Tori's Reviews > How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill
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Jun 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in July, 2009

Before I started writing this review, I glanced at the reviews others on Goodreads had written - very interesting. Definitely it was one of those books people either loved or hated! thank goodness, I really enjoyed it! I had heard about the book a while ago, and thought it sounded interesting - and when I found it in the bargain bin at Border's, I grabbed it. This is the true story of how Michael Gates Gill - rich, spoiled snob - eventually lost his advertising job, his family, his friends and his wealth. With nothing left, he winds up getting offered a job at Starbucks - and learning to love it, the lessons he learns, and the people he works with. His mantra became "work is dignity". (didn't one of the pigs in Animal Farm have a similar motto????) anyway - he became an expert toilet cleaner to begin with - and I like the idea that even though the jobs we may end up doing aren't glamarous, we still should take pride in doing a good job. Mike also found himself spending more time laughing and less time crying about the past. Words of wisdom.
A couple of things did kind of bother me, though. Mike definitely hobnobbed with a lot of famous people - and although it seems like he tossed in these names to contrast his current life with his former life, it got to be a bit like too much bragging. I also came away from this book with the thought that almost ANYBODY could examine their life and figure out mistakes they made and write a book about it!
But - nevertheless - it was a quick read and I am a sucker for books that show people learning humility, patience, understanding, etc! and this summary of a "prayer" written for him by his fellow partners at Starbuck's was wonderful: "Dear Lord please give him.....a feeling of the presence of God, the patience to wait for the coming of these things (good friends, understanding heart....), with the wisdom to recognize them when they come."
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