Nickel and Dimed

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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In the story, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich takes us on a journey into a life of penny-pinching, welfare, low wages and near homelessness. She shows us what it is like for a middle-aged woman to survive on minimum wage, live in terrible conditions and the search for job security. Ehrenreich does a great job of portraying how hard some people can have it, and that their whole life may be a struggle to survive.

Being a teenager, with a loving, caring family, whom I get along with great I have never had truly hard times. I have never been homeless because my family has provided and taken care of my shelter. My health insurance has come from my parents as well. As far as jobs, it was never truly necessary for me to have a job, but in order for me to become more independent and take on responsibility I needed to get a job.

My first job ever was working at a fast food restaurant where I made $6.50 an hour. It wasn?t too bad but my boss was very controlling and I could not tolerate him so I quit. Recently I had an alternated with two jobs. One was umpiring baseball on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for $24 a game or about $11 an hour and working a job at a nursing home for $8 an hour on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. So with my parents and those jobs, my situation has never been rough.

Since reading this book, my look on blue-collar people has not changed because my family is a blue-collar family itself (not enough to be white-collar), and I know the hard work it takes to survive as a family. This book did however, make me respect people who are struggling...