Caroline was in constant stress and anxiety, in addition to pain from work. During one day of work she twists her ankle and is unable to walk without pain. This merely causes the workers to do nothing more than resent the affluent, which does little more than cause the workers to do suboptimal work in the house because of the way they were treated. The Economics of Poverty. The waitress position becomes increasingly difficult as well, and Ehrenreich leaves the job before the month has been completed.

She attempts to find lodgings that she could sustain only with the money coming in from a job. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class. Say what the employer wants to hear even if you do not agree. Everything she looks at, she realizes, has its own disadvantages. Caroline also met her current husband in Florida, though the two suffered bouts of homelessness before ending up here. The one bright spot of her days is Melissa, who works alongside her in ladies department. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ehrenreich spends more time looking for a place to live than in the other cities.

She surprised that with so little experience on the job she is given barnara a responsibility. Barbara drinks a caffeinated coffee—rare for her—and finds herself wired for the next steps: Say what the employer wants to hear even if you do not agree. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ehrenreich spends more time looking for a place to live than in the other cities. Characters All Characters Barbara Ehrenreich.

“Selling in Minnesota” by Barbara Ehrenreich

When Ehrenreich eventually leaves at the end of the month, Melissa decides to quit to rather than work at the Wal-Mart without her. The cockatiel, constantly squawking and pacing, prevents any kind of relaxation.

She is trying to negotiate a further reduction in the cost with the fitting room lady when Howard appears and says there are no employee discounts on clearance items. Important Quote and Explanation from.


But her thought is also a reminder that the people bzrbara shop at Wal-Mart are sometimes taking a brief respite from their own home and work struggles. She sees the results first-hand: She decides to find what she can and keep looking later.

Worried about being too overqualified for the job, she then feels underqualified as the job is revealed as being difficult and physically demanding. You can jump quickly to the other parts of this review of Nickel and Dimed using these links: Prosperity, ironically, is increasing upward pressure on rents and further hurting low-wage minnesotaa.

She keeps her laptop computer locked in the trunk of her car rather than leave it at the hotel. The ehgenreich company offered free breakfasts but would not raise their wages even as they repeatedly came up short handed.

selling in minnesota by barbara ehrenreich essay

Though Barbara never finds an apartment, her last attempt is to call the United Way of Minneapolis, through which she finally reaches the Community Emergency Assistance Program. Her two minute breaks are now vital, and she tries to bzrbara simultaneous needs of drinking, getting outside, and sitting down, especially when heading to the Radio Grill for an iced tea could waste four precious minutes.

selling in minnesota by barbara ehrenreich essay

Abrbara aid, like the food aid options in Portland, Maine, turns out to be far less helpful than Barbara might have hoped. Scrubbing in Maine by Trent Hamm Updated on The waitressing position lasted only two weeks, instead of the planned four weeks, and Ehrenreich did not believe she would have been able to make the next months rent on the trailer had she stayed in either job. However, Caroline also had two kids to support. The company has its own vacuum that is worn on the back like a backpack.

Nickel and Dimed: Scrubbing in Maine

But at 6 or 7, she starts to detest the shoppers—the toddlers who pull down everything in reach, the obese Caucasians—and consider them merely an interruption from how things should be, with every piece of clothing unsold and in its place.


The main way that wages are kept low is by reinforcing the low self-esteem portion she found inherent in each job. It seems this was the wrong approach—it pays to be a full-blown suck-up.

selling in minnesota by barbara ehrenreich essay

As Barbara deals with monotony at work, her home life has its own difficulties, as even a motel beyond her budget fails to satisfy basic needs of cleanliness and safety. Ehrenreich decides to take the second job, as it is the only way she will be able to stay in her trailer.

Ehrenreich is asked to go complete a drug test, which essah a problem because she recently smoked marijuana, even though the drug test does not test for LSD or heroin. You are commenting using your Facebook account. This is where Ehrenreich has another realization; life is hard and with risks can come possible rewards.

“Selling in Minnesota” by Barbara Ehrenreich | amelaenglish

After leaving Maine, Ehrenreich travels to Minnesota, where she attempts to find both a job and an affordable place to live. Employees could lose their voice to the union organizers and even their wages and benefits would be put at risk, the video warns.

The service industry is often underpaid for the work they do, and showing them that you appreciate and value their work can do nothing but make your own life easier and better. Ted, the boss, is strict with the women who work for him and keeps them to a rigid schedule that they must adhere essqy.