Nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich living on minimum wage in america

Social issues[ edit ] Ehrenreich investigates many of the difficulties low wage workers face, including the hidden costs involved in such necessities as shelter the poor often have to spend much more on daily hotel costs than they would pay to rent an apartment if they could afford the security deposit and first-and-last month fees and food e. Foremost, Ehrenreich attacks the notion that low-wage jobs require only unskilled labor.

Nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich living on minimum wage in america

At any rate, Ehrenreich must be given credit for at least entering the world of minimum-wage work, rather than sitting in her comfortable study or pontificating from a lofty perch at a think tank.

The woman did get her hands dirty, quite literally. At times, a little less dirt and a little more scholarship might have been useful.

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Ehrenreich conducted a live experiment in which she worked at minimum-wage jobs, living, as best she could, in whatever circumstances those wages would afford. Soon, she augmented her job with other work, such as housekeeping.

Having satisfied herself with that part of her experiment, she moved on to Maine, where she toiled as a maid, and finally completed her research with a stint in Minnesota at Wal-Mart. She concluded that if she could have maintained her two-job regimen, and if she had no dire or sudden illnesses, she could have just barely gotten by.

Despite her occasional genuinely funny quips—her exposition on feces, as a maid, is something to behold—her overall message is incredibly depressing and drenched in hopelessness. If her assessment is accurate, it is impossible to get by in America in low-level jobs.

First and foremost, Ehrenreich pretended to be a minimum-wage worker.

Nickel And Dimed' Author Barbara Ehrenreich On The State Of The Fight For A Living Wage

She acted in a role for a few months. Critics might see this as supporting her position, but I think it blows up the entire foundation.

The purpose of work is not to get by, but to get ahead. This is a critical distinction: Most people, no matter what the job of the moment, see it as a way to get ahead later. Yet Ehrenreich did not even try to move up. Not only did she not try to advance, but she never sought out others who had.

We learn about the private, sometimes tragic, lives of many of her co-workers, but never find anyone who made it into management, who left for greener pastures, or who even made it to the top of the low-level wage ladder. Quite the contrary, none of her managers are appealing: Almost instantly the manager who was, as best I could tell, neither stupid or uncaring was willing to make me an assistant manager.

It had something to do with being able to remember to turn the sign off before I went home. At the time I saw that as my big break: Several women worked as cashiers there and had been there for years.

"Nickel And Dimed" Author Barbara Ehrenreich On The State Of The Fight For A Living Wage Buy the book The New York Times bestseller, and one of the most talked about books of the year, Nickel and Dimed has already become a classic of undercover reportage.
Nickel and Dimed Quotes by Barbara Ehrenreich Aug 17, Carrie rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Let me count the ways:
Order Natural Causes Her book Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in Americais something I return to time and again.
Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich Aug 17, Carrie rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Let me count the ways:

Again, while the managers did not baby us—they expected hard work and good habits, as well as a smile—we were well treated, and, for the day, well paid. It was an interracial staff, both among the carryout boys and the management.

But no one there, unless someone was aiming at a managerial position, planned to stay at the grocery store his entire life.

Nickel and Dimed - Wikipedia

It was, as most minimum-wage jobs are, an entry-level position designed to train people in basic skills working a cash register, counting change, stocking, taking inventory, ordering, and above all, being polite and energetic.Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity — a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival.

Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor. Ehrenreich conducted a live experiment in which she worked at minimum-wage jobs, living, as best she could, in whatever circumstances those wages would afford.

She worked in Florida as a waitress at a greasy spoon, sometimes for $ an hour, plus tips. An interview with author Barbara Ehrenreich, looking back at her book "Nickel and Dimed" and examining the state of the fight for the living wage today. Nickel And Dimed' Author Barbara Ehrenreich On The State Of The Fight For A Living Wage.

Starting in , Barbara Ehrenreich spent several months working low-wage jobs in different cities around the United States in an attempt to experience what it /5(K).

Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich used her book Nickel and Dimed to illustrate her job assignment to live in the shoes of and, write about her experiences as a minimum wage worker in America.

Nickel and dimed by barbara ehrenreich living on minimum wage in america

Ehrenreich goes to live in Key West, Maine, and Minnesota and works low wage jobs, sometimes more than one at a time. It describes an experiement by journalist Barbara Ehrenreich where she takes a series of minimum wage jobs (waitress, hotel maid, housekeeper, nursing home aide, and Wal-Mart employee) and tries to survive on the earnings from those jobs/5.

Nickel and Dimed - Wikipedia