How Starbucks Saved My Life
By Michael Gates Gill
Published by Gotham Books
So many people in the world live such a sheltered, and sometimes even privileged, life that they are completely oblivious to how difficult other people’s lives can be. Even having such an easy life they still don’t know how to attain true happiness and dignity. Michael Gates Gill in his short autobiography shows us how he found those things in a very odd place: Starbucks.
Michael is the son of privilege whose mother was of New England Mayflower stock and whose father had inherited family money and was a big shot with the New Yorker magazine. Michael went to Yale, was handed a job with a big New York advertising firm, married well, and had three children. Life couldn’t be better. At the age of fifty-three with his children starting to become college age Michael loses his job, loses his wife, his girlfriend is pregnant, and at sixty-three years old he is nearly broke and finds out he has a tumor in his brain. And then someone throws him a life line. Someone who he never expected would. Michael accepts a job as a barista, just a fancy name for coffee server, at Starbucks. From his experience he learns a little bit about how the other half live. Amazingly going from the top of the world to the bottom he does not become bitter. He learns that happiness and dignity don’t come from the things you have, but rather from giving and receiving respect, working hard, serving others, and spending time with family. In this book Michael Gates Gill shares with the reader how Starbucks literally and figuratively saved his life. Though the book sometimes seems like an endorsement for a company looking for employees, much of what it states about the company seems to be true. All in all, this book shows the improbable roads we sometimes take before we figure out what life is all about.