Nickel and Dimed: The Struggle of Low Wage Americans

September 3, 2021 by Essay Writer

Do you know how people manage to live with minimum wage? Well in the book Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich takes you on her journey to show what it is like for the average low wage American. In this nonfiction passage you will find uniques stories of people that Barbara met in her journey in low paying jobs. Names like Holly, Ted, and George who were workers living of low wage themselves. In the book you see the insight that Barbara gives and how she reflects in the conditions she lived during her experiment. And how her mindset changed in how she viewed the world.

Barbara went undercover to find out how non skilled workers made enough money to live. The experiment occurred in Florida, Maine, and Minnesota, with the creator getting a new line of work and lodgings in every area. The examination was to be held for one month in every area, working all day and living just off the measure of cash earned in low-wage occupations. Meeting along the way people who were in these types of jobs. The objective was to decide if the creator could both live off the cash earned and have enough cash toward the month’s end to pay the following month’s lease.

In the book you can see how it is very stressful to be in these types of jobs. For example, in the story when George was suspected of stealing out of the supplies room you can see how Barbara reflected on the accusations. For instance, in Chapter 1 page 28 in the third paragraph it states, “I wish I could say I stood up to Vic and insisted that George be given a translator and allowed to defend himself or announced that I’d find a lawyer who’d handle the case pro bono.” Barbara wishing she could state that she stood up for Vic and demanded George be given a translator, or that he’s innocent. In any case, she concedes that she’s been contaminated with another alert and weakness, and stresses that in a month or two she may have handed George over. This example shows how the steady weights of an occupation like Barbara’s can influence even somebody’s character, making the person in question progressively scared and malleable and, according to the executives, an increasingly perfect representative.

Another part of this story is how Barbara reflects on how the jobs out their try to get possessive over their workers. For example in Chapter 2 page it states, “At The Maids, a housecleaning service, I am given something called the ‘Accutrac personality test,’ which warns at the beginning that ‘Accutrac has multiple measures which detect attempts to distort or `psych out’ the questionnaire.’ ” At a housecleaning administration called The Maids, Barbara is given the ‘Accutrac personality test,’ which cautions toward the starting that there are various estimates that recognize endeavors to ‘psych out’ the review, however the ‘right’ answers are similarly as straightforward. Barbara chooses the genuine data is for the representatives, who discover that they can stay discreet from their bosses, who will control all aspects of them.“Psyching out” the test is just what Barbara has been doing all along, and she doubts there’s any way to prevent that. In general, for her, these tests symbolize and are meant to promote the authoritarian nature of low-wage work for a corporation.

Low wage jobs seem to make the life of the people working these jobs harden then it should be. Getting to pay each paycheck barely is very hard to actually live a good life. Having the stress to see if your going to make it to the next paycheck isn’t a life anyone should be living. In the book you see the examples of these things because of how these jobs affect these people. An increase in the weight of occupation can lead to changing these peoples characters and then making them scared of their authority. Also the housecleaning administration gave the Accutrac personality test and were warned that you won’t be able to psych out test but the right answers. But in reality she doesn’t know why because in reality she has been faking it to make it. And the test was just a means of corporations asserting their authority on their employees. Looking at this book thinking where are those people are they still working low wages or have they made it to a more stable job.


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