Nickle and Dimed

Topics: Minimum wage, Wage, Employment Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: December 1, 2013

Nickel and Dimed is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Barbara Ehrenreich is a down-to-earth, skilled Journalist with a Ph.D. in biology, who does not try to be someone she is not. In Nickel and Dimed, she goes undercover as a divorced homemaker that is trying to reenter the workforce after many years to investigate and experience what it is like to live in the United States working in a minimum-wage job and getting by as a low-class citizen. Over a two-year span, Barbara traveled to 3 different states to undergo her undercover investigation. She works at minimum-wage jobs such as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing home aid and a Wal-Mart associate for a month at a time to see if she is able to match her earnings to her expense. Even though she is going to be undercover, she will still have her car, will not allow herself to become homeless nor go hungry and will “cheat” and use her ATM card, if necessary. Barbara set three rules she must follow in her experiment in which she breaks at some point: she could not rely on her skills and education to get the job, must take the highest paying job, and take the cheapest and safest living condition for her. At the end of her experiment, Barbara rates her performance as a B+.

When it comes to the format and structure of Nickel and Dimed, Barbara does a good job with writing the book so that it flows well and does not have any parts in it that will make you confused with the story. In order to keep the flow of the book, she saves all of the statistics and other information that may not be important to put in the story and uses what we call footnotes at the bottom of the pages where it is necessary. The tone given off by Barbara is polite yet offensive at times. She is empathic and supportive when it comes to her co-workers discussing their personal thoughts and feelings they are having whether it is work related or situations going on at home. Although Barbara is nice and comforting to her co-workers,...
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