Serving in Florida Analysis Essay

1742 WordsNov 15, 20127 Pages
Jerry’s: White-Collar Scholar to Blue-Collar Waitress Creamy carrion, pizza barf, decomposing lemon wedges, and water-logged toast crusts; sounds like the typical garbage can. Would anyone believe that these phrases apply to a run-down restaurant in the middle of Florida? Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover at a local fast food diner known as Jerry’s to investigate life as a blue-collar laborer, serving to customers arriving in “human waves” (Ehrenreich 180). It is throughout her journey working for both Jerry’s and a factory known as Hearthside that she learns the difficulties faced with minimum wage and severe working conditions, and how the career you pursue and the environment that the career puts you in can change you. Through the…show more content…
Her language become more and more crude, especially when she mentions how her “flesh seems to bond to the seat” (181). The reader can easily detect her ever-mounting anger with the situation she has put herself in and what at first seemed like a heroic act ends up being one leading to pure defeat. As an extension to this idea, Ehrenreich shows the reader how certain hardships can make it difficult to try new things. In multiple instances throughout the essay she uses crude language to display her disgusted thoughts and sense of hopelessness, but it can be seen specifically in the introduction. The introduction is based off of her entire experience; after her jobs at Hearthside and Jerry’s. She compares the environment at Jerry’s to a human body, and not in a very pleasant way: “The kitchen is cavern, a stomach leading to the lower intestine that is the garbage and dishwashing area…” She also uses descriptive items of food to depict its scent, combining strange and appalling odors such as “decomposing lemon wedges [and] water-logged toast crusts” (179). These phrases themselves create a negative image of the restaurant, commanding the readers to question how she could have possibly been forced to work in such horrible conditions. Ehrenreich’s rough language effectively shows certain emotions brought out by the transition from writer to waitress, a white collar to a blue collar job, and the hardships that it brought. Supplementing her crude tone, Ehrenreich’s
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