A Seattle coffee shop employee was fired after he was outed as the snarky blogger behind "The Bitter Barista," a satirical collection of thoughts from behind the cafe counter.
Matt Watson, 30, had created quite a sensation--anonymously--in the coffee-crazy city with his site, which provided a running commentary on the woes of pouring the perfect cup of joe while he worked at All City Coffee, in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.
"No, swearing at me will not get you better service," he tweeted. "It will get you decaf."
The Bitter Barista had only been live for about two weeks, quickly getting attention on Facebook and Twitter--and not all of it was positive.
Sprudge.com, a caffeine-focused gossip and news site, did some digging, and revealed Watson as the source behind the snark.
"There’s a lot of anger in this blog, and while we love the well-worn barista cliche, it should be the stuff of mild parody, not an all-out assault on whomever walks through the door of your cafe," Sprudge writer Llewellyn Sinclair wrote. "Blog work like this probably shouldn’t be encouraged, which is why blogs like Bitter Barista need to be shown the cold light of day.
"Workplace frustrations are fine, but they should be vented over margaritas after work, not on your Twitter account mid-shift."
Watson, for his part, insists that the blog was entirely satire, and despite some not-so-nice commentary about his boss and his customers, it only based on a tiny fraction his day-to-day while working at All City Coffee.
Watson told the Seattle Times he was only taking inspiration from "the 5 percent who I guess make our job more difficult and don’t treat us as human beings. I had a good personal relationship with 95 percent of customers."
Despite Watson's appeal, suggesting that the publicity from the article was actually good for All City Coffee, his boss Seth Levy didn't see any choice but to let him go.
"He was writing about his boss during business hours," Levy said. "I represent the business, the customers and the staff. I can’t endorse what he was saying, whether humorous or not. It puts me in a difficult position, where if I don’t respond that means I endorse what he’s saying.”
Watson says he may not be out of a job for long, though, since he's received offers from other coffeehouses, and hopes to turn the Bitter Barista into a coffee table book.
After spending some time offline, The Bitter Barista is back, with an added dislaimer:
More from The Bitter Barista's Twitter:
I will happily mix 2 Splendas into your mocha, but please know I'm judging you while I do it.— The Bitter Barista (@ThBitterBarista) December 5, 2011
Attention humans: this apron does not enable me to read minds.— The Bitter Barista (@ThBitterBarista) December 31, 2011
I'm sorry, your extra whip white mocha has too much whip cream on it and you want me to remake it? What do you think extra whip means?— The Bitter Barista (@ThBitterBarista) January 9, 2012