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How Starbucks saved my life : a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else

Author: Michael Gill
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Michael Gill
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Gill
ISBN: 9781592402861 1592402860
OCLC Number: 85783305
Description: 265 p. ; 20 cm.
Responsibility: Michael Gates Gill.
More information:

Abstract:

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.

Table of Contents:

by sgramsay (WorldCat user on 2008-03-17)

1: From Drinking Lattes to Serving Them Up … 1 2: Reality Shock … 34 3: One Word That Changed My Life … 56 4: On the Front Lines – Ready or Not … 87 5: Open Wide and Smile – You’re on Broadway … 117 6: The Million-Dollar Punch … 145 7: Turning Losers into Winners … 177 8: Fired – Almost … 207 9: Crystal Take Me to the Bar … 235 10: Exit Broadway … 248 Acknowledgments … 263 About the Author … 266

Notes:

by sgramsay (WorldCat user on 2008-03-17)

From the book jacket: In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a big house in the suburbs, a loving family, and a top job at an ad agency with a six-figure salary. By the time he turned sixty, he had lost everything except his Ivy League education and his sense of entitlement. First, he was downsized at work. Next, an affair ended his twenty-year marriage. Then, he was diagnosed with a slow-growing brain tumor, prognosis undetermined. Around the same time, his girlfriend gave birth to a son. Gill had no money, no health insurance, and no prospects. One day as Gill sat in a Manhattan Starbucks with his last affordable luxury—a latté—brooding about his misfortune and quickly dwindling list of options, a twenty-eight-year-old Starbucks manager named Crystal Thompson approached him, half joking, to offer him a job. With nothing to lose, he took it, and went from drinking coffee in a Brooks Brothers suit to serving it in a green uniform. For the first time in his life, Gill was a minority—the only older white guy working with a team of young African Americans. He was forced to acknowledge his ingrained prejudices and admit to himself that, far from being beneath him, his new job was hard. And his younger coworkers, despite having half the education and twice the personal difficulties he’d ever faced, were running circles around him. The other baristas treated Gill with respect and kindness despite his differences, and he began to feel a new emotion: gratitude. Crossing over the Starbucks bar was the beginning of a dramatic 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. One that everyone, especially Michael’s kids, liked a lot better. The backdrop to Gill’s story is nearly a universal cultural phenomenon: the Starbucks experience. In How Starbucks Saved My Life, we step behind the counter of one of the world’s best-known companies and discover how it all really works, who the baristas are, and what they love (and hate) about their jobs. Inside Starbucks, as Crystal and Mike’s friendship grows, we see what wonders can happen when we reach out across race, class, and age divisions to help a fellow human being. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Gates Gill is the son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, and was a creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, where he was employed for over twenty-five years. He currently lives in New York within walking distance of the Starbucks store where he works, and has no plans to retire from what he calls the best job he’s ever had.

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Interesting perspective

by sgramsay (WorldCat user published 2008-03-17) Very Good Permalink
I enjoyed the book and the author's perspective on the path his life had taken. He does some name dropping from his privileged former life, such as when he met Hemingway in Spain. The author is no saint and gets a wake-up call when his former life collapses. It's interesting to watch him adapt to his...
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