Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed

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Our sharpest and most original social critic goes qundercoverq as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity. Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly qunskilled, q that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors. Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how qprosperityq looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.There was also the problem of how to present myself to potential employers and, in particular, how to explain my ... I described myself to interviewers as a divorced homemaker reentering the workforce after many years, which is true as far as it ... Job application forms also want to know about education, and here I figured the Ph.D. would be no help at all, might ... In Key West I drove my own; in other cities I used Rent-A-Wrecks, which I paid for with a credit card rather than my earnings.

Title:Nickel and Dimed
Author:Barbara Ehrenreich
Publisher:Macmillan - 2010-04-01


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