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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Barbara Ehrenreich - Nickel and Dimed- On (Not) Getting By in America (retail) ( epub) - dokument [*.epub] Praise for Nickel and Dimed 'A brilliant on-the-job. Nickel and dimed: on (not) getting by in America. byEhrenreich Identifier nickeldimedonnotehrerich Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.


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Read "Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. Editorial Reviews. resourceone.info Review. Essayist and cultural critic Barbara Ehrenreich has Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America - Kindle edition by Barbara Ehrenreich. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC. Get this from a library! Nickel and dimed: on (not) getting by in America. [Barbara Ehrenreich] -- Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level.

She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," and that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort.

She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

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This work reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity, a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategems for survival. Read it for the author's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom.

You will never see anything, from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal, quite the same way again. In her new afterword she explains why, ten years on in America this book is more relevant than ever. Read more Excerpt Image Click here to access this electronic item ebooks. Show all links. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Electronic books Additional Physical Format: Print version: Ehrenreich, Barbara.

Nickel and dimed. Document, Internet resource Document Type: Barbara Ehrenreich Find more information about: Barbara Ehrenreich.

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Nickel and Dimed

Minimum wage -- United States. View all subjects. My sister has been through one low-paid job after another-phone company business rep, factory worker, receptionist-constantly struggling against what she calls "the hopelessness of being a wage slave.

My father had been a copper miner; uncles and grandfathers worked in the mines or for the Union Pacific. So to me, sitting at a desk all day was not only a privilege but a duty: Adding to my misgivings, certain family members kept reminding me unhelpfully that I could do this project, after a fashion, without ever leaving my study. I could just pay myself a typical entry-level wage for eight hours a day, charge myself for room and board plus some plausible expenses like gas, and total up the numbers after a month.

But if the question was whether a single mother leaving welfare could survive without government assistance in the form of food stamps, Medicaid, and housing and child care subsidies, the answer was well known before I ever left the comforts of home.

Why should I bother to confirm these unpleasant facts? As the time when I could no longer avoid the assignment approached, I began to feel a little like the elderly man I once knew who used a calculator to balance his checkbook and then went back and checked the results by redoing each sum by hand.

Nickel and Dimed

In the end, the only way to overcome my hesitation was by thinking of myself as a scientist, which is, in fact, what I was educated to be. I have a Ph. In that line of business, you can think all you want, but sooner or later you have to get to the bench and plunge into the everyday chaos of nature, where surprises lurk in the most mundane measurements.

Maybe when I got into the project, I would discover some hidden economies in the world of the low-wage worker. Maybe I would even be able to detect in myself the bracing psychological effects of getting out of the house, as promised by the wonks who brought us welfare reform.

Or, on the other hand, maybe there would be unexpected costs-physical, financial, emotional-to throw off all my calculations. The only way to find out was to get out there and get my hands dirty. In the spirit of science, I first decided on certain rules and parameters.

Rule one, obviously enough, was that I could not, in my search for jobs, fall back on any skills derived from my education or usual work-not that there were a lot of want ads for essayists anyway. Two, I had to take the highest-paying job that was offered me and do my best to hold it; no Marxist rants or sneaking off to read novels in the ladies' room.

Three, I had to take the cheapest accommodations I could find, at least the cheapest that offered an acceptable level of safety and privacy, though my standards in this regard were hazy and, as it turned out, prone to deterioration over time. I tried to stick to these rules, but in the course of the project, all of them were bent or broken at some time. In Key West, for example, where I began this project in the late spring of , I once promoted myself to an interviewer for a waitressing job by telling her I could greet European tourists with the appropriate Bonjour or Guten Tag, but this was the only case in which I drew on any remnant of my actual education.

In Minneapolis, my final destination, where I lived in the early summer of , I broke another rule by failing to take the best-paying job that was offered, and you will have to judge my reasons for doing so yourself. And finally, toward the very end, I did break down and rant-stealthily, though, and never within hearing of management.

There was also the problem of how to present myself to potential employers and, in particular, how to explain my dismal lack of relevant job experience. The truth, or at least a drastically stripped-down version thereof, seemed easiest: I described myself to interviewers as a divorced homemaker reentering the workforce after many years, which is true as far as it goes.

Sometimes, though not always, I would throw in a few housecleaning jobs, citing as references former housemates and a friend in Key West whom I have at least helped with after-dinner cleanups now and then. Job application forms also want to know about education, and here I figured the Ph.

So I confined myself to three years of college, listing my real-life alma mater.

No one ever questioned my background, as it turned out, and only one employer out of several dozen bothered to check my references. When, on one occasion, an exceptionally chatty interviewer asked about hobbies, I said "writing" and she seemed to find nothing strange about this, although the job she was offering could have been performed perfectly well by an illiterate.

Finally, I set some reassuring limits to whatever tribulations I might have to endure. First, I would always have a car. Yes, I could have walked more or limited myself to jobs accessible by public transportation. I just figured that a story about waiting for buses would not be very interesting to read. Second, I ruled out homelessness as an option. The idea was to spend a month in each setting and see whether I could find a job and earn, in that time, the money to pay a second month's rent.

If I was paying rent by the week and ran out of money I would simply declare the project at an end; no shelters or sleeping in cars for me.

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Furthermore, I had no intention of going hungry. If things ever got to the point where the next meal was in question, I promised myself as the time to begin the "experiment" approached, I would dig out my ATM card and cheat. So this is not a story of some death-defying "undercover" adventure. Almost anyone could do what I did-look for jobs, work those jobs, try to make ends meet.

In fact, millions of Americans do it every day, and with a lot less fanfare and dithering. I am, of course, very different from the people who normally fill America's least attractive jobs, and in ways that both helped and limited me.

Most obviously, I was only visiting a world that others inhabit full-time, often for most of their lives. With all the real-life assets I've built up in middle age-bank account, IRA, health insurance, multiroom home-waiting indulgently in the background, there was no way I was going to "experience poverty" or find out how it "really feels" to be a long-term low-wage worker. My aim here was much more straightforward and objective-just to see whether I could match income to expenses, as the truly poor attempt to do every day.

Besides, I've had enough unchosen encounters with poverty in my lifetime to know it's not a place you would want to visit for touristic purposes; it just smells too much like fear.

Unlike many low-wage workers, I have the further advantages of being white and a native English speaker. I don't think this affected my chances of getting a job, given the willingness of employers to hire almost anyone in the tight labor market of to , but it almost certainly affected the kinds of jobs I was offered. In Key West, I originally sought what I assumed would be a relatively easy job in hotel housekeeping and found myself steered instead into waitressing, no doubt because of my ethnicity and my English skills.

As it happened, waitressing didn't provide much of a financial advantage over housekeeping, at least not in the low-tip off-season when I worked in Key West.

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But the experience did help determine my choice of other localities in which to live and work. I ruled out places like New York and L. I had other advantages-the car, for example-that set me off from many, though hardly all, of my coworkers.

Ideally, at least if I were seeking to replicate the experience of a woman entering the workforce from welfare, I would have had a couple of children in tow, but mine are grown and no one was willing to lend me theirs for a monthlong vacation in penury. In addition to being mobile and unencumbered, I am probably in a lot better health than most members of the long-term low-wage workforce.

I had everything going for me. If there were other, subtler things different about me, no one ever pointed them out.Amor Towles. CreativeWork , schema: Mencken has assailed the smug rhetoric of prosperity with such scalpel-like precision and ferocious wit.

The Better Angels of Our Nature. Reports from a Divided Nation Dancing in the Streets: In , Barbara Ehrenreich killed to be them. With all the real-life assets I've built up in middle age-bank account, IRA, health insurance, multiroom home-waiting indulgently in the background, there was no way I was going to "experience poverty" or find out how it "really feels" to be a long-term low-wage worker.

Fire and Fury.