New: Book Report: Nickel and Dimed

I've been having a good time this weekend, hanging out at social gatherings around various in-town out-of-towners. I guess I should report on a happy book, but instead the next book in line is Nickel and Dimed.

The author, Barbara Ehrenreich works some entry-level jobs and lives on the cheap. The next time someone tells you that we don't need to roll back welfare reform, tell them to read this book. Better yet, tell them to live this book. Move to a new city with a car and about $1500. Bootstrap your way to a life, pretending you weren't a college graduate: find a place to live, find a job. Don't run out of money. Good luck.

Ehrenreich writes about this stuff well. For me, the most eye-opening chapter was the one in which she worked with a cleaning service. What did I learn? Not only do many people treat cleaning ladies poorly--but also some cleaning services don't even do a good job of cleaning. That is, the service specifically tells their personnel to use methods that don't work well. Reading about the dirt and bacteria left behind... oh man, I was about ready to go all Howard Hughes.

The safety net is gone; some assholes get a kick out of ordering menial labor towards no purpose; we are doomed. There are funny bits, there are sad bits. It's a good read. Check it out.

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Posted 2008-02-24

 Tom Galloway said...

Actually, there's been a book in response to this;;=I3I1EY8Y010UZ4&colid;=381MVLNF6I3D6
is a listing for a book by a just out of college guy who took $25 and the clothes on his back to a random city (Charleston, SC) with a goal of having an apartment, car, and savings of $2500 in a year without using his contacts or listing his education on a resume or such. Haven't read it myself yet though, but saw a piece on it a while back and thought it looked interesting.

24 February, 2008 15:55