Day 3

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    What does Ehrenreich learn during the Wal-Mart orientation about the company and how it thinks about its employees? How does she evaluate the orientation overall?

    Ehrenreich is invited to orientation without explicitly being told that she’s hired, nor being told her wages (until she asks). This evasiveness speaks to one way employers hope to keep wages low: by keeping them out of the conversation until it's too late and relying on potential employees’ discomfort with conflict or asking direct questions. Once again, Ehrenreich goes through an orientation in which the corporation at large, rather than middle management, instructs employees in how best to fulfill its own...

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