As Ehrenreich ventures out to start her undercover journey her first destination is Key West, Florida. She manages to find a job as a waitress fairly quickly and succeeds in maintaining herself financially while working. Not long after starting, she is able to see firsthand what struggles her co-workers are dealing with on a daily basis. The harsh treatment and unrealistic expectations from the managers result in an overall negative atmosphere for the team morale, mental state, and attitude towards the job entirely. The management personnel also seem to come across as a bit degrading towards the employees.
Throughout Ehrenreich’s venture to the various states and job titles, she continuously observes the same sad patterns repetitively. The businesses that she works at are denying breaks, a clean work environment, and in some cases real job training. Businesses are refusing to pay enough in wages to allow an employee to cover the costs of safe and adequate housing. Employees are forced to have to turn to living in their vehicles or with a working roommate. A second income from a roommate