The truth behind the minimum wage in america in nickel and dimed a novel by barbara ehrenreich

On Not Getting By in America, essayist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich applies this notion to minimum-wage workers. She argues that their spirit and dignity are chipped away by a culture that allows unjust and unlivable working conditions, which results in their becoming a de facto, or actual without being official, servant class. Spurred on by recent welfare reforms and the growing phenomenon of the working poor in the United StatesEhrenreich poses a hypothetical question of daily concern to many Americans: For the lower class, what does it take to match the income one earns to the expenses one must pay?

The truth behind the minimum wage in america in nickel and dimed a novel by barbara ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich - As a non-fiction narrative, the author was the main character of the book, conceiving and carrying out the low-wage experiments. Ehrenreich kept her real name while applying for jobs, though she did not reveal her Ph. George - George was a dishwasher in the Key West Restaurant.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Summary at WikiSummaries, free book summaries

An immigrant from Czechoslovakia, George spoke little English and had trouble understanding the problems that were happening in the restaurant around him. He was eventually accused of stealing from the restaurant and fired without understanding the reason.

The truth behind the minimum wage in america in nickel and dimed a novel by barbara ehrenreich

Ted attempts to get Ehrenreich to tell him about any employees who have been complaining about their jobs. Holly - Holly is a maid who works with Ehrenreich in Maine.

She discovers she is pregnant during the month Ehrenreich is there, and suffers from dizzy spells and nausea. During one house cleaning she twists her ankle and walks with a limp afterward. Marge - A maid from Maine who suffers from arthritis, Marge is regularly paired with Holly and Ehrenreich for house cleaning assignments.

Howard - Howard is the assistant manager at the Minneapolis Wal-Mart. He conducts regular meetings for all employees in order to discuss emergency scenarios and to warn them not to talk to each other.

Getting Ready In the introduction, Ehrenreich describes her real life as a writer with a Ph. To do this, she tries to survive in a variety of different settings, choosing three very different cities and finds a job and a place to live in each.


She attempts to live only on the money she makes at whatever job she finds, though she makes the decision not to go hungry and to use a credit card if absolutely necessary. She attempts to find lodgings that she could sustain only with the money coming in from a job.

Serving in Florida The first site chosen for the experiment was Key West, Florida, as it was close to her home. The restaurant, like most of the places she works, is not revealed by its true name in her book, nor are the people she meets. Worried about being too overqualified for the job, she then feels underqualified as the job is revealed as being difficult and physically demanding.

Ehrenreich finds the manager, B. Another is George, a Czech dishwasher in the country for one week and unable to speak more than a few sentences in English. Ehrenreich decides to use her free time while at work to teach George English.

After management discovers that a few items have gone missing, George is a suspect in the theft. The stolen items are never revealed by management, and Ehrenreich is convinced that George is innocent.

Review: Nickel and Dimed and Below the Breadline | Books | The Guardian

Upper management decides to fire George, but to allow him to work until the end of the week. George is unaware of the problem because of the language barrier, and Ehrenreich grows increasingly upset over the situation. Combined with the problems with co-workers, Ehrenreich also has problems finding affordable housing.

She finds a trailer to live in, and is satisfied that it is safe enough for her purposes, though she is unsure if she will be able to maintain it on her waitressing income.

Ehrenreich decides to take on a second job, and the hotel that adjoins the restaurant is hiring housekeepers. Ehrenreich decides to take the second job, as it is the only way she will be able to stay in her trailer.

After one day of completing both jobs, Ehrenreich quits the housekeeping position. She is also becoming increasingly upset about the situations going on at the restaurant.

After a particularly difficult day, Ehrenreich decides she will be quitting soon, and will give her tips to George.

See a Problem? You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring.
Nickel and Dimed - Sample Essays Poverty Nickel and Dimed Looking at the state of low wage workers in America today, many are struggling to make ends meet and provide basic needs to themselves and their families. Is this a new situation or just a necessary part of the overall American economic structure?
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America Aug 17, Carrie rated it did not like it Recommends it for:
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.
Minimum Wage Essay Examples - Download Free or Order Unique Paper | EliteEssayWriters The reasons lower caste members of society the waitresses, maids, K-mart clerks, nursing home aids, quick order cooks--to name a few remain voiceless in their plight are several, but the one that is most compelling is housing. The method sounds to me about as scientific as numerology.

But she quit before she expected to, as a slew of difficult customers convinced her to quit her job mid-shift and with no notice. She walked out forgetting to give George her tips, leaving her with feelings of guilt.

The waitressing position lasted only two weeks, instead of the planned four weeks, and Ehrenreich did not believe she would have been able to make the next months rent on the trailer had she stayed in either job.

Scrubbing in Maine Her next city of choice was Portland, Maine. In Maine, there are many weekly motels to choose from, and she finds one that is affordable and comfortable.

She chose this location because of its mainly Caucasian demographics.

The truth behind the minimum wage in america in nickel and dimed a novel by barbara ehrenreich

She finds two jobs that she is able to keep at the same time- working as a maid for a housekeeping service during the week, and as a dietary aide in a nursing home on the weekends. The nursing home job, consists mainly of feeding the residents of the nursing home and cleaning up the food items.

She surprised that with so little experience on the job she is given such a responsibility. Many of the patients are diabetic and the wrong desert could worsen their health.Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of Nickel and Dimed, Blood Rites, The Worst Years of Our Lives (a New York Times bestseller), Fear of Falling, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and several other books.

Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed Essay Words 5 Pages Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed In the novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehnreich, there are many hurtles she must overcome to experience the life of a low income worker.

Minimum Wage: Its Pros and Cons (Essay Example)

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from her perspective as an undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the welfare reform act on the working poor in the United States. Barbara Ehrenreich is an essay writer who went undercover and told her story in Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America.

She figured it was the best way to see if it was possible to live off the money earned in low-wage jobs/5(). Apr 18,  · Ehrenreich’s New York Times bestselling book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, is a memoir of her three-month social experiment trying to .

Low Wage Jobs and Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed Essay; Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed In the novel Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehnreich, there are many hurtles she must overcome to experience the life of a low income worker. author of Nickel and Dimed, worked at minimum wage paying jobs and reported the hardships that.

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America |