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.”