Download Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich PDF

By Barbara Ehrenreich

The New York Times bestseller, and some of the most pointed out books of the yr, Nickel and Dimed has already develop into a vintage of undercover reportage.

Millions of american citizens paintings for poverty-level wages, and at some point Barbara Ehrenreich made up our minds to affix them. She was once encouraged partially via the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any task equals a greater existence. yet how can somebody live to tell the tale, not to mention prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? to determine, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the most affordable accommodations on hand and accepting paintings as a waitress, lodge maid, condominium purifier, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesclerk. She quickly came upon that even the "lowliest" occupations require arduous psychological and actual efforts. And one activity isn't adequate; you wish not less than in case you intend to dwell indoors.

Nickel and Dimed unearths low-wage the US in all its tenacity, anxiousness, and excellent generosity -- a land of huge bins, quick foodstuff, and one thousand determined thoughts for survival. immediately acclaimed for its perception, humor, and fervour, this e-book is altering the way in which the US perceives its operating poor.

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Sample text

11 Prophetically enough, I caught a rerun of that very show on PBS over the weekend and was struck by how terribly correct the servants looked in their black-and-white uniforms and how much wiser they were than their callow, egotistical masters. We too have uniforms, though they are more oafish than dignified-ill- fitting and in an overloud combination of kelly- green pants and a blinding sunflower-yellow polo shirt. And, as is explained in writing and over the next day and a half of training, we too have a special code of decorum.

Or maybe you lose your home because you've been living with a mother or a sister who throws you out when her boyfriend comes back or because she needs the bed or sofa you've been sleeping on for some other wayward family member. And there you are. And here I am-as clueless and alone as I have ever been in my grownup life. A. asks of recovering alcoholics is to make "a searching and fearless moral inventory" of themselves, and now, alone in my motel room, I find myself fairly obsessed with my stuff, how much of it there is and how long it will last.

For a forty-hour week, our pay at The Maids would amount to $266, or $43 above the poverty level. 39 NICKEL AND DIMED For a former waitress such as myself, this is pretty much a breeze. The residents start drifting in forty minutes before breakfast is ready, by walker and wheelchair or just marching stiffly on their own power, and scuffle briefly over who sits where. I rush around pouring coffee-decaf only, Linda warns, otherwise things can get pretty wild - and taking "orders," trying to think of it as a restaurant, although in a normal restaurant, I cannot help thinking, very few customers smell like they're carrying a fresh dump in their undies.

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