You're probably used to waiting in line for a latte or cappuccino to jumpstart your day. Well, here's a look at life from the other side of the counter. It's some food for thought the next time you're waiting for your half-caff venti caramel macchiato. This comes from Steven Kent, a student and financial blogger who's been a barista for the past five years. We found his story at * The person behind the counter could be as smart as you - or even smarter. However, customers still talk down to "the help." Kent says he has shared coffee-making duties with playwrights, actresses, filmmakers, graphic designers, writers, rockers, painters, and historians, but customers still use impatient toddler-speak if the iced mocha they ordered isn't ready in 90 seconds. Think about the guy who wrote the book, "How Starbucks Saved My Life." He was a Yale graduate and former creative director of one of the world's largest ad agencies - who ended up serving lattes at a Starbucks to get by. * The next thing you might not know about your barista: They have battle scars. It's a fast-paced job with boiling water and steam, so they have an endless parade of burns and blisters. Then there's the signature "barista finger" - a blackened-and-cracked pinky from leveling coffee grounds, and constantly washing their hands. They also have bruised and scratched ankles from being rammed by mega baby-strollers while restocking the condiment bar. * Baristas also have to deal with the homeless. Urban coffee shops often provide a haven for the homeless, because for the price of a $2 beverage, they can relax in air-conditioning for hours. If the homeless person gets rowdy - or another customer complains - the barista has to ask them to leave, running the risk of getting punched or spat in the face. * One final thing you might not know about your barista: They're on the bottom rung of the tip ladder. Almost everybody else in the service industry gets bigger tips, from hairdressers and valets - to waiters, bartenders, and busboys. That's because a lot of people don't believe that the person making their morning coffee deserves a tip. That's something you might want to keep in mind when you make your coffee run tomorrow morning.