Essay Nickel and Dimed Analysis

2333 Words10 Pages
Ed Fleming Rhetorical Analysis Paper English 102 Thurs Hybrid In Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by In America" we read about a middle aged journalist undertaking a social experiment of the greatest magnitude. The journalist is Ehrenreich herself and the experiment was to find out how a woman, recently removed from welfare, due to policy reform, would make it on a six or seven dollar an hour wage. The experiment itself started out as just a question in the middle of lunch with one of Ehrenreich's editors, it soon turned into a job assignment. Before starting the experiment, Ehrenreich laid out some ground rules for her to follow during the duration of the assignment. First she could never use…show more content…
High turnover is something that goes hand in hand with low wage jobs, so companies are always looking for a workers replacement. Finally Ehrenreich is able to secure employment at a place she give the pseudonym, Hearthside. To help protect identies of companies and people she actually worked for and with, Ehrenreich decides to use fake names to achieve anonymity. Ehrenreich starts out at 2.43 an hour plus tips. One of the first things Ehrenreich notices is that the people around her are only working hard enough to get by. Because the managers will yell at anybody who is done with their work, and not doing something new, the workers seem to be happy with just working at a slow pace, doing just one job. Because the only reward for finishing early is being yelled at by a manager, that apparently spends his day doing nothing, there is no real bonus to go the extra mile. Due to this negative reinforcement, Ehrenreich notes that the restaurant is almost moving in counterproductive mode. With less being worked on, less is being accomplished, attributing to the overall sad appearance and low morale of the restaurant and its employees. The next problem Ehrenreich encounters is the constant berating handed out by her supervisor "Stu". Ehrenreich observes that due to this constant barrage of insults and degradations, workers are forced to feel like they are subhuman. Weekly the managers announce
Open Document