Featured Post

Increasing Diversity in Wilmette Real Estate

Today in class we discussed the debate over the addition of affordable living in Wilmette, IL. As a resident of Wilmette, I took it upon mys...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Nickel and Dimed : Power and Class

In Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich struggles with finding the right balance to expressing her feelings. She notices injustices in the workplace and wants to take a stand but isn't always able to. In each of her jobs she has a different amount of voice. For example, when working as a maid Ehrenreich was able to express her feelings to her co-workers and even stand up to her boss, Ted. One day, her co-worker Holly injured her ankle, following the injury Holly was in evident pain but continued to work and attempt to conceal her injury from her boss. Ehrenreich takes it upon herself to talk to Ted, "In the office Ted thanks me for my 'concern' and says he's taken my advice about Holly and sent her home" (Page 114). If she had attempted to give advice to her managers while working as a waitress, the advice would have been taken differently and overall frowned upon.

As an employee at Walmart, they do not have a union. During her days there, Ehrenreich works to build up alliances among the employees and attempt to start a union. She is outraged by the amount of wok that is done for such little pay and wants to do whatever she can to be given fair treatment. On page 185, Ehrenreich describes her efforts to form a union as "amusing" and explains that she has "nothing to lose." Having a say in your workplace is important and she makes an effort to give a say to the workers of Walmart.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Nickel and Dimed : Privelege

Throughout Barbara Ehrenreich's, Nickel and Dimed, advantages and dis-advantages of certain characteristics are very clear. Ehrenreich explains that she has "the best case scenario" when it comes to finding a job. Several times throughout the book she is looked at in a different way then those of a different ethnicity. For example, when looking for a job in housekeeping she was "steered instead into waitressing, no doubt because of my ethnicity and my English skills," (Page 7). If Ehrenreich had been of a different ethnicity, finding her desired job in housekeeping may have been easier for her and she would have been considered differentlt when applying. Ethnicity should not be a determining factor in life and should not prevent those from doing what they desire. For a waitress position the need of English is logical but ethnicity should not play a role and everyone should be given equal consideration and opportunity.

In addition to the struggles different groups experience finding a job, certain setbacks exist outside of the work place. When wearing her Maids uniform, Ehrenreich notices that she is treated differently. An example of this is the poor treatment she received at the supermarket, she describes, "Maybe, it occurs to me, I'm getting a tiny glimpse of what it would be like to be black," (Page 100). A simple appearance can cause for someone to receive treatment that they do not deserve. She compares other viewing her in the low-class as similar to the treatment received by certain races. The experiences in this book are eye-opening and truly show the advantages and privileges that certain types of people are gifted with.