How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

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Penguin, Sep 20, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
5 Reviews
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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User Review  - Taylor P - Target

The book How Starbucks Saved My Life is a memoir that is hard to put down. This is a story of a man named Michael Gates Gill who was a son of privilege. Michael got whatever he wanted and was given ... Read full review

How Starbucks Saved My Life

User Review  - clemsontigerfan -

The rules of making a living change as you get older. The author was able to adapt himself from living a privileged life to serving people. He started at the bottom and performed his job to the best ... Read full review

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Selected pages


From Drinking Lattes to Serving Them
Reality Shock
One Word That Changed My Life
On the Front LinesReady or
Open Wide and SmileYoure on Broadway
The MillionDollar Punch
Turning Losers into Winners
Crystal Takes Me to the
Exit Broadway
Acknowledgments About the Author

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About the author (2007)

The son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, Michael Gates Gill was a creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, where he was employed for over twenty-five years. He 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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