Venti Versus Venting: Seattle’s Bitter Barista
A Seattle barista says it was all satire, but his anonymous blog that made snarky comments about his boss and the customers he didn't like got him fired.
Matt Watson was exposed as the author of the blog "Bitter Barista" this week by another coffee site called Sprudge.com, which led his boss at All City Coffee in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood to fire him, The Seattle Times reported last week.
In the blog, the 30-year-old wrote that his vocabulary is too complex for his boss to understand. He also wrote about not serving customers what they ordered.
- "If you remind me four times that you've ordered decaf, guess what you won't be getting ... "
- "I would remember your usual drink if you were a more memorable person."
- "I like to use a lot of big words when I tweet, that way if my boss ever finds my twitter account, he won't understand any of it."
Watson said his blog was satire and that he was just accentuating 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," he said. Watson added he thought very highly of his boss, Seth Levy.
Watson said baristas are "probably an artist, overqualified, people with pretty much college education across the board."
The New Jersey native has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and moved to Seattle "following a girl."
He worked at All City Coffee to make ends meet while pursuing a career as a hip hop artist under the moniker "Spekulation." On his site, Watson has released several songs in which he raps.
Watson started his Bitter Barista blog about two weeks ago, but it was getting a couple of thousand hits a day. He made no mention of All City Coffee or his real name on the site. But the operators of Sprudge.com put it together after Watson said what he was doing in his Spekulation tweets, The Seattle Times reported.
Sprudge.com ousted Watson on Thursday: "There's a lot of anger in this blog, and while we love the well-worn barista cliché, it should be the stuff of mild parody, not an all-out assault on whomever walks through the door of your cafe."
According to the Times, Watson emailed Levy saying: "This isn't bad press, it's actually really good press ... especially given your customer base and the type of neighborhood that Georgetown has become ... I'm just saying ... it could turn out to be a fun something that gives the place a little spike in publicity."
Levy didn't quite see it that way.
"He was writing about his boss during business hours," Levy told the newspaper. "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 hopes to put together a Bitter Barista coffee-table book.