How Starbucks Saved My Life

How Starbucks Saved My Life

A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

Book - 2008
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Now in paperback, the national bestselling riches-to-rags true story of an advertising executive who had it all, then lost it all--and was finally redeemed by his new job, and his twenty-eight-year-old boss, at Starbucks .

In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a mansion in the suburbs, a wife and loving children, a six-figure salary, and an Ivy League education. But in a few short years, he lost his job, got divorced, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. With no money or health insurance, he was forced to get a job at Starbucks. Having gone from power lunches to scrubbing toilets, from being served to serving, Michael was a true fish out of water.

But fate brings an unexpected teacher into his life who opens his eyes to what living well really looks like. The two seem to have nothing in common: She is a young African American, the daughter of a drug addict; he is used to being the boss but reports to her now. For the first time in his life he experiences being a member of a minority trying hard to survive in a challenging new job. He learns the value of hard work and humility, as well as what it truly means to respect another person.

Behind the scenes at one of America's most intriguing businesses, an inspiring friendship is born, a family begins to heal, and, thanks to his unlikely mentor, Michael Gill at last experiences a sense of self-worth and happiness he has never known before.

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Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, [2008], c2007.
ISBN: 9781592404049
Characteristics: 268 p. ; 19 cm.


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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.

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"

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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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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