"Double Tall Skim Latte?"
"Decaf Grande Skim Two Pump No Whip Mocha?"
can be tough even for us to pick up the coffee jargon initially
let alone a 63-year-old man. But Michael Gill Gates manages
to do just that and more.
into a wealthy family in New York, Gill was formerly a successful
white-collar advertising executive with J. Walter Thompson,
a company which he served faithfully for 25 years after he
graduated from Yale. But his comfortable life went into a
spiral when he received the pink slip one day. This book written
by Gates himself traces his journey from a depressed man pondering
over his future over a cup of latte to the present day, serving
coffee as a barista in a Bronxville, Starbucks outlet.
was a blessed man since the day he was born, better than any
of us in fact. He was the son of the late New Yorker critic
Brendan Gill, lives in a big mansion, gets to rubs shoulders
with acclaimed writers such as Ernest Hemingway, E. B. White
and John Updike just to name a few and he threw away his $100,000
inheritance to champagne.
man has never serve anyone in his life (except his company
of course), never see the need to do his maths (he claims
he’s poor with figures) and of course never need to
wash any dirty bathrooms. However Gill have to start from
the bottom at a Starbucks outlet carrying out the above chores
at the old ripe age of 63 all because the famous coffee outlet
provides health insurance to 'partners' (a Starbucks way of
calling their staff).
can sincerely feel Gill's gratitude to the coffee company
as the book sounds at times similar to a recruitment pamphlet.
We get to know that Starbucks offer free health insurance,
education funding and even try to relocate you to an outlet
which is closer to your home.
living alone in a rented house, divorced with 5 kids, Gill
feels he’s never been happier, finally finding his worth
working in Starbucks. From donning a Brooks Brothers suit
to a green apron, Gill’s story plod along like a personal
memoir with too much mundane stuff to fill the chapters. Nevertheless,
it’s a feel-good book of a man who once had it all to
serving lattes, scrubbing bathrooms and still feels on top
of the world. One obvious lesson you learnt: You can’t
take things for granted these days.
The film rights to "How Starbucks Saved My Life"
have been purchased by Tom Hanks and Universal Pictures, Hanks
is tentatively slated to star.
my total availability to Starbucks was a kind of gift for
me. The challenging work, the daily struggle to learn and
get things right, filled my life with so much stress and activity
that I was hardly ever lonely. I approached the job at Starbucks
as a question of survival and I was totally engaged. I had
no time to feel sorry for myself and even the guilt I felt
at hurting others was mitigated by my focus on doing well
each day in this challenging job.
the 'total availability' I had given to Starbucks had helped
to save me from myself and my anxious thoughts of past and
A candid, sappy trip. Just don’t be too offended
by Gill’s constant drilling of how good Starbucks is.
by Linus Tee