Teacher Tweets Naked Pictures and Drugs; Placed on Leave

(Original story at the Denver Post here.)

What is so funny about naked pictures and drugs? Beats me. Maybe they were drunk or high when they created the Twitter account, which tells you even more about the teacher’s private life than we want to know.

Cherry Creek schools puts Overland teacher on leave for Twitter posts

By Blair Shiff

POSTED:   01/29/2013 12:41:44 PM MST

UPDATED:   01/30/2013 03:50:35 AM MST

AURORA — Cherry Creek School District put a teacher on administrative leave Tuesday after 9News discovered a Twitter page containing half-naked photos of her and a claim of possessing marijuana on school grounds.

The station started asking questions about the now-deleted CarlyCrunkBear (@crunk_bear) Twitter account after getting a tip from a viewer Monday.

In a brief interview, Carly McKinney, a 23-year-old math teacher at Overland High School, admitted that she created the account with a friend. The Twitter page included provocative photos along with many posts about using drugs.

One post said, “Naked. Wet. Stoned.” Another indicated the poster was high while grading papers. An additional post said, “Watching a drug bust go down in the parking lot. It’s funny cuz I have weed in my car in the staff parking lot.”

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Barista Keeps Snarky Blog; Fired

(Original story at the Seattle Times here.)

It was supposed to be a funny blog, but for some reason his boss didn’t see it that way. I wonder how his identity was made known. I definitely wouldn’t reveal my identity if I kept a less serious blog or wrote politically-incorrect content.

Originally published February 11, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Bitter Barista loses job over snarky blog about customers, boss

Matt Watson lost his job at a Georgetown coffee shop, after being outed as The Bitter Barista blogger. His boss didn’t appreciate the snarky comments about himself or the customers, even if was meant as satire.

By Erik Lacitis

Seattle Times staff reporter

Meet Matt Watson, 30, who just lost his job at All City Coffee in Georgetown that he had for 2½ years. That’s what happens when you’ve become the Bitter Barista, start blogging snarky stuff about your customers, and it goes viral.

For example:

“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.”

“What a coincidence! You have a gluten allergy, and I don’t care that you have a gluten allergy!”

“You can say ‘2% milk’ all damn day. You’re getting whole milk.”

And, you don’t just blog about customers, but your boss:

“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.”

According to market researchers, the NPD Group, there were an astounding 1,640 coffee shops in the Puget Sound area in 2011, ranking us the No. 1 coffee region in the country.

In the birthplace of Starbucks, and in one of the most Internet-connected cities in the country, it seems appropriate that there’d be a blog about the relationship between customer and server.

It is Starbucks, after all, that in the last three decades helped coin the term “barista” as common usage for coffee servers. In Italy, the description is applied to someone working behind a bar, serving not just coffee but also alcoholic drinks.

Watson says that 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 says he thought very highly of his boss, Seth Levy.

The thing about baristas, he says, is “that person is probably an artist, overqualified, people with pretty much college education across the board.”

And here they are, working for minimum wage plus tips, which for Watson totaled about $15 an hour for a job that for him started at 6 in the morning.

A New Jersey native, he says he got a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and came to Seattle in 2005 because “I followed a girl.”

He’s now married to a different woman, and they live in a Capitol Hill apartment.

The barista job, Watson says, was to help make ends meet while he pursued a career as a hip hop artist going by the name “Spekulation.” That’s what he means about baristas being artistic types.

Watson went live two weeks ago with the Bitter Barista blog. Soon it began getting a couple thousand hits a day.

In it, he doesn’t mention All City Coffee, or his real name. But he did mention in his Spekulation tweets what he was doing.

It wasn’t hard for two other young coffee guys, Zachary Carlsen and Jordan Michelman, of Portland, to figure it all out. They run a website called Sprudge.com that advertises itself as “your daily source of coffee news, rumor, innuendo and intrigue.”

Yes, the barista world is a small, gossipy world.

On Thursday, Carlsen and Michelman outed Watson, writing, “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.”

Watson knew he was in trouble.

He emailed Levy, “Hey man, I’m guessing … you’re not too excited about the Internet happenings today … The very few customers … who have seen the website, are huge fans. And since the article was posted this afternoon, the ‘likes’ on my site have gone up 15%. 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 says, “He was writing about his boss during business hours. 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.”

And so Watson was out of a job.

But maybe not for long.

Watson says he’s had several offers from other coffeehouses.

And, he says, he hopes to put together a Bitter Barista coffee-table book.

Meanwhile, one of his latest posts is, “My next project is gonna be called Bittersweet Barista. It’ll be the same as before, but with a plethora of kitten pictures.”

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Waitress Posts Receipt Online; Fired

(Original story at Yahoo! News here.)

This is a typical story of an employee who complains about her customer on social media and got fired. What is unusual about the story is the customer who was the subject of the complaint was identified and “exposed,” causing her great embarrassment.

Applebee’s fires waitress who posted receipt from pastor complaining about auto-tip

By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News – Thu, Jan 31, 2013

An Applebee’s waitress who posted a receipt with a note from a pastor complaining about the automatic gratuity added to the bill on the Internet was fired on Wednesday after the pastor complained to her manager.

Chelsea Welch, the waitress, wrote in an email to Yahoo News that the pastor (who has since been identified as Alois Bell) told Welch’s manager at the St. Louis-area Applebee’s that the ensuing firestorm had “ruined” her reputation.

“I give God 10%,” Bell wrote on the receipt, scratching out the automatic tip and scribbling in an emphatic “0” where the additional tip would be. “Why do you get 18?” (There were more than eight people in Bell’s party, triggering the auto-tip.)

Welch, who snapped a photo of the bill from a fellow server and uploaded to Reddit, defended her right to post the receipt. “I thought the note was insulting, but also comical,” she told Consumerist.com. “And I thought other users would find it entertaining.”

Bell, a pastor at Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries Church, was not amused, and she called Welch’s manager to complain.

“[It was] a lapse in my character and judgment,” Bell told the Smoking Gun, adding she did not expect her easily recognizable signature would be, as her friend informed her, “all over Yahoo. You went viral!”

“My heart is really broken,” Bell added. “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”

A spokesman for Applebee’s said it apologized to Bell for violating her “right to privacy” and confirmed that Welch “is no longer employed by the franchise.”

Welch was surprised that Applebee’s fired her, “especially because there was nothing specific in the employee handbook admonishing this behavior.”

“I had no intention of starting a witch hunt or hurting anyone. I just wanted to share a picture I found interesting,” she said. “I come home exhausted, sore, burnt, dirty and blistered on a good day. And after all that, I can be fired for ‘embarrassing’ someone who directly insults their server on religious grounds.”

Welch also isn’t buying Bell’s embarrassment. “If this person wrote the note, obviously they wanted it seen by someone,” she said. “I’ve been stiffed on tips before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Big Man used as reasoning.”

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