Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, works for the prestigious New Yorker magazine. One day over lunch with a famous editor discussing possible stories to write, she comments that the minimum wage is too low. She thinks someone used to more money should try to live on this pittance. The editor, Lewis Lapham, assigns her the story. This is not good news for Ehrenreich. Having spent her childhood with middle class struggling people, she does not want to live a life of risk or discomfort. Also, she's older and doesn't want to do hard physical labor or live in an inferior building. Therefore, the author makes some rules for herself on this assignment. She won't rely on her superior education or the skills she normally uses to support herself. So she does an experiment to see if she can survive working on low wage to support herself.
Barbara Ehrenreich - Author was the main character of the book, conceiving and carrying out the low-wage experiments. Ehrenreich kept her real name while applying for jobs, though she did not reveal her Ph.D. in biology, or her background as a writer. B.J. - B.J. was a manager at the first job Ehrenreich took during the experiment, at a restaurant in Key West.
George- George was a dishwasher in the Key West Restaurant. An immigrant from Czechoslovakia, George spoke little English and had trouble understanding the problems that were happening in the restaurant around him. He was eventually accused of stealing from the restaurant and fired without understanding the reason.
Ted- Is the manager of The Maids, a housekeeping service in Maine that Ehrenreich joins. Ted attempts to get Ehrenreich to tell him about any employees who have been complaining about their jobs. Ehrenreich believes that many of the women working for The Maids are doing so to gain Ted’s approval.
Holly- Holly is a maid who works with Ehrenreich in...