'Bitter Barista' Fired For Snarky Blog

Defending his highly-trafficked blog as merely a sardonic hyperbole of the "five percent who I guess make our job more difficult and don't treat us as human beings," self-proclaimed satirist Matt Watson was nevertheless fired from his Seattle-based coffee shop job when he was this week ousted as said blog's "Bitter Barista" by niche site Sprudge.com.

Despite the fact that Watson claimed to have had "a good personal relationship with 95 percent of customers" and that he thought highly of his All City Coffee boss Seth Levy, the 30-year-old's "Bitter Barista" blog seemed to reveal otherwise.

The Associate Press printed these examples that may indeed prove Watson was slightly more "bitter" than he may have let on:

  • "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."

Granted, when one first navigates to Watson's site, said user finds a discretionary gate page that ensures the reader:

  • Understands what satire is
  • Will not take the site literally
  • Is not a comment troll
  • Does not believe everything he reads
  • Has a "f*cking sense of humor"

Once inside the site, users can see that Watson has no intention of slowing down just because of the needling disadvantage that he's no longer a barista (for the time being). Recent postings include: "My ex-boss thinks the website is gonna stop because I don't work there anymore. Man, I didn't even work there when I worked there."

There's also an implication that "a coffee table book" is in the works. This, from the man who revels in the fact that his page contains "thoughts from behind the counter (and other reasons why i hate you)."

With his bachelor's degree in philosophy, Watson moved to Seattle to "follow a girl" and began working at All City Coffee two-and-a-half years ago. Meanwhile pursuing a hip-hop career under the nom de plume "Spekulation," Watson told the Seattle Times he began "Bitter Barista" two-and-a-half weeks ago.

Watson explained to the Times that the quintessential barista "is probably an artist, overqualified, people with pretty much college education across the board." Such baristas finding themselves "waking up at 6 a.m. and earning $15 an hour" is a notion that ostensibly led Watson to create his site.

A philosophical hip-hop artist or not, Watson decided not to name himself on the blog. When Sprudge.com discovered his mentioning of alter-ego Spekulation in a posting, however, the "coffee gossip blog" revealed his identity, instigating Watson's firing.

"It puts me in a difficult position," his manager told the Times, "where if I don't respond that means I endorse what he's saying."

Watson, who has been lauded by commenters on Yelp as having "high art espresso" skills, said he's already received offers from other coffee shops, and - not surprisingly - that the publicity has worked wonders for his (ongoing) blog's traffic.

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