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It’s like Alice in Wonderland…

“It’s like Alice in Wonderland.” says Michael Gates Gill, former creative director at the advertising giant, J. Walter Thompson, who now works at Starbucks for $10.50/hour. Gill, born to America’s upper class, was fired at age 53 and replaced with someone who is, as he describes “younger and cheaper.”

Gill has written a book entitled, “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.” Regardless of how you feel about Starbucks, the book may be worth a read, since apparently Starbucks is a company in which “respect is required”, according to the USA Today link cited above. Respect is a virtue that is quite rare in corporate America, even among those companies that claim it as a core value.

Two other good reads are:

“Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams” by Alfred Lubrano – a book which details the transitions and struggles of folks who have come from blue-collar families and now work in white-collar jobs (oops! “careers”). :-) The book was loaned to me by a Ph.D. friend who has made remarkable transitions in her life. The book details the conflicting values of classes in America, and how “Straddlers”, as Lubrano describes them, deal with the inner conflict.

“The Joy of Not Working: A book for the retired, unemployed, and overworked.” by Ernie J. Zelinski – a book gifted to me by the friend above, that I have gifted to others. Ernie has a bachelors of science in engineering and a masters in business administration from the University of Alberta. According to his bio, Ernie “maintains a four- to five-hour workday and doesn’t like to work at all in any month that does not have an “r” in it.” I recommend the book to those whose inner voice is saying “Life is short. Why am I doing this?” The book is written in an engaging style, with great quotes in the margin. The book is enjoyable even if you don’t “buy” Ernie’s message, and, if you do, it could change your life.

I have decided to use the “uncategorized” section of the blog for comments like those above, which provide value, but defy easy categorization. And of course, the “Alice in Wonderland” quote grabbed me right away…. :-)

–Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo

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