Ehrenreich gets a job as a waitress in a diner-style restaurant, and finds a trailer to rent nearby. A woman there suggests she moves into a homeless shelter to save up for a rent and deposit, and sends her to another office to apply for a housing subsidy. Ehrenreich decides to use her free time while at work to teach George English. Economists actually say that rent should be around 30 percent of income, but Barbara is obviously far from being able to follow ideal economic advice. This is where Ehrenreich has another realization; life is hard and with risks can come possible rewards.

The housekeeping position proved to be physically demanding as well as low paying, and Ehrenreich also felt the job to be degrading. A twenty-something named Stan is eager to talk to her about wages: On one Saturday, a heavier shopping day, she arrives to clothes tossed inches deep on the floor, but reaches a kind of flow state in which all her tasks seem to complete themselves. The woman mixes Barbara up several times with someone else who worked at Wal-Mart who came in a few days ago. That evening, Barbara scopes out the low-priced food options in Clearview—only a Chinese buffet or Kentucky Fried Chicken.

On Sunday she goes to the home of an aunt of a friend from New York.

“Selling in Minnesota” by Barbara Ehrenreich

She switches to barara room with a bed, chair, drawers, and a TV fastened to the wall, ehrenreoch a single overhead bulb. 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. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Nickel and Dimedwhich you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

She can see through the other motel windows to rooms with a woman with a baby, two bunches of teenagers, and various single men. Sign In Sign Up.


She dozes on and off, realizing at one point in the night that poor women really do have more to fear than women who live in houses with double locks, dogs, and husbands. Having gotten a relatively comprehensive introduction to the trials of low-wage labor in waitressing and housecleaning, Barbara is now ready for a change. She decides to try to plant the idea of the union into the other employee’s minds.

selling in minnesota by barbara ehrenreich essay

His regular meetings seem pointless to her, and only feed into the monotony. Individuals and Corporate Rhetoric. She laments the lack of any encouragement or compliments from her coworkers on her performance, and decides she was average, but capable. But she quit bbarbara she expected to, as a slew of difficult customers convinced her to quit her job mid-shift and with no notice.

Themes and Colors Key.

The job is extremely low paying and she is unable sellung afford much of anything outside her house in payment.

This begs the question: The first red flag raised is the inherent distrust of the working class by the affluent. She heads that way, then sneaks outside to her car, at one point having to dodge into shoes to avoid Howard.

“Selling in Minnesota” by Barbara Ehrenreich | amelaenglish

She finds her work at Wal-Mart repetitive and monotonous, and begins to believe that the sellihg are working part too hard for the wages they are given.

Her sleeping problems ceased and she feels much better during the day at work. She decides that had she continued in barbra few of the jobs, such as the one at Wal-Mart, she would have fared well and been eventually raised in position and pay. For example, at my previous job I used to give the janitor dssay birthday gift and would every once in a while bring a leftover meal sellinf home and give to him.

Marge teaches Ehrenreich about the different pain medications that can help with the physical pain caused by performing the housekeeping duties. But as no one else will join her in the stoppage, she eventually pitches in and cleans the bxrbara. This is where Ehrenreich has another realization; life is hard and with risks can come possible rewards.

  R001 CASE STUDY 2016

Barbara attempts to cling to her dignity by looking presentable. Caroline went about her life with the same aspirations, to start fresh in a new place with a new job. Can we learn anything from this noble experiment?

Ehrenreich is asked to go complete a drug test, which is a problem because she recently smoked marijuana, even though the drug test does not test for LSD or heroin. Ehrenreich decides to take the second job, as it is the only way she will be able to stay in her trailer.

The woman says Barbara has been putting certain T-shirts away in the wrong place. Barbara is bg now realizing how vast Minneapolis is, and that her two job possibilities are about 30 miles apart.

selling in minnesota by barbara ehrenreich essay

Caroline took Irene in and she got a job, but after awhile Irene started drinking and carousing and finally left to live with a man. It seems this was the wrong approach—it pays to be a full-blown suck-up. She refuses to see a doctor but instead wants to finish their day’s work. 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.

After complaining to Ted, he gives Holly a day off to seek medical treatment.