Emerging From The Wasp’s Nest

Hiding out in the Home & Garden section of The New York Times, is a story about one man’s radical downsizing.

Michael Gates Gill, who once made about $160,000 a year as an advertising executive at JWT and who now earns around $10.50 an hour making coffee at Starbucks, has written a book called How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else, and it is so admiring of the firm, one fears he has drunk of the Grande Iced Kool-Aid.
His story — divorced, broke, entitled middle-aged white guy with brain tumor and no health insurance learns to respect persons of other races who did not go to Yale — has been optioned by Tom Hanks. Of course.
Still, if you think Mr. Gill, who is 67 and the son of the late New Yorker critic Brendan Gill, is planning to toss his green apron the minute the Moviebucks come in and get himself a splendiferous life, he denies it.

Gill describes people in advertising as “brutal.” Whereas, he says he always feels better after working a shift at Starbucks, “maybe because my own life feels so complicated — there are so many things you can’t control. You can’t control relationships, you can’t control life, but I can get that drink just the way they want it, that double tall skim latte.”
[via Adverganza]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Don’t be naive. This is just another viral marketing plan.
    Wait outside a Starbucks for smoke-break-time and ask the baristas what they think about their jobs.
    I guarantee you they’d rather be working in a cushy ad job.
    Will Meg Ryan be in it?