“How Starbucks Saved My Life” is a real story of Michael Gates Gill written by himself, in short, something like an autobiography in the form of a story. It’s about how Michael has gone from a huge salary in a successful advertising firm to nothing at all. At the same time, he had an affair and got divorced, and his life just seem totally screwed.
He got a way out of the whole mess when an African American came up to him when he was drinking his coffee at Starbucks, and asked him, “Would you like a job?”. Although he is a white man, Michael said “Yes” and an interview took place.
The story is about how he started off from nothing, and then becoming Starbuck’s partners (which is the better name of workers) in one of Starbucks many stores. From being a wonderful cleaner at Starbucks to challenging his fear of the cashier counter, from calling out the drinks in correct order to making the drinks himself, Michael learnt many life lessons and became a happier person, even though he isn’t earning as much compared to when he was at the advertising firm.
He learnt to overcome his fear of counting money and went from 5 dollars loss at the end of the day to a few cents of loss. He learnt some customer relations, that you never deny anyone the toilet, whether he or she is a Starbucks customer or not, or chase anyone away during closing time. Through his chats with customers when he is at the cashier counter, he made many new friends and enjoyed the daily chats as he sees them everyday and knows what coffee they want, decaf or not.
It’s a story of how he picked his life up together, and even managed to get his children to forgive him and come to see him at the store. Eventually he became a Coffee Master and he gets to brew coffee once every week and give free samples of brewed coffee to anyone walking by any Starbucks store. Coffee Masters have to be trained and they have to be able to be really good with the different versions of coffee, the taste, their histories, etc.
In short, this books tell us how Starbucks key principles and treatment to partners and customers alike are lessons we should all learn in life. I guess that is the reason why there are so many Starbucks books written about its management and policies.
This is a great book to read. Trust me. 🙂