Nickel and Dimed: Book Review

1182 WordsFeb 23, 20075 Pages
Can someone really live and prosper in American receiving minimal income? Can someone create a good lifestyle for themselves on just six to seven dollars an hour? In Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover to find out if it is indeed possible. Giving herself only $1,000 she leaves the lifestyle that she has come accustomed too and goes to join all the people living the low class way of life. Before setting out, she gave herself a list of rules she had to follow so that her experience would be as real as it could be. Her first rule was when looking for a job she couldn 't mention the skills she had learned from her education. Second, she had to take the highest paying job that was being offered to her. Third, she had to live…show more content…
Days go by and she 's getting tired form the physical labor that comes with the house cleaning service. She explains what she was doing with her co-workers at the cleaning service and calls in sick after her last day at the nursing home. In Chapter 3 she starts over again in Minnesota. She finds herself lucky here because she gets to stay at a friends while there out of town, saving her the trouble of finding housing right away. Although, after her friends return, here she ends up having the most trouble finding a place to live. She lives in a hotel throughout her experience in Minnesota. This really messes up her money situation. Ehrenreich applies for many different jobs and ends up choosing between Wal-Mart and Menards. She picks Wal-Mart and find herself working in the women 's department organizing and hanging up clothes. She realizes that she must became friendly with the dressing room attendants in order to make her job easier. Again her supervisors constantly get on her about wasting time. She uses her break times to talk to her fellow workers about a union but quits before really getting anything started. In the end Barbara ended up breaking all of the rules she had set for herself but she feels that she did a good job at her project. She was alarmed by the way that some of her co-workers lived and felt that she learned a lot from her experiences. I really enjoyed reading this book. It truly gives you a
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