The Intelligence Of Low Wage Jobs By Barbara Ehrenreich And Mike Rose

1828 Words8 Pages
Many low paid workers can thrive in society and get through their struggles to survive in society, but they lack the respect that they deserve for what they do. Barbara Ehrenreich and Mike Rose share their professional observations on this matter. Ehrenreich shares her research from a chapter in her book “Nickles and Dimes”, “Serving in Florida.” She focuses largely on how low wage workers are oppressed. How little voice worker gets, how difficult it is to survive month to month on low wages, and what sorts of problems the worker gets into because of this lifestyle. Rose shares his experience in his article “The intelligence of the Waitress in motion.” In his article he focuses on how little credit low wage workers receive for utilizing high…show more content…
She decides to take on an experiment and goes undercover to begin her research. At the beginning of June 1998, leaving everything that normally soothes her ego, she takes on her first task. She needed to find her a place to live. A bit terrified and fearful she sets out to explore the world where welfare mothers are entering, at a rate of approximately 50,000 a month, which matches her undercover identity, a divorced homemaker whose sole work experience consists of housekeeping in a few private homes. She eventually finds a place, a cute cabin in a swampy back yard. Shocked that “trailer trash” is what her results turned too. She claims, she is not doing her research for the anthropology or to experience poverty or how it “really feels” to be a long term low wage worker, she already understands it’s not a place to visit. She then says her reason and taking on an experiment as such is approaching this at a “scientific sort of mission.” With this question in mind, is it really possible to make a living on the kinds of jobs currently available to unskilled people? Ehrenreich say the answer is no. On average nation-wide hourly wage of $8.89 is an estimated amount to afford a one bedroom apartment, this is according the National Coalition of the homeless. However such “living wage” is not the solution. Ehrenreich continues her scientific experiment and plunged straight in to it, thinking maybe she will…show more content…
Noticing most job available are in “hospitality industry.” She sets 2 rules for herself. One she can’t use any of her skills derived from her education or usual work and two she had to take the best paid job that is offered and hold it. She then gets out fills out applications and to her amusement, the process to getting a job is as just as exhausting as finding a place to live. At a supermarket she applied too features a fifteen minute interview by a computer and the interview is multiple choice and apparently the most amusing interview question is “ are you an honest person?” Days go by and not one of the 20 places called her for a person to person interview. She found out to get a job is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. She finally lands a job at a “family restaurant,” Taking on a waitress position at Hearth Side Restaurant. Her co-worker Gail a middle age woman trained Ehrenreich for the next eight

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