Barbara Ehrenreich And The American Dream Essay

Barbara Ehrenreich And The American Dream Essay

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Millions of Americans work and survive on minimum wage, form teens looking for extra money to middle aged Americans working fulltime and senior citizens. It was a curiosity to Barbara Ehrenreich to understand how so many survive on such low wages and what is there quality of life like. Barbara quickly immersed herself in her work and then continued her experiment and replicated her situation three times along the way in very different locations and jobs. She invoked a set of rules for herself and allotted herself some startup money. What she encountered is what millions of Americans face daily.
Barbara who grew up in a blue collar family whose father was a miner that worked his way out of the mines to a union job; was the perfect example of the American dream. Giving her the opportunity that perhaps different circumstances might not have been afforded to her. A lingering question lying in the back of her mind - What if her father never left the mines?
Barbara starts her journey in Key West Florida. A tourist town she quickly tasks herself with finding housing and a job. Filling out applications and calling around looking for jobs. She realizes that employers of low wage jobs are constantly receiving applications so that they have a steady supply of potential backups in case someone gets fired or decides to no longer show up to work. This makes looking for jobs wearisome. Barbara lands a job at Hearthside, where she for the second time in her life learns the ins and outs of waiting tables. Having found a $500 dollar month efficiency 45 minutes away from work (Ehrenreich 12). Soon to realize she would need a second job to afford all of her minimal living expenses. She is unlike many of her fellow employees who have un...


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...y requested or paid sick days. The hospitality industry is a daunting industry and constantly pleasing those guests can be a challenge. Yet providing a safe and healthy work environment for ones employees should not be traded for provide a pleasing experience. Perhaps in the house keeping industry the beds could be raised to keep from constantly bending over stressing the spine. Building a vacuums system in the walls of the building so that they would no longer need to cart around heavy vacuums just the wand and hose. Or it could just be as simple as not trying to squeeze every last bit of productivity out of someone in a day and seeing that they go home healthy coming back to work time after time. There are many possible solutions to a very broad question however it is important to remember as a manager that we are all working together for the same result.

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