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

chapter 3 Nickeled and dime



Barbara identifies stereotypical appearance characteristics of her co-workers that hint at their level of poverty. Describe these characteristics and discuss why they are related to poverty.


Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Caroline’s situation was even more precarious, we learn: she had two children to take care of. How did she do it? She found a church as soon as she arrived in Orlando, thereby found a school for her twelve year-old and day care for her baby, got a job cleaning hotel rooms, and made friends. Caroline tells Ehrenreich the whole story—the anxiety, the onset of diabetes, “bouts of homelessness” and more “interstate travel”, but also a new marriage, new friends, and new foundations.Ellie is her manager at Walmart. and she actually takes quite a liking to her: “Ellie,” she notes, “must be the apotheosis of ‘servant leadership’ or, in more secular terms, the vaunted ‘feminine’ style of management. She says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’; she doesn’t order, she asks.” Howard, the assistant manager, is another story, and constantly rails about “time theft” (i.e. employees standing around talking to one another). Melissa is a coworker she mentions, who once buys her a sandwich because she has heard that Ehrenreich lives in a motel and only eats fast food, and feels sorry for her; Ehrenreich is overwhelmed by the generosity of this simple gesture.