American Dream Doesn’t Include Growing Old

I just finished reading the story of Michael Gates Gill. Starbucks Saved My Life: A Rags to Riches Story.

It wasn’t what I expected.

photo/Joyce Dopkeen/NY Times

The story reveals a man of money, privilege, and a high and mighty attitude.

Michael struts away from Yale just short of graduation. It doesn’t matter; a close friend hands him a job as a copywriter with a well-known company and soon he’s making the big bucks.

The man of fortune marries (twice) and has four children; he creates huge campaigns for companies like Christian Dior and Ford.

Michael Gates Gill is living the good life until age 53—when a supervisor calls him to the Detroit office to discuss a campaign.

It’s a bold-faced lie; the unsuspecting executive is fired. Downsizing he is told. Actually, his job is given to someone younger for a quarter of his salary.

The ad man then creates his own successful consulting company. What is not going so well is his marriage. Michael has an affair, which results in the birth of a son and a divorce.

The sixty-three-year-old isn’t so privileged now. The business fails, his mistress leaves him, and Michael is diagnosed with a brain tumor and has no health insurance.

A short time later he is at the Starbucks in Manhattan when a “partner” asks if he would be interested in a job.

I would say the rest is history, only it isn’t.

Michael Gates Gill, now 67, writes a book. Starbucks Saved My Life: A Rags to Riches Story.

The Starbucks “partner” works only one day a week now.
photo/Joyce Dopkeen

I guess he still lives in the sparsely furnished apartment near the Bronxville train station, only how long will he stay now that his book is a headliner…


May Your Glass Always Be Half Full

Read a chapter of Maxi’s novel

Over the Edge





About Maxi

Hi … I'm Maxi, a retiree with an addiction. I have quit: raising kids, cleaning house, cooking, doing laundry—there is no end the list—everything is done on "have to." The addiction? Writing to my last breath. blessings ~ maxi
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