Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, is a well written but frightening book that looks into the real lives of invisible, low wage, hard working Americans. Ehrenreich brings up many topics that are rarely spoken about in our society and decides to go back to "old-fashioned" journalism to find out how women, who are pushed in the labor market after leaving welfare and without government assistance, could survive on the wages of the typical low paid - unskilled worker, which is only half of what is considered a living wage. So she did what millions of Americans do, she found a small trailer in which to live, got two jobs, and tried to make ends meet with what little she had. .
With all the advantages of a high education, relatively good health, a car, and some money, Barbara has to work two jobs, seven days a week, and lives in a small trailer. She leaves behind her middle class life as a journalist and tries to sustain herself as a low skilled worker. During 1999- 2000, she tries to battle two jobs in Florida, working the breakfast/ lunch shift at Jerry's Restaurant from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and quickly arriving at Hearthside to work from about 2:10 p.m. until 10:00. This soon become overwhelming and Ehrenreich decides to resign from Hearthside. She finally lands her "dream job" which is housekeeping while she still works at Jerry's. She is faced with and overcomes many physical, psychological, and emotional triumphs along the way. .
I think that Barbara Ehrenreich is a brave, smart, and courageous women who still maintains her sense of humor even after she lowers her lifestyle to that of a underpaid unskilled worker. Nickel and Dimed is a well written book that provides the truth to many unspoken topics that arise in our society. Ehrenreich also did a great job in exposing the life of the less fortunate. In just one chapter she shows us that no one in our society wants to be in their shoes, but even if they do try to move up from their social status, they do not have the opportunity to do so.