such as this John Carroll University graduate asking for access to her connections (her Yahoo group). But Blazek's emails are too harsh.

Blazek email

When her emails became public on Reddit and other sites, Blazek deleted her Twitter account, LinkedIn recommendations, and blog posts. She also apologized for her approach.

I am very sorry to the people I have hurt.

Creating and updating the Cleveland Job Bank listings has been my hobby for more than ten years. It started as a labor of love for the marketing industry, but somehow it also became a labor, and I vented my frustrations on the very people I set out to help.

Hundreds of people contact me every month looking for help, and as the bottom fell out of the job market, their outreach and requests demanded more of my time. I became shortsighted and impatient, and that was wrong.

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.

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.

Discussion Starters:

  • IABC is getting pressure to rescind the award. Should the organization do so? Why or why not?
  • Try to see Blazek's perspective. Why would she send such emails to job seekers?
  • What's your reaction to Blazek's apology? Is it sincere? Is it enough?