Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My latte is cold.

If you've been in a Starbucks lately you might have seen a poster of this man.

His name is Mike Gill and he is the author of a book entitled, How Starbucks Saved My Life. (He also used to be my boss, but more about that later.)

It's the personal riches to rags tale of one man's descent from the corporate ladder. More specifically, it documents how Mr. Gill, once a high-flying Creative Director at an advertising agency, found himself downsized and taking a job as a barrista in Westchester, NY.

I have to take issue with the premise of Mr. Gill's saga.

First of all, he was a Creative Director at an ad agency. Having been there myself, I can tell you it's not all that high up on the corporate totem pole.

Secondly, his fall from grace is hardly that spectacular when you consider he worked at J. Walter Thompson's Recruitment Advertising Agency. That's not Goodby or Crispin or Wieden & Kennedy. Hell, it's hardly even JWT.

So while Mr. Gill claims to have worked on national campaigns for Ford and the Marines, he fails to mention that is was for their "Help Wanted" ads.

At JWT Recruitment we never went to Cannes for lions. Or picked up any pencils at the One Show. We didn't even compete at the local Beldings.

Though I believe we won a regional Addy for a two column, 800 word ad in the El Segundo Herald. We were recruiting Logistics Engineers for Northrop and the winning headline was:

Take on the challenges of tomorrow, today.

Now I hear Tom Hanks has optioned the book for a possible movie. So good for you Mike, you got a closet full of green aprons, a book and a shot at cinematic immortality, all from a simple lateral career move.


Ellen November said...

One could say he sold you a Yugo while you thought you were getting a Lexus. I like the idea of making money while 'down-sizing' yourself. In the back of everyone's mind, we're thinking, okay, what's my next step? Starbucks? In his case, yeah.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone might be jealous?

Anonymous said...
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