Free Study Guide for Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich - Free BookNotes|
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
Ehrenreich wants a new profession while in Minnesota. She thinks she would like retail or factory work. After applying to various Wal-Marts as a divorced housewife re-entering the work force, Ehrenreich realizes that she is unlikely to get hired based on her application alone. From a pay phone in the front of a Wal-Mart, she phones personnel and speaks with Roberta, who tells her that she can offer her a job right as soon as she takes a “survey.” Roberta tells Ehrenreich that she has gotten three answers wrong and they must discuss them further. Ehrenreich is able to account for her answers but is worried about the drug test she must take because of a recent “chemical indiscretion.”
Next, Ehrenreich applies for employment at Menard’s housewares store. Here, she must take another personality test. After a brief interview, she is told that if she passes the drug test, she can work in plumbing at $8.50 an hour. That weekend, Ehrenreich buys...............
This chapter focuses on three important aspects of being a low-wage worker, which Ehrenreich has not yet addressed: the costly application process, the perhaps class-ist drug test, and the importance of unionizing.
Ehrenreich realizes that the application process requires a lot of time. It takes her hours to drive to numerous places filling out the actual applications. She spends two hours for one drug test. Moreover, there is the wait period in between filling out the applications, meeting for an interview, taking the drug test, and then waiting for the results. She notes that in addition to the cost of one’s time, there is gas money to consider as well as the price of a babysitter if someone has children.
Ehrenreich takes issue with the drug test. She notes that the only drug which is truly detectable after a reasonable amount of........
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. 28 May 2008