How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, by Michael Gates Gill
Gill is a gifted storyteller. He unravels his tale of how his life went from having a great job, a wonderful family, and a beautiful home; to a lonely little apartment with no job. He describes how an opportunity at Starbucks changed him from the inside, giving him a second chance at life and happiness.
Digressing often, he weaves into the story, anecdotes from his past where we learn more about this man who is wearing a green apron and Starbucks cap just to survive. We see him with Robert Frost and the Queen of England, and realize just how strange it is for him to be mixing coffees and passing them across the counter to average people in New York City. Even stranger, for him to be liking his new job, feeling happiness he never felt before.
His story clearly demonstrates the values of the Starbucks company and how value and respect for others can transform a workplace. He describes a striking contrast between his old job and status and his new job, taking us on a journey from his old attitudes and prejudices to a new value and respect for others.
This book was a joy to read. I was truly happy for the author as he went through his journey of discovery. It is a must read for anyone who manages people, as he contrasts how he used to manage people without much respect to how he was managed with care and respect as a barista at Starbucks.
Gill is an example of a generous mind—sharing his transformational experience in a powerful and meaningful way.