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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.

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