How Starbucks Saved My Life

How Starbucks Saved My Life

A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

Book - 2007
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In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a big house, a loving family, and a six-figure salary. By sixty, he had lost everything: downsized at work, divorced at home, and diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor, Gill had no money, no insurance, and no prospects. He took a job at Starbucks, and for the first time in his life, he was a minority--the only older white guy working with a team of young African-Americans. He was forced to acknowledge his prejudices and admit that his new job was hard. And his younger coworkers, despite half the education and twice the personal difficulties, were running circles around him. Crossing over the Starbucks bar was the beginning of a transformation that cracked his world wide open. When all of his defenses and the armor of entitlement had been stripped away, a humbler, happier and gentler man remained.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2007
ISBN: 9781592402861
1592402860
Characteristics: 265 p. ; 20 cm

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Zzoe
Dec 23, 2011

Perhaps a little "gooey" at times, but I felt this book had some thoughtful things to say about the importance of having respect and personal satisfaction about your job. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever pondered switching jobs (which I'm sure would be most of us!)

AshPatel Apr 01, 2010

Although in some ways an interesting account of redemption, this book also read a bit like a premise for a reality TV show; you know, like "Executive spends a year in an apron behind the counter to see how the common people live"

On the whole, though, I enjoyed it. Gill has brushed shoulders with some of the 'good and great' of our times - Hemingway, Jackie O, Sinatra, Elizabeth II (literally in the last case) and many more. The story of how someone who was raised and lived in the lap of privilege can be brought down, not just a few rungs, but down the whole ladder and still find happiness in spite of all that was lost makes this a worth a read.

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acarroll
Dec 04, 2009

this was a quite inspiring read. Ive read similar stories but I've never come across somebody who had quite the same outlook on the service industry as this guy. it will make you look at your life differently for a while. Not for everybody but I liked this a lot. My favourite part was the lines, when regarding a 3 year old, where the author notes that "to her hello and goodbye are just as exciting"

t
tedrich2921
Feb 15, 2008

This book far exceeded my expectations. It was also very inspirational -- and I mean that in a good way! I have to give Gill a lot of credit for overcoming what are very real obstacles that many of us can identify with. This book will really make you think. Also, it's highly readable and enjoyable -- and not overly sappy. I'm really glad I read this book. For sure, you'll never look at Starbucks in the same way.

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dprodrig
Feb 23, 2010

Michael Gates Gill is a man in his mid-60s who was laid off from his marketing firm and slowly saw all his income slip away. Unable to bring in and maintain his clients through his consultation firm, he accidentally finds himself at a Starbucks Open House. When offered a job, he eagerly applies and the story moves from there. Michael details the mistakes he's made, the relationship he has with all his children, his ex-mistress and his ex-wife. I've never read such a cheerful account of working a joe-job, as Michael never seems to have a bad word to say about being a Starbucks barista.

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