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Coffee shop fires barista for spiteful comments on blog

Business owners in the state of Florida are in it for the profits. Now, this may seem blunt, but it's a wholehearted truth. No one ever goes in to business just for the sake of doing it; gaining profits is always the end goal, otherwise, what's the point? And although most employers hate to have to let employees go, sometimes circumstances require a stronger stance than others.

Such was the case for a coffee-shop owner in Seattle, Washington this month who was forced to make the difficult decision of firing a worker after it was speculated that he was responsible for posting scathing comments on a personal blog. Although the barista disagrees with the owner's decision, the situation called into question the difference between freedom of speech and bad publicity.

The 30-year-old former employee claims to have started the blog two weeks prior to his firing after he began working at a coffee shop as a barista. Like many service industry workers, he claims to have immediately become annoyed at the almost "subhuman" treatment he received everyday from customers. In reaction to this, he says he created the blog.

In the blog, he openly criticizes patrons, seeming to suggest in some posts that he purposefully gives out incorrect drinks to customers because of how annoyed he is with them. On other posts he even pokes fun at his boss, at one point suggesting that his boss is unintelligent and wouldn't understand him [the barista] if he used big words.

Even though the 30-year-old did not use specific names or locations in his postings, a competing coffee blog discovered the writer's identity and quickly notified his boss. It was at this point that his boss decided to terminate the barista's employment, explaining to local journalists that he did not endorse the comments made by his former employee. Despite the barista's right to freedom of speech, his act boiled down to bad publicity for the coffee shop which, as the owner explains, put him in a difficult position. By firing the worker, he may have been able to mitigate any loss in customers or any negative reactions from the community.

Source: Fox News, "Seattle barista fired over bitter blog that rips customers, boss," The Associated Press, Feb. 12, 2013

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