Skip to comments.Fired exec: 'Starbucks saved my life' (Amazing Story)
Posted on 02/05/2009 8:22:34 AM PST by Red in Blue PA
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michael Gates Gill was a high-flying, six-figure-earning advertising executive years ago before he was abruptly fired. He had created huge campaigns for companies like Christian Dior and Ford and lived an even bigger life, with luxury automobiles, lavish vacations and fabulous clothes.
Michael Gates Gill's book about how working at Starbucks changed his life became a bestseller.
These days, however, he's traded his $3,000 Brooks Brothers suits for khakis and a green apron; the big bucks for a $10 an hour job as a barista at Starbucks. But Gill says he couldn't be happier.
"Losing my job turned out to be a gift in disguise."
After 26 years at J. Walter Thompson, a leading advertising agency, the then 63-year-old Gill was invited to an early breakfast and was told that he was getting the boot. He made too much money. Someone younger would work for less, he was told.
"Never go out to breakfast," he warns before bursting into laughter. "It's like the Mafia. You will never return."
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
This is subtle BS selling of the socialist agenda. You must be prepared to accept lowered expectations. Be happy with your new lot in life, serf.
“When I lost my job I thought my life was over,” he says. “I didn’t realize it was just the beginning.” He smiles contentedly and declares, “I may have a part-time job, but I have a full-time life.”
It amazes me that some folks don’t put something back for a rainy day.
I don’t think it is a “socialist agenda” which got us here. It is a move away from manufacturing to a service economy.
WE NEED TO MAKE REAL THINGS AGAIN!
Why do I have a feeling his ex-boss might have a different story to tell about his “abrupt” departure.
Too bad Starbucks is laying off everyone now.
While that may be true, there is something to be said for a simple life of contentment (I haven’t read the whole article btw).
I am in love with my God and family, and need nothing else.
Once I no longer had to support the kids a life of tending bar at Starbucks doesn’t sound too bad actually.
But for now, I do the 60 hour work week so that I can send my kids to the right school, and so that my wife can stay at home with the kids. Of course, if the liberals hadn’t messed this country up and if we had school choice and lower taxes — I probably wouldn’t have to work so hard! :)
Sounds like he must have lost everything in the divorce.
Well...yes...that CAN be true....unless the company does NOT have any younger workers to replace them (I think that’s why my husband still has his job.)
He found that Starbucks really was about the American dream. His manager was a black woman who worked hard, showed extreme pride in her store and employees and was going places.
Really a great read and a great story.
Agreed. It’s because employees expect to see their salaries increase gradually every year, whether or not the value of their work product increases correspondingly. As a result employers often paid young workers at less than they were worth but increased their pay with age until they were paying older workers more than they were worth (an implicit bargain of sorts).
In some fields this isn’t really true anymore, but it still is in many industries. The implicit bargain worked back when people stayed with the same company their entire career, but doesn’t really make sense in today’s economy. If the pattern were eliminated older people would have an easier time finding and keeping work.
Starbucks kept me off the welfare rolls. Although hubby had a full time job, it had no health benefits and our family qualified for SCHIP. But, we choose to be responsible for our own children and adjusted our schedules so that he could be home with the kids while I work 20 hours a week. This qualified me for great insurance for the family. There are countless people I met while working there, with similar stories. Some wives whose husbands were starting small businesses. They weren’t at the point that they could afford their own insurance, and rather than reach for a handout, they took responsibility.
Starbucks takes a lot of crap on this board, but they do a lot for the cause of conservatism by allowing for people to be responsible and working for what they need. So I will continue to support them, because I benefitted from their willingness to care for their employees.
At 63, after decades of being a successful professional, he wasn't in a financial position where he could just say "OK, I'm retired", and relax, live off his investments, and maybe teach some college classes (more for something to do than needing the money)?
OK, I think I might know why he was fired...
My daughter worked there for awhile. And I know that SB’s treats their management pretty well.
They have cutback the last several months though.
He started a consulting firm after he was fired, but a brain tumor and a divorce cost him his savings it sounds like.
I like Starbucks. We have a lot around where I go, and several of them know me. The workers are always friendly. They all speak English (which is not true of lots of places in California). They always send things to the troops at the holidays.
Great to see he's happy though, good for Starbucks.
He was 63-years old. He just accepted the facts of his situation and decided to be happy anyway.
“I am in love with my God and family, and need nothing else.”
100% agreement with you on that.
“You’re off base on this one.”
You could be right, but why should I trust the intent or believe anything CNN tries to shove down my throat? They’re only interested in serving themselves and their own agenda.
I question the messager more than the message.
That's one view of the story. I happen to have a different one.
It takes a special personality to make it in the world of "... luxury automobiles, lavish vacations and fabulous clothes. In addition to the ability to perform in certain jobs, there must also be a compromised immune system against predation, arrogance, huge deliberate ethical blind spots and running over others in order to be among the "elite few." Whatever it takes.
That this story is deemed "amazing" is what I find amazing. Millions of intelligent, educated and competent Americans have made a conscious decision to not go there. Compromising or growing an ethical blind spot for the sake of "success" was not a priority for them; they chose a lesser course not because they were lazy, but because they chose not to swim among the sharks. Granted, that is admirable to those who choose the life, but not to most.
The key here is hidden among the story:
Paraphrasing, "... I may have an "inferior" job but I have a full-time life."
The silent witnesses, the millions who have chosen the other path, raise successful families and enjoy a longer and more satisfying life as a result. You will seldom find them among the suicides when a national or global financial crisis occurs.
then you don’t know the advertising world ... they’ll drop anyone in a NY minute. It’s as cutthroat as business a there is.
Well, it's "attractive" enough to introduce a weekly TV "reality show" about it.
Not that I will change my attitude about "reality" shows. I have never watched one. What's the entertainment value in exhibitionist losers?
I am so out of the tv loop ... have never seen one reality show ... and plan to keep it that way!
I agree with you about CNN! I don’t listen to a word they say, either.
brooks brothers suits don’t sell for $3000. $1600 tops. this article
is a lie.
For off the rack stuff, yeah. But BB Golden Fleece MTM suits starts at around $1200 for the cheap fabric and goes up to around $4000.
“This is subtle BS selling of the socialist agenda. You must be prepared to accept lowered expectations. Be happy with your new lot in life, serf.”
Not just the socialists, me too. I’ve been telling people to expect to live on one third of present income, once we have to start dealing with our debt (i.e., after we run out of suckers to loan us money). It will be very ugly, probably big-time inflation...but it is coming soon (in my opinion, based on my calculations).
Think you’re right...we’re headed for beau coup inflation—and probably demise.