How Starbucks Saved My Life


Michael Gates Gill had a privileged upbringing that landed him an executive job at a major advertising company as soon as he graduated from Yale. He dedicated his life to his job while sacrificing personal development and time with his family. During the twenty-five years he spent as a top executive he became a selfish man that only cared about himself and was inconsiderate of anyone he thought was not of the same level as himself. One day, when Gill was in his fifties he got fired from his job and he found himself struggling with life. After having an affair that left him with a new son, a divorce and a failed attempt at having his own advertising business, Gill was on the brink of becoming broke when he was offered a job at Starbucks. As unaccustomed as he was to this situation he needed to make a living so he accepted the job offer and started working for Crystal, a twenty-eight year old African American. Gill was very anxious about his job and throughout his experience he wanted to impress Crystal and prove that he was just as capable of doing the job as the other, much younger, employees. From working at Starbucks, Gill learned that his belief that he had it all in his previous way of life in fact didn't mean anything and he found happiness in being a normal guy working in an amiable environment where everyone respects each other. The concept of this book was inspiring and I think there is a lesson to be learned for everyone from it, however at times I felt like there is too much Starbucks propaganda in it. The author keeps mentioning what a good atmosphere Starbucks employees work in that it makes you think "OK we got the point now move on", and is it possible that there is not one negative aspect of working at Starbucks? This is not surprising since Gill himself comes from an advertising background but if you are able to ignore this it has the potential of being a good book.


Karin Elizabeth said...

I've been meaning to read this book... Hmm not sure whether I would dig the whole Starbucks-is-the-most-awesome-place-100% thing, but I like Starbucks enough to probably read the book at some point.