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The Resource How Starbucks saved my life : a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else, Michael Gates Gill

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

Label
How Starbucks saved my life : a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else
Title
How Starbucks saved my life
Title remainder
a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else
Statement of responsibility
Michael Gates Gill
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
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 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
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • The son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill grew up meeting the likes of Ezra Pound and Ernest Hemingway. A Yale education led to a job at prestigious J. Walter Thompson Advertising. But at 63, the younger Gill's sweet life has gone sour. Long fired from JWT, his own business is collapsing and an ill-advised affair has resulted in a new son and a divorce. At this low point, and in need of health insurance for a just diagnosed brain tumor, Gill fills out an application for Starbucks and is assigned to the store on 93rd and Broadway in New York City, staffed primarily by African-Americans. Working as a barista, Gill, who is white, gets an education in race relations and the life of a working class Joe . Gill certainly has a story to tell, but his narrative is flooded with saccharine flashbacks, when it could have detailed how his very different, much younger colleagues, especially his endearing 28-year-old manager, Crystal Thompson, came to accept him. The book reads too much like an employee handbook, as Gill details his duties or explains how the company chooses its coffee. Gill's devotion to the superchain has obviously changed his life for the better, but that same devotion makes for a repetitive, unsatisfying read. Photos not seen by PW . (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed June 4, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 23, p41)
  • Gill, son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, explains how he was born into privilege, was "downsized" out of his high-powered advertising career, divorced by his wife after the woman with whom he was having an affair became pregnant, and learned that he had a slow-growing brain tumor—all of which ultimately led him to an entry-level job at Starbucks at the age of 64. And that's just the first chapter. Gill's inspirational memoir is a look back on his first year at Starbucks, learning the ropes as a barista. In each chapter, he faces a new challenge, from cleaning up to balancing the register to hosting coffee tastings. The resulting book is a somewhat simplistic but intensely readable tribute to the power of redemption through work, with Gill richly detailing his relationships with his manager, his colleagues, and Starbucks "guests." While telling his life story, he also hits all the appropriate business world notes, riffing on diversity, acceptance, and respect, and even manages to instill a desire for a cup of coffee in his reader. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/07.]—Sarah Statz Cords, Madison P.L., WI --Sarah Statz Cords (Reviewed June 1, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 10, p127)
  • When a formerly high-level exec hits rock bottom, he finds salvation behind the counter at Starbucks.Son of famed New Yorker editor Brendan Gill, the author was unceremoniously fired from J. Walter Thompson after 25 years as a creative director. While trying—and ultimately failing—to run his own consulting business, he engaged in a marriage-ending affair that left him broke as well as unemployed. He subsequently found himself drinking a latte at Starbucks during a "Hiring Open House." When a confident 28-year-old African-American woman offered him a job, Gill found himself transformed from a name-dropping, high-society hobnobber into an everyman who had to relate to people from all walks of life. In the fast-paced world of coffee purveyors, the only thing that counted was his ability to do the job and work alongside the other "partners" (Starbucks-speak for employees). At its core, the narrative is an inspirational story about someone who learned late—but not too late—in life that money and status aren't everything. If Gill is to be believed, Starbucks is a magical realm where people of all races, creeds and lifestyles intermingle, a place where customers treat baristas with respect bordering on hero worship. Unfortunately, what little enlightenment his memoir has to offer is swamped by Gill's mawkish tributes to a mega-corporation. Tom Hanks, whose production company has optioned the book, will have a tough time redeeming this nauseating paean.Way too much sugar. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007)
Biography type
autobiography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
189103
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gill, Michael
Dewey number
B
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Gill, Michael
  • Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Advertising executives
  • Marketing consultants
  • Coffeehouses
  • Acoustic neuroma
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else
Label
How Starbucks saved my life : a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else, Michael Gates Gill
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
000042377354
Dimensions
20 cm.
Extent
265 p.
Isbn
9781592402861
Label
How Starbucks saved my life : a son of privilege learns to live like everyone else, Michael Gates Gill
Publication
Control code
000042377354
Dimensions
20 cm.
Extent
265 p.
Isbn
9781592402861

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
      -33.938111 151.237977
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