By Barbara Ehrenreich
Millions of american citizens paintings full-time, year-round, for poverty point wages. Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich determined to hitch them to be able to learn the way someone survives on six money an hour. So all started a gruelling, hair-raising and darkly humorous odyssey although the underworld of operating America.
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Additional info for Nickel and Dimed: Undercover in Low-Wage USA
The regulation poster in the single unisex rest room admonishes us to wash our hands thoroughly, and even offers instructions for doing so, but there is always some vital substance missing—soap, paper towels, toilet paper—and I never found all three at once. You learn to stuff your pockets with napkins before going in there, and too bad about the customers, who must eat, although they don't realize it, almost literally out of our hands. The break room summarizes the whole situation: there is none, because there are no breaks at Jerry's.
Put your hand down on any counter and you risk being stuck to it by the film of ancient syrup spills, and this is unfortunate because hands are utensils here, used for scooping up lettuce onto the salad plates, lifting out pie slices, and even moving hash browns from one plate to another. The regulation poster in the single unisex rest room admonishes us to wash our hands thoroughly, and even offers instructions for doing so, but there is always some vital substance missing—soap, paper towels, toilet paper—and I never found all three at once.
He accepts my resignation with a shrug, his main concern being that I return my two polo shirts and aprons. Gail would have triumphed at Jerry's, I'm sure, but for me it's a crash course in exhaustion management. Years ago, the kindly fry cook who trained me to waitress at a Los Angeles truck stop used to say: Never make an unnecessary trip; if you don't have to walk fast, walk slow; if you don't have to walk, stand. But at Jerry's the effort of distinguishing necessary from unnecessary and urgent from whenever would itself be too much of an energy drain.