How Starbucks Saved My Life

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View all 3 comments. Jan 07, Laura rated it did not like it. I forced myself to finish this. It was predictable, slow and painfully drawn-out. The entire book is basically this man talking about coffee and making coffee and how he has trouble making coffee and why he likes making coffee. He talks about how he used to work at an ad agency and what he learned at the ad agency and how it's different from making coffee and how he loves making coffee but he has trouble making coffee and he was good at working at an ad agency and how it's different from making I forced myself to finish this.

He talks about how he used to work at an ad agency and what he learned at the ad agency and how it's different from making coffee and how he loves making coffee but he has trouble making coffee and he was good at working at an ad agency and how it's different from making coffee and how he has trouble making coffee but he loves it anyway and he tries real hard Feb 10, Jeanette rated it really liked it Recommends it for: fans of starbucks, mitch albom and happy endings. Sep 08, Cortney rated it it was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was impressed with the depth of introspection that Mr Gill explored.

The books were similar and yet so very different. Ms Ehrenreich conducted a sort of social experiment in which she took on low-wage jobs to see how people manage to make ends meet on minimum wage.

Mr Gill took on a job at Starbucks after he lost everyt I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mr Gill took on a job at Starbucks after he lost everything he had his job, his marriage, respect of those he loved , not as an experiment, but as a way to survive. Ms Ehrenreich explored how difficult it is to live on low wages and how hard the jobs are. Mr Gill threw himself into the work, waxed philosophical about work, service, respect and so many other aspects of life.

I was impressed with his humility as he acknowledged that he had come from a privileged life and had taken so much for granted. He acknowledged the prejudices that he had previously held and overcame those prejudices. He found that he had not respected people in his previous life and was overcome with the happiness that came from serving and respecting others. He also found a love for work that he had not appreciated before. What a transformation. I liked his style of writing Maye be I liked that style because that's how I live my life lately- thinking back, contemplating right now and hoping about the future.

IMDB shows a release date of for the film, but I haven't heard anything about it. I hope the film is made.

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I'll definitely see it. Discovering that life is not about me, it's about serving others. Miss Markham had faith in him that he would learn to read. It had quite the impact on him. How much better would this world be if we all gave our support to others and encourage them in life?


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You feel good about what you are doing. Just because you are wearing a green apron rather than a Brooks Brothers suit doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. No job is too menial, as long as we are doing good, honest work. When he confronted the backpack kid and had a knife pulled on him, he realized that he couldn't control everything and needed to stop taking himself so seriously. When will I learn this lesson? He was happy doing the Coffee Samplings.

How blessed he was to find his niche.

Have you found your niche? I felt proud of being able to live and support myself I had achieved at sixty-four what most people accomplish by twenty-four. Why was I so happy? That's where true happiness can be found. View 2 comments.

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Oh my, this book went on and on. The parts I liked: Michael Gates Gill trying to fit in with his new life. What I didn't: everything else. Basically, the flaws are these: Gill repeats himself ad nauseum, as if I can't remember the role that a barista plays in a Starbucks. Each chapter involves a recap where he re-explains how to weigh the cash, or that he has to pour coffee and take money. I found the repeated explanations kind of insulting, to tell the truth.

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Also, the entire thing reads l Oh my, this book went on and on. Also, the entire thing reads like a Starbucks commercial. In his store, the customer is the most important person in the world, and the workers exist only to serve them. I don't think I've ever been in this kind of Starbucks.

Their little faces do not brighten when I walk into the store. They just seem vaguely bored, and take my cash and give me a latte. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, or else Gill's whole "Starbucks experience" is a load of crap. Finally, I got really tired of Gill's self-aggrandizing monologue about how rich and privileged he really was as a child.

The name dropping was out of control, and out of place. He described his vacation homes, and gave conflicting messages about his parents. They were so wonderful! They loved him! He never felt good enough or accepted. A www If I didn't listen to it on my commute in the car, I never would have finished it. View 1 comment.

Shelf Awareness for Monday, September 24, 2007

Jun 27, Jason Pettus rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , npr-worthy , memoir , contemporary , funny. That's a lot to swallow in the first 20 pages of a supposed feel-good memoir ; and to his credit, writing veteran Gill son of famed New Yorker writer Brendan Gill pulls it off, basically by being ceaselessly harsh and unusually clear-eyed about his "pre-barista" life as a neolib one-percenter, the same kind of brutal honesty that inspired him to take a coffee-slinging job at the age of 64 at a Starbucks near Harlem where he was the only white employee after accidentally attending a hiring fair by the company at one of their Manhattan stores without realizing it, having a young manager ask him as a joke, "I don't suppose you're looking for a job, are you?

It's what tips this book over into minimal readability, his zeal to not cut himself any breaks for his entitled childhood, his handshake-based former career, and the cavalier way he used to treat everyone in life who wasn't a senior corporate executive like him, best seen in his observations about how he himself immediately became invisible to his former co-workers, literally on the sidewalk sometimes when they would walk by him, the moment he put on a polo shirt and a green apron.

Unfortunately, though, that still leaves the book with plenty of problems, among the more major being that he sometimes devotes entire chapters to nothing but a detailed, log-like, minute-by-minute breakdown of what a typical day at Starbucks is actually like for an employee, which is the literary equivalent of watching paint dry and had me skipping over huge portions of the manuscript out of pure tedium.

Also, Gill's infinitely upbeat enthusiasm for the empty StarbucksSpeak handed down from faceless marketing employees at the corporate headquarters ["Partners! It all adds up to an admittedly interesting but still trouble-filled book, one you have to sort of force yourself to like despite the circumstances surrounding the true story, not because of them; and a tale that gets interrupted every time it starts getting good by another reminder of just what a inherent good ol' boy in a good ol' boy network Gill is in, despite him taking a slave-wage job in the service industry.

If you're anything like me, you'll throw your hands in the air in bitter frustration when learning on the last page that Gill managed to get this book optioned to Hollywood for a million dollars, precisely because of all his personal friends from his ad-agency days, and that it currently has Tom Hanks and Gun Van Sant attached to it. An insightful book but not nearly as insightful as I had hoped it would be, your own mileage with it will profoundly vary based on who you are, your own age and race, and how much tolerance you have for SVP assholes who shrug their shoulders after a disaster and say, "Sowwwwy!

Mar 31, Rob Slaven rated it it was ok. Have you ever had one of those mornings when you just need something… something to read and since your wife is one of those really wonderfully bookish people you happen to have just stacks and stacks of books handy and can pick something rather randomly and sit down to read it?

At any rate, I digress. Sure, he grew up in affluence but he seems almost ignorant that there are people in the world who are NOT affluent. His writing style is child-like and his themes, at least from the viewpoint of a lower-middle class person, are obvious and pedantic. What is refreshing and inspiring is his view of Starbucks as a corporation.