Ehlereich would attempt to live as frugally as possible during her experiment, which meant, among other things, that she would forego spending money on new clothes, on entertainment, or on anything that was not absolutely necessary for survival.
The first stop on Ehlereich’s itinerary was Key West, Florida.
One of the first things Ehlereich noticed was that the availability of jobs for unskilled laborers was much smaller than one would be led to believe by the number of job openings advertised.
After sending out dozens of applications and hearing nothing back, Ehlereich finally is offered a job as a waitress.
Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions.
Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. It is important to note how Ehrenreich chose to put "not" in parentheses, and that choice on her part is directly related to her primary theme which is that it is virtually impossible to provide basic needs for one's self by working one minimum wage job.
Those without means to purchase a fridge lose out on the savings, and moreover, are forced by their condition to subsist on cheap, but often unhealthy, food sold in convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
After Key West, Ehlereich makes a second go at her experiment in Portland, Maine, where she again takes two separate jobs – one as a housecleaner with The Maids housekeeping company, the other as an aide at a local nursing home.
What is perhaps most astonishing of all in Nickel and Dimed, however, is the resignation expressed by those whom Ehlereich works beside.
It raises an important question: if those in some of the higher echelons of society are able to recognize the injustice and exploitation evident in Ehlereich’s narrative, why are those who are subject to such treatment unable to recognize it as such?