Posted on by Barista Life Guest Writer

This post was written by Juan Ayala, a Starbucks Partner and also a guest writer for Barista Life.  In the past, Juan has experience writing screenplays, manuscripts, and several short stories. His writing is rather professional, with a shot (pun intended) of sarcasm and humor.
If you would like to be a guest writer for, please click here to fill out a short sign up sheet.  Once finished, email your work to to be featured.
This is Part 5 of 7 in the series.  If you missed the first parts click below:

The Life Of A Morning Barista Part V

The Life of an Opening Barista Part 5

It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that every workplace has some sort of romance. Whether it being your office, or your typical morning rush, it’s almost inevitable. For this entry, I will detail what I witnessed in my stores own Maury-like love story.

We will call my friend in this story Adrian. He no longer works at Starbucks, but while there him and I ran opening shifts where he was one of my favorite partners to work alongside.   Him and I went through exceptional days, we well as three-person staffed Saturday morning rushes.


Adrian and we will call her Riley, met at our store. They worked together for a while, but it didn’t take long to for them to do more than just work. Frankly I just tell it how it is.   Without a doubt, Riley was also a good worker, especially when her and Adrian worked together. She just preferred her cream extra hot…kidding.

What I can say is that their physical relationship never affected their work, however it did leave them both occasionally sore…

I think the best part of this, was that Riley thought no one knew, but we could all tell. Adrian only told me about this, he never spread it around. She was the only one that did that…kidding, again.  

BUT, what made this interesting was that Bradley was infatuated with her at this same time.

The Feud of Coffee Masters

“She’s so attractive, Juan. Especially her green eyes.” This was a usual conversation Bradley and I had when Riley started working with us. I never cared about her in any sense other than work, but Bradley didn’t miss a beat. It was a usual backroom talk.

“You’ve seen them right, that and her b-…”

“Ok, I know I know. I get it, dude.” I stopped him before he went into a tantalizing speech about her physical attributes.

“But come on, don’t you agree? We get along so well…should I ask her out?” He asked me.

“No, you shouldn’t.” I would always tell him. Unless I said yes, just to see if he would actually go through with it.   “Anyways it’s dead out there, go send Adrian on a ten."

Bradley got up and moved stepped out of the back door as I finished submitting the morning order and Adrian stepped in the back to join me.

“There young Bradley goes...” He said as shut the door and looked out into the café area.

“What do you mean?” I yawned. It was an odd occurrence for all of us to be working together but entertaining nonetheless.

“He’s in love with that girl, dude.” He laughed.

“Oh yeah. That much I already knew.” I said, and he laughed even harder.

I looked away from the computer as I hit ‘approve.’

“What the hell is so funny?” I asked him.

“Dude I already fucked her.” He said to me with a completely straight face.

I cant even put into quotations how much I laughed at this because I thought he was joking.

“I’m not joking, Juan.” He said and started laughing again.

“…Shit! Does Bradley know?” I asked him earnestly.

“Are you kidding? Fuck no. He still has his tampon in from his last girlfriend. I’ll tell him when he pisses me off. It will make for some good theater.” Adrian finished.

Morning Of The Reveal

“Adrian, you’re slow as hell on bar.” Bradley told Adrian one morning during rush. Adrian wasn’t slow whatsoever, but at the moment one bar was down and there was a long line and two registers were operating. If you have ever seen or experienced this you know how tragic this situation is.

“Dude, I only have one bar what do you expect?” He yelled back.

Donte, myself, Bradley, Adrian, and Riley were all working this morning.

“You’re still fucking slow.” Bradley laughed.

Adrian looked at me and smirked.

As I was on register two and nearest to him I just shook my head.

NOW IS NOT THE TIME. That’s what my nod signified. The line was less than our usual rush, but customers are customers.

“Hey Brad…” Adrian started, and I know he saw my look of hesitation as Bradley continued order-supporting Riley. “I need another tall hot cup, you missed one.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I took a regulars order for a grande Pike.

I wiped the sweat from my forehead.

Riley finished up the last customer in line as we yet again made it through another morning rush.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?” Adrian asked me.

“Nah, not really.” I said as I began wiping down Adrian’s bar area.” I said. “Riley good job to you as well, take your ten.”

Riley headed to the back with a smile, “Thank God! I swear some customers are creeps.” She took off her hat, green apron, and headed to the back.

We were left with a blackout on the floor, with the exception of Donte. Myself, Adrian, and Bradley all had earned black aprons.   There was no denying that there was some sort of ego amongst us.   I dare say that Adrian had the biggest of us all.

“You never did tell me,” Bradley started as he walked over to Adrian, “I feel like Helen Keller could’ve beat you on bar today. Or maybe Stevie Wonder?” He finished the crude, and pretty harsh statement.

“Interesting you say that, there is something I did beat you at though, Brad.” Adrian said with the widest smirk I had ever seen.

“Well I fucked your girlfriend over there, pal.” Said Adrian so nonchalant it was like he hadn’t dropped a bomb over Brad’s head.

I stopped what I was doing and froze. Oh for Christ’s sake I thought.

“Excuse me?” Said Bradley.

Adrian set aside all of his pitchers, “You heard me. The girl you’re so interested is has already gone down on me. I may not be good on bar, which I am by the way, but apparently she prefers my bar skills to yours.” He laughed in Brad’s face.

To set this scene with context, although the rush was over there was still a steady flow of customers. Adrian had taken Bradley completely out of his comfort zone and into rather an emotional hysteria, while Adrian couldn’t help but smirk.

I would’ve rather have been anyways but there.


Bradley punched a coffee brewer out of anger in front of about five customers. Eyes were wide and tensions ran high. If I had had a knife, I could’ve cut it with a knife.

Just a moment later, Riley came out of the backroom.

Unbeknownst to her, Adrian had just crushed Bradley’s poor soul with the intensity over an extra hot latte.

At that exact moment I had no idea what to do. I almost wanted to laugh at how ridiculous the situation had become but I decided to hold my amusement because of how inappropriate it was.

“You’ve got to be kidding me right?” Bradley said me. Adrian just laughed.

“Why’re you asking him? In fact…” Adrian started.

“Hey Riley!” He said as she fastened on her holiday apron.

“Huh? What’s up?” She asked him quite innocently.

Myself, Donte, and Bradley’s face were incredibly apprehensive.

“Was last night as good for you as it was for me?”

Riley’s face turned as red as her apron.

In the end this caused no strife, but feelings towards the two partners in questions weren’t as well as they had been. Moral of the story: don’t get involved with people at work. Don’t shit where you eat.