Nickel and Dimed

1333 Words May 19th, 2006 6 Pages
Is America truly the land of endless opportunities? People from all over the world come to the US in high hopes of becoming rich with minimal efforts. Sadly, this is not the case. After reading Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, I have a new outlook on individuals struggling to get by on low wage paying jobs in America. Barbara travels to Florida, Maine, and Minnesota to "investigate" life as low wage worker. She plays a different role in each of these three states to experience the true life of these workers. She works at four different low paying jobs as a waitress, housekeeper at a hotel, house cleaner and a Wal-Mart associate. In the course of three months she finds insight in life with minimum wage. Reading this novel has truly …show more content…
Whereas professionals who become ill can take a day off and still get paid and their benefits. "Now if I get a migraine, I just pop two Excedrin 's and get on with my life." That 's what you have to do- work through it." That is what Barbara said she would do. One of her co-workers said, "What I would like is to be able to take a day off now and then.. If I had to.. And still be able to buy groceries the next day" That is really upsetting. In my ever day life I never think about not having food when I want it and worrying about buying something when I 'm hungry. Whereas these lower class citizens count ever penny and their biggest worry is putting food on the table. The third and last investigation took place in Minnesota. This time Barbara decided to go into retail at a local Wal Mart. In order for her to receive the job she had to go through numerous tests. First the application, then the interview, and lastly the drug testing. They are subjected to humiliation and embarrassment at the interview process as they are required to complete drug tests and personality tests, but they are also searched randomly by their employers for drugs, thefts and other threats. When looking for an apartment Barbara never disregards areas to live because of their bad reputation. Drug dealing, prostitution, etc. Many upper class people are raised to know that those such things are bad and to avoid them. But to people earning minimum wage and worrying about a place to lay their head
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