ehrenreich-nickelanddimed

ehrenreich-nickelanddimed - M-,rylol ql Jo plroM a log I u...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: M-,rylol ql Jo plroM a log I u aqM'aqdey4 /aln}€u Jo so€rlJ {^1' ' ssau 1sn[ ,uop n od 1 lg z a^ol I l eqt ) ro^ elol p u€'preoq p ue asdu d ed 1 snIp por q plno) 1;o,u a8ervt uaur.,{Iwe; u IeUaJ )xauraas detu 11 IIINIOS E I OU S I > IJO,\^ 9b9 'ft)Zt,'d/ g6Z Lunlo^6661.tenuel,autzu\alAg , a f s ,ndtug lnq'suorsrlloJ uo-p€aLl a^rlJaJJaaJou aql SurleroruatuuroJ sassorJ alR{l\ALlllt\ pappnls a prspeor e 3 uo1e/ a^rJp a ql a leq I ' slsrJnol u erpeue] p azep-uns a ruos pulqaq_lq8ner 1 aB + ,uop I p ue u orlJnJlsuof, p eoJ o u s ,alar{l } r s a}nulu a ArJ -dyo1 Surueatu '1sa7q,{a; ;o saqrunl;oddo 1uau.,{o1dua ar{}'ruoJy demq8rq auel-oMl e d n s alu d lrrq1 d ruarJrJJaL lluotu-e-00g$ e r o; o B p ue , aJuarua^ -uoJ pue dlqrqeproge uaa^/uaq JJo-apeJluoururoJ aql a>Ieurol aprJap I oS 'o1 a rrdse o 1 f ro8alet r rqderSoruap E , aur r o; , aruoraq seq , ,qserl l eIre4 , ,leq] a zrleal o l > lJor{s s l } l , llps . sumorq q seq J raql d r; p ue e r slalro+ Jrar{l ueap oq.,ra ldoad aql qll'v\ a areds 8urnr1 ro; aladuoc dqllearn aql i pue s lsrrnol a raqm a reld r aqlo d ue r o , uolsog J o , apunllal r o , a1o11 osl:efl u . anrsuadxa ro ' earv d eg a ql r o ' d1r3 s r l saM d a; l q8rrlly' T roI * raN s r o s l ng 'r{rear du puofaq /luar arl} sr,q8noql ,ace1d srgl IIa,\,rfl rl}uour e gL9gry qrlq,vl r{llm t ualqord 8 rq a r{J ' raqrsurd u eturaqoq s ,prolpuel a ql B urpe^a y o a 8ual -ler{J aql dluo 'uorsra^lp ,uorsrnalal ou ,sueJ ou ,suaalJs ou Jo f,em f,q,pue 'SuruoqrpuoJ-Jre ou s€rl 'uMor uroJJ alrJp arnunu-.r""1yty lpr{l Burseald e ,auo aql a>lrl-sawor{ Jalr€Jl pue sasnoqdolJ ol aur saurluoJ qcnw dpard sIIl /a^rl I ,aqdeur Jo ,lual uo aJarIM 'eare 1sar14 a; aql uI '009$ ,sarluouoJa ala^as d Wlvr 009$ puads ol proJJe ueJ I-alqeop suaas ,spe lu€,\,!.aql uroJJ ,LIJrqn.-Jnor{ .aArT ue ol areld e pulJ ol fl >lsel lsrry dyrl lg urea uer I Jr leql arn8ry I ,pue ,a8a1 ,,'VIB,,,Xluorrruror lsotu ,,,arpuolq,, ,,,f,auoq,, ,,,f,qnq,,ure 1 -1or qSnorqt 1oBrarrau I pue sauRu aql Io lno 1oBra,rau Jarllet dtu jraq.u asra,L 'paraDnun ged -run lalered srql uI lsoru aq] JoJ pue paJ4ouun saoS atueu dur '11o1 ue d1ra.r.od qluoru p e Surrnp :paluerre^\un dlarqua aq ot lno urnl sJ€aJ Jo dru 'q8noql 'dpddeg ''' $lJr>I ruJoJaJ aJeJIaMse ,r{}uour e 999,69r{lalerurxordde 'Suualua aJ€ sJargoru aJeJIaM Jo aleJ arll le leql plJo^\ aql aroldxa o1 1no Bu4 -las lsrleuJnof ssep-alpprtu e :ure I leq^ rot pa>Iseurun Suraq 1o €ulrur8aq aql 'par;rrra1 rue 'saruoq ale.Lrrd ,vratE ur Surdaalasnoq Jo slsrsuoo aruarradxa 1e I )Jo,rr alos asoqm Ja)euraruoq paJro^rp e se surro; uoqeetldde_qof uo paprdap -,,r{JraJuaJr{A eJeqJeg,, paqsrunurp qtnur dgeuo4ednrto taqloue auoJaq I '"]".{J 'aJroJ>lJo.M 8e.tl-a,ro1 ql a a olul a8unyd e JoJ-pJeJ INJV,uoqe}nl. T -dar'uouedluoJ'laaJeJ ,atuoq-,,{poq aql surelsns pue o8a "q1 ,"q1oo, \|/ dgeurrou 1eq1Surqldra^a purqaq a^eal l 9661 aun{ yo Buruui8aq aq1 i Y H C I S d N g d H I I IV d V A d V g e,tr3 ur,1,r1,, Jns l e eq {} ler{l saleurlsa drr paq-auo e proIJe ol ' aldurexa r oy ]66I u l ;1uer 3urpe,^rardaql ppru'areJ p lrqJ r o' 9g SuDIel dq u.troqs IIDISUnol alqelr€^e dlear l l q l ng [rr1o4r rtuouoJg a q] plnoJ la>lJeruJoqel nHul a ql'uJnluMop rpun.,(lqelrnaulI IIzvr. sHl qll/\{ sualqord ?r{pua IIrM >IJOMo} p S urpurl u r p a^lo^ A a rnlnJ r rorll o luaq alod 1 o l no u aluom le . ,{etu1 eq1 s aslnd lreJIaMJoJaleuor+eJ rnd e s r s rql'oN I aql t'uorJpalelnsul pur Surlrerra.-aruoq ss€ aJrI-l€aJ dru 1e rnol roJ lrsr^ ol lu€1\{ ql pue dlranod .{ll^ 11rural-8uo1 e aq ol sea nqra[qnsl plsnu )u r u€ I ' saprsag pue 'ssaJueruLUJrJ e l p lnoM 1 .redr aperl aueq s n{ q llM s a^rl rqoru paua^uoJ ar{l relda lllll l aaMs e s ,lr (roru) oosnuo-oNv-Ts)crN N T9 VSIUgruV I A fl C NITTgC N BarbaraE hrenreich 5 47 ( N0T) ICA I everything that normally e/ caree{,companiory repv-wage worKorce. There, " I Barbar Ehrenreich"a remakerwhose sole work g homes. I am terrilied, at riddle-classjournalist setue entering, at the rate of c-s Happily, though, my in. nonth of poverty and toil, tered.I n t his p arallel u nid I never got through colrmonly, "girl." r that if I can earn g7 an can afford to spend $500 he Key West area, where d hailer homes-like the ; has no air-conditioning, diversion, only the chalr. T he b ig p roblem w ith iswell b eyond m y r each. City, or the Bay Area, or pl4cewhere tourists and le w ho c lean t heir t oilets " trailer zet hat t rash" h as en affordability and conrty miles up a two-lane :y West, meaning fortylon't g et c aught b ehind long a r oadside s tudded e h ead-onc ollisions, b ut it,s a s weet l ittle p lace-a c abin, m ore o r l ess, s et i n t he s wampy b ack y ard o f the converted mobile home where my landlord, an affable TV repairman, lives w ith h is b artender g irlfriend. A nthropologically s peaking, a b ustling trailer p ark w ould b e p referable, b ut h ere I h ave a g leaming w hite f loor a nd a f irm m attress, a nd t he f ew r esident b ugs a re e asily v anquished' Besides, I am not doing this for the anthropology. My aim is nothing so " experience p overty" o r f ind o ut h ow i t " really f eels" mistily s ubjective a s t o to b e a l ong-term l ow-wage w orker. I 've h ad e nough u nchosen e ncounters with p overiy a nd t he w orld o f l ow-wage w ork t o k now i t's n ot a p lace y ou wantio v isii f or t ouristic p urposes; i t j ust s mells t oo m uch l ike f ear. A nd w ith all m y r eal-life a ssets-bank a ccount, I RA, h ealth i nsurance, m ultiroom home-waiting i ndulgently i n t he b ackground, I a m, o f c ourse, t horoughly insulated f rom t he t errors t hat a fflict t he g enuinelv p oor. No, t his i s a p urely o bjective, s cientific s ort o f m ission. T he h umanitarian rationale f or w elfare r eform-as o pposed t o t he m orc p unitive a nd s tingy i mpulses t hat m ay a ctuallv h ave m otivated i t--is t hat w ork w ill l ift p oor iuo*"rl o ut o f p overty w hile s imultaneousl,v i nflating t heir s elf-esteem a nd hence t heir f uture v alue i n i he l abor m .ll'ket. T hus,l.r'hatevert he h asslesi nvolved i n f incling c hild c are, t ransportation, e tc., t he t ransition f rom w elfare to work will end happily, in greater prosperity for all. Now there are many problems w ith t his c omforting p rediction, s uch a s t he f act t hat t he e conomy will i nevitably u ndergo a d ownturn, e liminating m any j obs. E ven w ithout u ) , ' downturry thl in{lux of a million former welfare recipients into the low-wage I " labor m arket c ould d epress w ages b y a s m uch a s\1,.9 p ercent, a ccording t o \ ) the E conomic P olicy I nstitute ( EPI) i n W ashington, D .C. But i s i t r eally p ossible t o m ake a l iving o n t he k inds o f j obs c urrently available t o u nskilled p eople? M athematically, t he a nswel i s n o, a s c an b e shown b y t aking $ 6 t o $ 7 a n h oul p erhaps s ubtracting a d ollar o I t wo a n h our gby 160 hours a month, and comparing the result to for child care, r*rltiplyit the p revailing r ents. A ccording t o t he N ational C oalition f or t he H omeless, for e xample , ^ tggg i t t ook, o n a verage n ationwide, a n h ourly w age o f $ 8.89 to a fford a o ne-bedroom a partment, a nd t he P reamble C enter f or P ublic P olicy e stimates t hat t he o dds a gainst a t ypical w elfare r ecipient's l anding a j ob " ai s nch a l iving w a g e" a re a bout 9 7 t o 1 . I f t hese n umbers a re r ight, l ow-wage work i s n ot a s olution t o p overty a nd p ossibly n ot e ven t o h omelessness. It m ay s eem e xcessive t o p ut t his p roposition t o a n e xperimental t est. A s certain f amily m embers k eep u nhelpfully r eminding m e, t he v iability o f l owwage w ork c ould b e t ested, a fter a f ashion, w ithout e ver l eaving m y s tudy. I could j ust p ay m yself $ 7 a n h our f or e ight h ours a d ay, c harge m yself f or r oom and b oard, a nd t otal u p t he n umbers a fter a m onth. W hy l eave t he p eople a nd work t hat I l ove? B ut I a m a n e xperimental s cientist b y t raining. I n t hat b usiness, y ou d on't j ust s it a t a d esk a nd t heorize; y ou p lunge i nto t he e veryday chaos o f n ature, w here s urprises l urk i n t he m ost m undane m easurements. Maybe, w hen I g ot i nto i t, I w ould d iscover s ome h idden e conomies i n t he *oild o f t he l ow-wage w orker. A fter a ll, i f 3 0 p ercent o f t he w orkforce t oils )JJ€qr{iloJaruaq n1p1 saadoldua iaruoJ aqJ 'aurl u rql ur sra)rol aql 13rre 1ousr urooJ IerIrArJpue sSeq rsnoqosle r{rlqM ' tdsrnraus^,(e4qse ,rs uado'sralrenb ldarxa r aSeueu ol r'urea.rr(Ztsl^l a1er1s urpryeu S IIa luemPlsal IIe llsrr; d ur u g luarJsar{l alrdsap ,{ra,ra'dqeq 'de1o Suruur8aqaql 1e q ssalasuaIap snJ 'auop ile t,usl ll JI rolsnJol alqrsr^ur Serrnaruts sread l iluaruaurJal saql a a ,,Jeo11eau ql uo A luelsuo) sarrnb roddns 'sr q rrqrvr I araql 'lasdru o1 e .trolsuo q8noql ).r l aql 19 if,e*t 3-o1e 'araq1r ano r 1 q8noql talras op : arnparordy o roJ II€ le Surqlou r lualaduor d1.ra1 pue eqrvr'd1r1uapr 1tio dep lsrrJ aql IreDl seall v r uroJJ'ur 1aBuer ld aJurstaurruns l Surpear pue all rs luads aqs auo8 ?l ar{l ol sJarueaJf, tHllm d n l q8ner tual uo sllrJar oN q raq Jo Suoprql )Ja ql p ue'paderl aq l sntu p ooJ I IV d pa8e.rl l euosrad;o s luar.u8erJ IIIM S uop u oqrnrlsur J o s llq L Surq.rosqe'pe3 a p8e a ql J aUe u nr 1 ' srnoq l q31a l xau a LIl r oC's)eals a ql l no MeLllo l u a11o3.ro;eq U Iqs S uru.ror-uql u o ) ooJ a ql l pLll l JeJ a ql , {q ' aJuelsur p a slt{l u I ' pauorse)Jo u orlrpuoJ e -,,wre3e 8 er a q} u o s ,aH,, ' aur u rer} o 1 p au8rsse sI o q.M s sa4rem p a8e-alppru d "rrrvt ql ' 1e3 s ureldxa , ,'nte[ l snf s ,1eq1,,, ,;1rqs a sFIl >lJnC,,'8uq1ad pue Ile,t,l.aql lsure8e sTeals luazot! Surrr.rorql sr rreq puolq qlSual"rapporls r.{lr.^ ueru paJeJ-par e araLIM 'uaqr1r1 aq1 q8norql ralua 1 dep 1sl; d u o s t oop l uor; a ql S ursn u or; s aadoldrua p aJJeqs eq l uauageueu a r{+ ',{lqrlua8 r oJ p lq a lrlnJ a uros u 1 'r 0 . 'sdr1 s nld r noq u e € V'Z$roJ t '.:t 0:0I I Ip 0 0:Z ruoJJ >lJo,\,lI $laa^^ o.\^l roJ araLIM 'ureqJ Ialoq lunoJsrp pqoy8 e un{lr./v\ ral - u a r 1 r ; o . r dl e t u sa u o ' l l I t e r I t c q s I ' a p r s r { u e a H L l ll e r a a r e ) , { u s u r 8 a qo 5 a l ' .rraou1 n od'luarurrad ,,'aJrll €nlJe d u 1 ou ' lsaqr , ,{u ' des o 1 -xa u e 1 sn[ s r s rlll l nq t rs ' arurl r nol r oy n or{ l u€.^ I 1 ueq1,, ur sasrJ uorleu8rpur pue JeaJ uaamlaq Surqlaruos ,,',u,orroruo1,,pJorvt aLIl lV 'eq e rl'ryo.u o 1 / lr u o p aJap 1 aBo 1 g rqs u .uo d tu r €am o ] 1 ue.u l q8ru 1 q 8noql -rorqrua S CISHJ5VAH T {ll^ l rrqs o lod p arolo)-lsnr a ql a prnord i l,ar{ l saor{s M )Jelq pue DIJels pelq Sur.rea,t,r orrourol dn anoqs ol ur,I :urroJrun aL{}o+ uo dpearp s ,aL{ nq'ssar1rem e s e a rrlrerd;o 1 no d 1p;ao,u S uraq l noqe S urqlauos } raDnur I ' u€ls I u eJ u aqM p ue ) ro^^ I u eJ s uItIS l eqrur S uraq s uoqsanb p dl] -urrd a q+'aJef,rpalNJ oJ a ru S urssacord> lJalJe a JaM a LI s e u rs€rsnqtua q Jnru I se lnoqe Vllm atu s.Marlralur 'ra8euetu ar{l se JIasurrLIsaJnpoJlur oqm uerpul ' dllllqcl ' sdep a ar8ap-g6 u o 8 1sa,11uno.,( r addep a ql , ,aJnesO gg p ue a 3esnes [rrs] q sr1o4,,s e a reJS uqdtual q Jns s aJnleayp ue a 8ere8 8 urryed e u o l no s >lool ]r?t{}salqel 'firltll lnoqe pue ralunoJ e qll^4. lods leursrp e ,,'}ueJnelsat f,[uJ.e1,, paqJeg€ a ql l e s sarllem e s e 1 no d rl o l ' pealsur ' luas u re p ue S urdaalasnorl ro;'1ensn s e ' oB 1 a raLIM' sureqr I aloLIl unoJslp 8 lq a LIl t o a uo e l e a ur o 1 s uad -deq d 1eur1 s rql d ep l eql p araJto S uraq s r r a^aleq^4,a >lel o l q 8noua a lqrxalJ pue a urrl 1 q3r.ra q1 1 e a reld l q8lr a ql 1 e S uraq J o r ageur e 1 sn[ s r q of e S urpury os ' pa.rry ;e r o , {eaa.e a l prp d aql s E s ralroM } uarJnJ a q1a reldar o 1 s luerrldde;o dyddns € p llnq o 1 1 sn[ d lpnu4uoc ] soru1es pe u nr s lalor{ 8 rq a qt J o l sotr\tr ' ' ' ' Aed o l s e s uorlelradxa a lqrunq d lqelrns q llm p ue , ayqrxag, alqeureJl -atu a )rT a uoauros r o;8ur1ooy a q o l s uraas , ,lrlsnpur d lrlelrdsoq,, S uruooq s,lsa,14,(a;,1r e uo,{.ranE' snorarrnu , ,(lsnorrrdsne re q lLl,,rn' spe l ueM a ql , u a o1 u ad p ar e a )el 1 ' Surqrreas q ol y o d ep I InJ ] srlt , ,(u ; o S ururotu a ql u O 'puEI a ql J Jos sal J o a lour alrl o l S urldurape ' 8uor1s u ala p ue U erus ' ueluom p aJaqrunJuaun u e : aseJ alqrssod l saq a ql J o l sal e l snl'luaturradxa l ra;.rad a ql l ou s r s lql o g d rnuad uI uolleJel 8uo1-qluoru e JoJ sJraql aru pual o1 8ur1p,r,rsr auo ou pue u.uor8 aJe a urLu1 nq'a8era,re a J€JIa.M ql S ulaq l eLll / Mol u r u alpp{t I leurs o ml r llrm a slr{l o p p lnoqs 1 ' dpap1 ' suorlelnJleJ l tu 1 1e Jo . nvrol{lo l-lerJueurl t o ' lel J -uau ' lerrsdqd-s1sor p apadxaun a q p lnom a raql a qdeu ' puerl J ar{lo a r{l u o tO ' uoqepunog a 8e1rra11 ql a {ll s areld l e s 1uom a reJIaMa ql , {q p asruord s e a 'asnoq a ql J o l no S urpa8 I o s lraJJal errSoloqrdsd S une;q a q1; lasdur u r l Jalap ol a lqe a q u a^a p lno,tr l -ZSMou) o qnr-aq,{e6,1' aur o l u mou1un 1 a,,{ e s 1:r.r1 s auros p unoJ a neq d eu d aql ' I.IiI a ql o l S urprorre ? noq u e g $ u eqr s sal J oJ alq l iuplitaa7 t r t4qnnbau1 a cua.rallrqunuat.tadxg g tg u p ua S day Ltfe may h ave f ound s ome -I would even be able to 3ettingo ut o f t he h ouse, IeritageF oundation. O r, d c osts-physical, m endeally,I s hould d o t his fe average,but mine are month-long vacation in test o f t he b est p ossible rong, attempting to live hing, I take a red pen to iveryone in Key West's ; f or s omeonel ike m eLtions s to pay. . . . a ty,j ust t o b uild a s upply lrift away or are fired, so lce a t t he r ight t ime a nd at d ay.T his f inally h apwhere I g o, a s u sual, f or waitressa t t he a ttached I about thirty tables that " Polish :ting f are a s [ sic] the d apper y oung W est views m e w ith a bout a s e for Medicare, the prinhen c an I s tart. I m utter vaitress, ut h e's a lready b g b lack s lacksa nd b lack HEARTHSIDE e mbroiirt t o g et t o w ork, h a h a. and i ndignation r ises i n ;ir,,butt his i s j ust a n e xI i t, o ne s mall p rofit c entwo w eeks I w ork f rom re futile bid for gentiliry re front door, so my first an w ith s houlder-length " Fuck I a nd y elling, t his lle-agedw aitress w ho i s lition o ccasioned,i n t his ift had forgotten to thaw he a gile G ail, a bsorbing ragedy. ll f ood m ust b e A BnrbnraE hrenreich 549 trayed, a nd t he r eason s he's s o t ired t oday i s t hat s he w oke u p i n a c old s weat thinking o f h er b oyfriend, w ho k illed h imself r ecently i n a n u pstate p rison. No r efills o n l emonade. A nd t he r eason h e w as i n p rison i s t hat a f ew D UIs caught u p w ith h im, t hat's a ll, c ould h ave h appened t o a nyone. C arry t he creamers to the table in a monkey bowl, never in your hand. And after he was gone s he s pent s everal m onths l iving i n h er t ruck, p eeing i n a p lastic p ee b ottle a nd r eading b y c andlelight a t n ight, b ut y ou c an't l ive i n a t ruck i n t he summer, since you need to have the windows down, which means anything can g et i n, f rom m osquitoes o n u p. At least Gail puts to rest any fears I had of appearing overqualified. From the first day on, I find that of all the things I have left behind, such as home and identity, what I miss the most is competence. Not that I have ever felt utterly competent in the writing business, in which one day's success augurs nothing at all for the next. But in my writing life, I at least have some notion of procedure: do the research, make the outline, rough out a draft, etc. As a server, though I am beset by requests like bees: more iced tea here, ketchup over there, a to-go box for table fourteen, and where are the high chairs, anyway? Of the twenty-seven tables, up to six are usually mine at any time, though on slow afternoons or if Gail is off, I sometimes have the whole place to myself. There is the touch-screen computer-ordering system to master, which is, I suppose, meant to minimize server-cook contact, but in practice re"That's gravy on the mashed, okay? None quires constant verbal fine-tuning: the cook scowls as if I were inventing on the meatloaf," and so forth-while these refinements just to torment him. Plus, something I had forgotten in the " side w ork" t hat's years s ince I w as e ighteen: a bout a t hird o f a s erver's j ob i s invisible to customers-sweeping, scrubbing, slicing, refilling, and restocking. If it isn't all done, every little bit of it, you're going to face the 6:00 p.lt. dinner rush defenseless and probably go down in flames. I screw up dozens of times at the beginning, sustained in my shame entirely by Gail's support-"It's okay,baby, everyone does that sometime"-because, to my total surprise and despite the scientific detachment I am doins my best to maintain, I care. . . . " mandatory m eeting f or On m y f irst F riday a t t he H earthside t f,ere i s a all r estaurant e mployees," w hich I a ttend, e ager f or i nsight i nto o ur o verall marketing s trategy a nd t he n iche ( your b asic O hio c uisine w ith a t ropical " we" a t t his m eeting. P hillip, o ur t op twist?) w e a im t o i nhabit. B ut t here i s n o " consultant" s ent o ut b y c orporate h eadmanager e xcept f or a n o ccasional " The b reak r oom-it/s d isgusting. B utts i n t he quarters, o pens i t w ith a s neer: ashtrays, n ewspapers l ying a round, c rumbs." T his w indowless l ittle r oom, which a lso h ouses t he t ime c lock f or t he e ntire h otel, i s w here w e s tash o ur bags a nd c ivilian c lothes a nd t ake o ur h alf-hour m eal b reaks. B ut a b reak room i s n ot a r ight, h e t ells u s. I t c an b e t aken a way. W e s hould a lso k now t hat the l ockers i n t he b reak r oom a nd w hatever i s i n t hem c an b e s earched a t a ny time. T hen c omes g ossip; t here h as b een g ossip; g ossip ( which s eems t o m ean employees t alking a mong t hemselves) m ust s top. O ff-duty e mployees a re " other s ervers henceforth b arred f rom e ating a t t he r estaurant, b ecause ,puarr;doq raq dq pauopueqe uaaq IJap plsod e'rarDoru raq qllll sanrl seLIpue lueu8ard sqluotu xrs sr oLIM ralJas p1o-read-d1ua.,vr1,a11auuy e 'suorlenlrs p apMorJ d pepurs u r a lrl ( ayoa;3 l eads , {1uor uoq,M , aunu.ralapu eJ s € J eI s V . aldoad 1o l sou) u aur u erlreFl r aqlo a ql I 'palelarun'JaLIlo o^{l pue puarJJIJrB srq qlprt sarer{s aq luaugede uroor-oml a LI+ o l no 1 aBo 1 a leradsap s r , 1oot u erlreH a q+ , apnelJ J 'auole a lqrssodrur a q p 1nolv\ luar a ql l nq'slnu r aq 8 ur,rr;p , raq u o S uplq u nSaq s eq , puarr; a letu e 'aleluluooJ JaH '>Iaa,t,r e 0gZ$ lnoqe ded al€ururooJ e pu€ ar{s r{11{,n,r. ro; asnoqdolJ u^rol-umop umou>l-llalr e ur LuooJ e Burreqs sr lreJ o :faarns 3urzvro11o1 papduoJ a^er{ I ,>Iao1vl.JaUV .sUrrIS raql aql e J JoJ aArJJedaql uaq.M uo ur nod IIU daql 3urq1 1srr1aql'sa^rl rraql q uo4drusrp /aseJdra,La Jo aJJnos pdnuud ar{l sr lsourle ur'Sursnoq asneJaq ,suoqenlrs 8ur -ArTJraql lnoqe .ou .sselJ alpprur I1eI ol sJo>lJoM-ordur pB o+ pJer{ +ou s,lJ lng aql ol uMorrTun srua8elerls IeArAJnsaruos paraloJsrp a^eq rnoll ue 0l$ o+ 9$ uo'1no r ead p ue u r r ead,anrl o t{At a ldoad l eql / aJuelsrpa lqeiloruoJ e u roq,aur -Serugq8ru no^'alqen d1e'ueur;8uraq ;a1d1s Jo u8rs ou s,'o.{s qol qql 1eq1sr luarua8eueur Surrnlrnu-ueql-ssal ar{l ol uoplppe ur ,uralqord raqlo aq1 (ueduor aq1uo aq ol ,aydr.ue s Fun aur1 em csard ro aJ€JaurlnoJ preSSru ,aprsrpJeaH s 'aJols aJuarua^uoJ e sSoploq aql ro ,pooJ ls 14uala8nq dn 8ur uo a,teqno.,{;l .>laa^l au4redeue arnJas ol ,lenadsJ o l soLle a re IJaS u aJE raLII o a .tsodordureual ur se I'u ur r{se) pue sarJaJ a 100'I$:aJII Be.,vr-.rao1 I00€'I$ a ql d q f po oqe Snurslpard 3ur ,ual sJ.lluoru e p3 o1 '1oo; a 1113urpunos e ,u I JI lng ;dep e g9g runols€rue I 'IIasJaq sa yo Sur4urql sr aLIS qt-suqdeuur areM tll Jo aruosur aJuap ur €u sa>1u1sy 1 rryaJesaqlolJ uar Surddoqs lrvrsassalsoq) Pt{o rlm'ueo{ o )uEeurJ r{ll^4 D aql lsure8e Jas lsepl€aJq 4srp 3uq1ea,r q1'uul s deq Jar{pue €url r uo d n,r,ro11o; uor raJJoaql I laal &uaMl rl ueJ I se reJ lM rar{lo aqI . urded'sua,ro 'sro qm'pe{ . Talr€Jl JEouu€IJ€lr\[ o -anJasqo pu€ uaqJlDI arll ,s1ool aql gurpu Jo lno auroJ ol dpuy Buqdtuord uaaq o sle s ,aH ' peles a ql q lyv\ 1 0u'rauurp a ql q ll1v\l no s aoS ] l p ue t aurolsnJ rad auo dpo aq ol s,aJaql uo ,t,rou uroJC .slloJ aql rnlm ,snoraua8 oo1 Bur -aq J oJa ru p u€ I e3 p rerqdn o 1d lrungoddo a ql s a{el p ue , ,suorsrJap uatuaSe l -ueur,, l noqe s Jailnu l snf a q / uMop)JeJJ a r{l e rrdsur o 1 p auaddeq } eqm n ls >ISe u aqM , ,'qo[ a r{l u o x as a ler{ + ,uer a zlrs n 3 ur11a1 q g ,daql l xaN,, , sllell e J ueof'roog a ql u o > l]eg ' loorIJS q BH r orunl o Jurs-suorlesnJJe p aurre , ,{1ssa1 -aJeJq ll/v\ p araddad'sar{)Jeas r a>lJolr l}l1\{p aualeal{},JopuJoJ a rn u r d n p aurl -de.,r,r sql palearl uaaq l,ualer{ :11as,,(u rooJ u 1 ,sarpel aql ur dn Bur1o11q-Bner uaaq p eq I J r s e p JeLIs e S urqsnlq g as.{tu p urJ I a sneJaq , >lJepo s s r u aqJlrT aq11 o p ed s rql l eqt p e13t ue I ' srsequ ropuer e u o s aadoldrua l uarJnJ d lqrssod 'pe1sa1aq ,ate1dryo,u IIrM se III,tr saJrLI.trau IIe l€ql Surueaur ,,aat1_Bntp,, e aq ol .l,rou aJe a.,ra'llnsar e se ,ler{l pue Un{s lq8ru aql uo ,,d1nqre Bn;p,, auos ;o yoda"r e uaaq s€LIarar{l 1eq1dpurr8 saJunouue oqrvt,drlpq4 punore puels .Jool1aql uo salqel anrl are -sn a.laq1q8noql uala ,.r^a Jo ual lnoqe-lle aM 0€:€ l e u aqJlr) a ql o lq p auoruurns , ,(pappns a Je a ^\ r aley s dep r no;1sn[ 'tl{sllnq dlq8rrup sRIl roJ go ,{ep srq dn Buolearq lnoqe 8uua11nur 'dn s1a3 ,s>loo) aql Jo auo dpuy uaqm spua Burlaaru aLIJ .asou JaLIuoJJ saLIJurxrs lurod e 1e d11n;,,vrorJosaJels ,laporu a1o; dur ,1re3 11un1 s Ipuosrad u,vlo Jar{ o}w paprsqns seq ruorll\A Jo qJea 'sJa^ras ,v\ollal dur ruori Sururor dnTeq due aas l,uop I lng rauealJ Lunnre^ aql lnoqe slrq o.,r.r1 ui lu ^lorql I p ue r uooJ , sarpel a LIl J o u oqrpuoJ a ql l noqe s ureldruor u eo{'sa>Inqar ;o e pua8e s q p alsneqxa s eq d r1pq4 u arlM , ,.drsso8p ue u raql p unore r aqle8 -arrurar{rrnqruarualdtur , es l rreruolsn,':t:1ilJl:?'Xlll,lt?;.ii,T Htr alryr tup/itaa1 t l ip1unbauluua cuatalltq unuauadxT u p S 0 gg yday Life , exhausted his agenda of ladies'room a nd I t hrow 't seeany backup coming :d i nto h er o wn p ersonal point six inches from her ooks, gets up, muttering lshit. ld i nto t he k itchen a t 3 :30 Wea ll-about t en o f u stherehas been a report of a result, we are now to be res w ill b e t ested, a s w ill n glad that this part of the ; as hard as if I had been r'tbeent reated his w ayt ches,p epperedw ith c arerl. Back on the floor, Joan x o n t he j ob." W hen I a sk " maniust m utters a bout :braid G ail a nd m e f or b erere's to be only one per r t he s alad.H e's a lso b een he kitchen and observerment is a butcher knifer Ln-nurfuing management lyviable. You might imagre,year in and year out, on ratagems unknown trc the kerst o t alk a bout t heir l ive,is the principal source of in on when they arrive for uing survey: n-town f lophouse f or r w eek. H er r oommate, a rg h er n uts,b ut t he r ent ; out of the two-room two other, unrelated, Haitian men (most of rowded s ituations. nonths pregnant and has her mother, a postal clerk. BarbaraE hrenreich 5 51 . Mariarure and her boyfriend are paying $170 a week for a one-person trailer. . | ack, w ho i s, a t $ 10 a n h our, t he w ealthiest o f u s, l ives i n t he t railer h e owns, p aying o nly t he $ 400-a-month l ot f ee. . T he o ther w hite c ook, A ndy, l ives o n h is d ry-docked b oat, w hich, a s far a s I c an t ell f rom h is l oving d escriptions , c an't b e m ore t han twenty f eet l ong. H e o ffers t o t ake m e o ut o n i t, o nce i t's r epaired, b ut the o ffer c omes w ith i nquiries a s t o m y m arital s tatus, s o I d o n ot follow u p o n i t. . T ina a nd h er h usband a re p aying $ 60 a n ight f or a d ouble r oom i n a Days I nn. T his i s b ecause t hey h ave n o c ar a nd t he D ays I nn i s w ithin walking d istance o f t he H earthside. W hen M arianne, o ne o f t he breakfast s ervers, i s t ossed o ut o f h er t railer f or s ubletting ( which i s against t he t railer-park r ules), s he l eaves h er b oyfriend a nd m oves i n with T ina a nd h er h usband. . J oan, w ho h ad f ooled m e w ith h er n umerous a nd t asteful o utfits (hostessesw ear t heir o wn c lothes), l ives i n a v an s he p arks b ehind a shopping c enter a t n ight a nd_showers i n T ina's m otel r oom. T he clothes a re f rom t hrift s hops.' It s trikes m e, i n m y m iddle-class s olipsism, t hat t here i s g ross i mprovidence in some of these arrangements. When Gail and I are wrapping silverware in napkins-the only task for which we are permitted to sit-she tells me she is thinking of escaping from her roommate by moving into the Days Inn herself. I am astounded: How can she even think of paying between $40 and $60 a d ay? B ut i f I w as a fraid o f s ounding l ike a s ocial w orket I c ome o ut j ust " And sounding l ike a f ool. S he s quints a t m e i n d isbelief, w here a m I s upposed to get a month's rent and a month's deposit for an apartment?" I'd been feeling pretty smug about my $500 efficiency, but of course it was made possible only b y t he $ 1,300 I h ad a llotted m yself f or s tart-up c osts w hen I b egan m y low-wage l ife: $ 1,000f or t he f irst m onth's r ent a nd d eposit, $ 100f or i nitial g roceries and cash in my pocket, $200 stuffed away for emergencies. In poverty, as i n c ertain p ropositions i n p hysics, s tarting c onditions a re e verything. There are no secret economies that nourish the poor; on the contrary there are a h ost o f s pecial c osts. I f y ou c an't p ut u p t he t wo m onths' r ent y ou n eed to secure an apartment, you end up paying through the nose for a room by the week. I f y ou h ave o nly a r oom, w ith a h ot p late a t b est, y ou c an't s ave b y c ooking up huge lentil stews that can be frozen for the week ahead. You eat fast food, o r t he h ot d ogs a nd s tyrofoam c ups o f s oup t hat c an b e m icrowaved i n a convenience store. If you have no money for health insurance-and the Hearthside's niggardly plan kicks in only after three months-you go without routine c are o r p rescription d rugs a nd e nd u p p aying t he p rice. G ail, f or e xample, w as f ine u ntil s he r an o ut o f m oney f or e strogen p ills. S he i s s upposed to be on the company plan by now, but they claim to have lost her application ra{ q8noqlp pue 'dep Hl P ue p uoras'a^rJp srJap aql a>lEruI otu ol seq Surqldrana r ur s8urql des o1 sarrl :p olur uo os pue isauJ rod lpuelsl puesnoqJ rd:spuer.uap rluanb p pl rue I aJoruJaqunc qleq) au4l Surpuads 'parrya r,no1,,'Surdes /aqsJr sPsTool ll leql 1slq8ru prlll {tu uO F uror; se8luelladord o ,vrES qs '.{lpagod a p 1sarSSeq allrt-urearr p pareldar Surleq roJ lno a lqel r aqqoue o8 l r,rnod'e1r111,, p ue 1 ad ' e'I'€''f' g 4rq-aqyf'fl Suqraruorsrpa 8ueqr ruo lJaJJo) aql uI aru A'sarlJrLll pea r aq u r d rlvl /aprsqu€aH aql le ,f 1eluarua8euey4 I^eal Jo >1ulqlauor(ue 1,4ipren8 dlgrnras ya1 >1.redqt p ue'lq8rs f o a lo lred o1uorssnurad ol suodar ar{s ZleqM I aleurruoorSurdouue r s aJu€t{J LIll ng a q s,,,{rra{ l aru ,,raollo} o tu,l I IeD1 a11 o g'sdr1 lpuaJJoaq ol punor€ eru sar{Jl€rra8eueru nos;o d nr p auropnd 'ta,rpsder.r,rol umop ' rualqord 1q'q8noql s lT€rpl uor; a8ueqr sdpual4 aLIl le rlJrM ual a ql u l ' 00:0I l lun lur,rrrre' 66:71 p1s eo8 e l sdep oml roJ pue rilr{lr1vllnouelsI ' ' ' 'aprsr{}JeaH plo fiuoolS aq+ se sJauro+snJ alunlo^ aLIl sarurl rnoJ Jo Jo aal{l s peJpe s ,drraf'sleas r alunoJ p ue s alq€l J o J aqunu a rues a ql l noqe q lr.M 'asne)aq'Surdyrrel p ue S urlroxaq loq s r l radso;d a qJ'aJuo l e a ur a sn o 1 d pear sr ' ureqo l aloq l a8pnq J aqlou€ o l a Jaq p aqJelle d lerrsdqd p ue u reqJ l uer -nelsal dpue; Ieuoqeu u.,ra.oDl-lla,ll. e 1o lred sr qJrqm 's,f,.uaf 'lerraleru ralras se u reSe a )uo p arlrluapr u aaq a ^eLI ' asuodsal a n4rsod e l a8 d lpur; I u aqM I '8ur1eads-qsr18ug d len8urlouoru p ue a lrqM d lqerre,Lur l sorule a re s JaAJas s€aJaqm ' plJoM l srunururo)-1sod u eadoJng l eJlua) a ql u roJJ s luer8rulur ro ' 8urleads-qsruedg ' suef,ualuv u eJrJlV a Jes aLIJJeasof d ru u o a as 1 s radael q -asnoq 8un1"ro.ra,LIl a ]o 'lp sueaLu ou dq tnq'lsoLu :uoqenba rruqla alqllleryl auros Jo pua Suo;,n aql le tue I Jo-.ltollatu des a.u Ileqs /are q)l{,rl-s}rq€q Surdaalasnoq a trl-leal . ,(rup asodxa s eLIa uoauros J aqlla l ng ' Jaluno) a q+J aAo ronbrl 1 o q urd s llas p ue s se13y oordlallnq p un{aq u rory n od s laar8 > Irall { sap -luoJI a ql l eql d daan o s s areld o lur S urddrp u a,la'dn . nnroqsl . ra8eueu l uelsrs o -se a uros r o;8ur1re^,r,r s Bururoru a loqm S urlsezw'ure8es punoJ a r{l S upleru u els '8urq1o111sasnoqlsan8 unr dgerol os ro uazop ' 'ura1sa1,4 I uarlI JI€q € snld ' s,o[o11 ' a8po1 o uoJg ' uu1 d eprlog ' neAH a q]-o8e s )aarvr s uoqelrld lsag ' qo['a,l.r]euJalleJ o ' puo -de S urdaalasnor{ l no p alll1 I a rar{M s laloq a r{l i le 1 ec 1 -Jas e purJ ol a^er{ I 'aJuaprsar e se JeJ dru Sursn U€}s o} }u€,r,tI rr"tiln?? ,.r, -1,,raor8 r qJeurols fru 1q8rupru ,{q fnq 'souadepf Suualond-1n8 qlrrvr'padeaq s ' 1sa8uo1s 1se1 a8rnq a qJ ' Z$ d luo r oy r a8rnqrueq r o ' rIJrM s,1r r 1 d lpnadsa / aprsrlueaH a ql q r au -pues q srJ I 'lg le J o a rrollr e s aa,{oldua s tr s raJJoq rlqM -urq 'aprs aLIl uo sueaq olurd pauueJ pue do1 uo asaaqJ pallaur qll.M sallled ua>IJrr{) uazotl a>Irl oqruoJ uralord-q8rq 'Sururnq-azlols al'uos ,,{11ensn-dep ' Jeal d eq a lqesuadsrpur a ql p ue'sloJJeJ drana r 1 sour1€ {Junl d u a leu o p I 'suoruo u orluaru o l ' (sarols ' lJetu) l ou l e 0 €$ l noqe l so) q llqm) U IJrll l e s sal qll/\^ r lls o l a lpel e r o ' sraploq l od ' 1od S utloor a 8rel e a ^eq l ,uop I a sneJ -aq s ,leql 1 nq ' 1ar{a lnoJ / rals-lqual a LIl a uo8 l ,uaneq I ' an{ ' lnJ o l s asuadxa due aas I ueJ JoN 'punoJe saluof, Llluoru aql Jo pua aql uaLIM luar ltu Jo uorls sJ€llop p aJpunq € u eL{+ Joru a q 1 1L\l r u oqelnlunf,Je J o a leJ l uasard a ql l e'dn a Sugrd s r J a.!{eJpa q+ u l r uns a q1 q 8noqllv J nor{ u e g l'g$;o a 8ervru rnLururur / papnlrur s aSeuvr {4M ' (srapuaueq p ue s doqsnq aql L l noqe o l s lunorue s FIl al{l q ll/!\ s drl r raql ; o l uarrad g I l noq€ a leqs s JaAJas nq t aq8rq s r s sor8 a ql) 1 'leaq Jaururns aql ur smols ssau sdq ur 0Z$ d1uo Llll/v\ >lJoM aneal sarurlauros I -rsnq l srrnol a ql s e l ng ' >lueq e s e a sn I r aMeJp u arlJlrT a ql o lul ] Jnls o l J aAo Ual S unllauos s nld'se8 p ue s lealu J aAoJd llensn s d4 d ur p ue'1apod r nod u r sllrq.!ra} e I aaJo l , lepf,ed J oJl reM o l a ^eq 1 ,uop n od l eql s l S urssarlrert l noqe Surq+ a nprnpas a L{J ' aJrl l enpe d tu a ra,u s lql i l r ailaq q rnur a q l ou p lnoM 'ryo,ra. 'uorlenlrs u.uo d14 1o s)aa.\ ol\l JaUe lr ssasseol umop +rsI uaqm 'f,rlorqque p aqrnsard a ql p roJte l ,uplnor a q q rrqm JoJ looJ srLIuo 1nr e 8u4qa8 JaUe aurl qJnur os passrur aq asneJaq JaJooJe se 'dpepurg 'paJaAoJaJa,M luauralddns ua8or1 qof srq 1so1 uarr;.,{oq s,auuerJetrAI p s -sa Jaq 'slsrsur aqs 'aleq l,uplno,\r aqs saqJepeall aql IoJluoJ ol IIId aure;8 I -rtu rad 69 spuads aqs oS 'ure8e JaAo IIe ryo.u.raded aq1ur8aq o1 paau pue ruJoJ alq rtaplitaa1 ur lilqanbaul pua acuatalltq Sunuauadxg Zgg lay Life io she spends $9 per mire, she insists, if her es:'s b oyfriend l ost h is j ob ing a cut on his foot for :ter two weeks of work, fe. T he s eductive t hing ayday t o f eel a f ew b ills gas,plus something left But a s t he t ourist b usirrk with only $20 in tips nt of their tips with the ; amounts to about the in t he d rawer i s p iling than a h undred d ollars ound. N or c an I s ee a ny routey et, b ut t hat's b e, o r a l adle t o s tir w ith not to mention onions, ny lunch almost every Lbolike frozen chicken beans on the side. Din:hoiceof BLI, fish sandrngest, especially if it's rt m y s tomachi s g rowlrce,I have to find a secd out housekeeping.apno L odge, H ojo's, B est ouses.N othing. T hen I rgswaiting for some assocreepy that the frontnd s ellsp ints o f l iquor ' real-life housekeeping the wrong end of some of the working house.s,Spanish-speaking, or nunist w orld, w hereas LallyE nglish-speaking. lentified once again as national family restaubudget hotel chairy is end terrifying, because, Lts, erry's attracts three J oldHearthside.... BarbaraE hrenreich 5 53 I s tart o ut w ith t he b eautiful, h eroic i dea o f h andling t he t wo j obs a t o nce, and f or t wo d ays I a lmost d o i t: t he b reakfast/lunch s hift a tJeny's, w hich goes t ill 2 :00, a rriving a t t he H earthside a t 2 :10, a nd a ttempting t o h old o ut until 1 0:00. I n t he t en m inutes b etween j obs, I p ick u p a s picy c hicken s andwich a t t he W endy's d rive-through w indow, g obble i t d own i n t he c at a nd change f rom k haki s lacks t o b lack, f rom H awaiian t o r ust p olo. T here i s a problem, t hough. W hen d uring t he 3 :00 t o 4 :00 p .l'4.d ead t ime I f inally s it down t o w rap s ilver, m y f lesh s eems t o b ond t o t he s eat. I t ry t o r efuel w ith a purloined c up o f s oup, a s I 've s een G ail a nd J oan d o d ozens o f t imes, b ut a " No e atingl" t hough t here's n ot a c ustomer manager c atches m e a nd h isses around t o b e o ffended b y t he s ight o f f ood m aking c ontact w ith a s erver's lips. S o I t ell G ail I 'm g oing t o q uit, a nd s he h ugs m e a nd s ays s he m ight j ust follow m e t o J erry's h erself. But t he c hances o f t his a re m inuscule. S he h as l eft t he f lophouse a nd h er annoying r oommate a nd i s b ack t o l iving i n h er b eat-up o ld t ruck. B ut g uess what? s he r eports t o m e e xcitedly l ater t hat e vening: P hillip h as g iven h er permission t o p ark o vernight i n t he h otel p arking l ot, a s l ong a s s he k eeps o ut of s ight, a nd t he p arking l ot s hould b e t otally s afe, s ince i t's p atrolled b y a h otel s ecurity g uard! W ith t he H earthside o ffering b enefits l ike t hat, h ow c ould anyone think of leaving? . . . " professional" t han Management a t J erry's i s g enerally c almer a nd m ore at t he H earthside, w ith t wo e xceptions. O ne i s j oy, a p lump, b lowsy w oman in h er e arly t hirties, w ho o nce k indly d evoted s everal m inutes t o i nstructing me i n t he c orrect o ne-handed m ethod o f c arrying t rays b ut w hose m oods change d isconcertingly f rom s hift t o s hift a nd e ven w ithin o ne. T hen t here's 8.j., a .k.a. B .j.-the-bitch, w hose c ontribution i s t o s tand b y t he k itchen c ounter " Barbata, " Nita, d idn't y ou s eey ou've y our o rder's u p, m ove i tt" o r, and y ell, got a nother t able o ut t here? C ome o n, g ttlt" A mong o ther t hings, s he i s h ated for h aving r eplaced t he w hipped-cream s quirt c ans w ith b ig p lastic w hippedcream-filled b aggies t hat h ave t o b e s queezed w ith t 'oth h ands-because/ r eportedly, s he s aw o r t hought s he s aw e mployees t rying t o i nhale t he propellant g as f rom t he s quirt c ans, i n t he h ope t hat i t m ight b e n itrous o xide. On m y t hird n ight, s he p ulls m e a side a bruptly a nd b rings h er f ace s o c lose that i t l ooks a s i f s he's p lanning t o b utt m e w ith h er f orehead. B ut i nstead o f " You're " You're d oing f ine." T he o nly t rouble i s I 'm f ired," s he s ays, saying, " That's h ow t hey're g etting y ou." spending t ime c hatting w ith c ustomers: " run m e," w hich m eans h arassment b y s eFurthermore I a m l etting t hem quential d emands: y ou b ring t he k etchup a nd t hey d ecide t hey w ant e xtra Thousand I sland; y ou b ring t hat a nd t hey a nnounce t hey n ow n eed a s ide o f fries; a nd s o o n i nto d istraction. F inally s he t ells m e n ot t o t ake h er w rong. S he tries t o s ay t hings i n a n ice w ay, b ut y ou g et i nto a m ode, y ou k now, b ecause everything h as t o m ove s o f ast. . . . " I m ake t he d ecision t o m ove c loser t o K ey W est' F irst, b ecause o f t he drive. S econd a nd t hird, a lso b ecause o f t he d rive: g as i s e ating u p $ 4 t o $ 5 a day, a nd a lthough J erry's i s a s h igh-volume a s y ou c an g et, t he t ips a verage x qm'paq p azrs-ueanb uar pue dr4s 1 learq )ls aqs aILIM spaq aql os,,'lre^eo u o l a srno) )l lno suJnl .rano-dels qqnJJs-ruooJllleq pue rbar1 eql,,'srano-de1s,, ;tuooJ uaalauru uenrS qladi,uop l q8noqlp dep lsrg leql uC) aq Jo IIe Surssrur r taq s Iolvrr,IPJrJaurv-ueJr4v noqe {s€ ol a^erl l,uop $ sr fed aql'raAauaLIM ro; paau aql Suzrseqd ustuom rruedsrpl r4au tq aru sar{JJeru r{s pue a '{ralr >lsap "'lq31r1y,, )uoJase aAeLI l a^eq I o a 4ITrqrpaJJ uros oAeLI n 3u1p.,u,(q srql op 1 's d;ra,l,odolur a8unld ro; lou SI sRil lng n a8roaS paurn] aAeLI e luaJaJIrp olur pauJnl Sutpesnn .,{ur paure8 'areldlrom ueJr 1de7r1 laql u l u o s aoSr elurs roJ rraql paqs aldoad rI ' lq8ru l e p assalpun rar{rlpl aql r{ll^l Suole -rvrau urqlauos drerl S sdpred Ieroru Jo puDI rr I l,uplp dq.,vr g o ra8unq se.ra. 1 ur 18 rsauqFs a ruos-lle l e y61,if,es nod op leq7q , q r 8rod3 s 1,,: d14uenb Il€als quoM Llf,nrulou puer{ p,or{,t,r a.,{,r,re1 r e pue rolelsu€J1e uaar8 tol I qslry\ 1 'dro1s aql des p por I r {slm I \4,oDI o1'8ur.rree aql n Iq'Fals o 13 urd4 u aeq peq a q l eq^ j se o 1 p a18au I ' roop p a)rol a ql a ruaq-punoI a q u er l uatuareld '.{1a1eun1roJun'pue'Surqlaruos -al e lrlun sn qllM aq l l l . t , l u e a r ) s r u re q l r 1ea1s o1 Suqduape sJar{semr{srpaq} Jo auo 1q8ner aLIleLll sureldxa 'aur JoJll suado oq,u r a8eueru l uelsrsse d lgod a q] ' pa1 ' pa>l)ol r uoor a Serols-.{rp a ql p urJ ' llrqJ a r{} 1 a uft l sJrJ a ql J oJ'sl{eJ}s r oy o B I u al{nt'dep l xau a LIl u aLIJ I aaJs n 'llqs aql to ile +nq to pua aqt l€ atuoLl Surpeaq aroJaq snz Io aldnor e roJ req aq1 d q d o.rp p ue p u€q r aqqnr s lr u rorJ r req r aLI a art o l q l l l lqeLl a soqM ' uallg slrnq d psotu s rql ' pa;redrur J oolJ a ql o l p auJnlal p ue d ru e r o;1no p addqs aqs o s'Sururotu a uo J JoJ ar{l as p eq S urqleuos'aaJql J o J aLIlou e p ue r alla.\^p auror{-JolreJ} JaLl}oue-au paureJl oq.,n 1eB }uarJrJta-€Jlln arll sr 'aurzrader8 aq1q 8norql u Jeal I '1rrd1nr a q1 ' saadoldrua l ueJnelsal o l s llurl-JJo L luoIaJuar{ sr J eq l aloq a ql l elll a lnJ M au a ql q lrM-srapro l ndur a M L lJlqM q 8no.rql sralndruor aql uo luauraJunouue ue erl-paluoJJuoJ ale a,n,tsrrg 's,drra{ 1e l sasrJ€s saurlSn;o u rol a aaue ' suorlrpuof, 8 urnr1 p aJnpal f tu q tyvr a url u I 'sltrqs uaa1v\l -aq leaq aLIl ruoJJ pan.rasard Suraq toqel pauueJ ol slunoure leqm lnq araq ayd -oad d llrexa l ou a Je a JaLIJ' ua^a1g-Lt o u oteJaqs a ql l e s qof J raql r oJ S urpeaq JrJIerl u errlsapad J o u reaJls u l{l € J oJ l daaxa d ep p ue l q81u s alnJ u orlelosap ' aJII ' luerqrn a uros J oJ ' TJeJJ lng l aaJls I eJnllnJqlmu l seal l e S urdoq r ue I p ue pup a urrJr J o l sau e s r 1 ;ed s easJalo a q+ ' uopelnda; d g ' leuroJpunel ' sele fo l aryeruradns o u l nq-8ur;;a8rng e p ue ' alols a JuaruanuoJ e , ,'MoJJourol raaq a aJJ,, asrua^pe t eql J eq e ' aJols r onbrl e 1 o s p.re,(l ltaI e u llll!1\{ t ue I ' aprs s -lno ' uo p uels o l a reds r oo11 q rled e p urt o l J apJo u r l r 1o J o l ooJ a ql o l u mop qurlJ o l a neq n od l paq a ql J o l no d eal + sn[ l ,uer n o,{ p ue ' lalrol a ql u o l ls I uaqM I I€]s J a.ltor{sa ql l sure8e q nJ s aau{ d u l ews o s s r r uooJrlleq a ql'qJnoJ pazts-JJeq ue a lqel u os;ad-o,rrrl lr r {llm ' eare , ,8urnrl,,a ql p aler a q d 11er p s -rlsrrurldo lqglur leq.u ruoJJ ruooJpaq aLIl SurleJedas-alols aql pue >lurs aql 'aprsur p Jo asneraq-uor8a; rutor;eu e qllm ilaqJeq e a>p1 adeqs pue r{lprzr ur ' >ped 1aa1q8ra l noqe s r 9 ? J aqurny l l erJlsnpur u e I o u orsJal s ,lsaM d a;4 a 1n1r1s -uoJ l eql s lalor{ l a8pnq y o J alsnlJ a ql u orJ a lrur e 'rye4 r ayerl s easra^O a ql u r ' sarf,ua8 9t J aqurnu r alreJl u o l rsodap p ue l ual a LIl d ed o l 0 0I'l$ a ql a sn p ue -JaLuaroI pa^rasar 002$ aql snld l1uar s,Llluour lxau aql pre.ry\ol paurea a^er{ /prolpuel dru uror; Surtuor a^eq I lrsodap 009$ aql a>lel I oS I 00t$ aLIl 'luar{} uaal laq Ja.^/\or{s ol aruq aql 8u1,teq pue sqol o.,r,r1 urryo.tr ;1asr{ru arnlrrd uec 1 'alnruruor 8 'splam alnurru-alrJ-d1ro; aql lno{llM Jar{+oue :tlep e srnoq lq8ra ralnd -Luof p 1 eS urqgauoss aop e 1r5 : qof p uoras e a neq o l s uaas p uar-r;,,(oq p ueq Jo -snq 8uryom E $lJel oq^ta auodrala 'srazrras Mollal l* JO ('Surqsezrr dpep e alrlrns o1 d1a4t arour aram '6V$ ^l1r'lur?rro 'sralloq uMop-pa>Ireur asar{l leql p ua a r{l u l p aplJap l nq r adeaqr S urqlauros r o; S urdoq s arols l uarulred -ap a leJsuMop o ml s ,u^ o l a ql p aquroJ p eq I ) ' qrosqe o ] s )aaM a I€l p lnol lI >IJeqlas e-sralras s,drra{ dq uro.l,r $IJels ue1 uorleln8ar aql uo puads o1 peq I 0€$ a ql s l a raqt u aqJ ' rnoq u € 0 9'l$ l noqe d po S ur8era^e a r,a,ryl'slaqserra. -qsrp p u€ s doqsnq a ql q llm s dq a reqs o 1 u orle8qqo a r{} p ue r nor{ u e g I'Zg p [ . e d a s e qa q l u a a M ] a g' a r . u ) r l a r q M a ue . r o yl s n I l o u p u e ' l u a r . r a d g 1 , i 1 u o a p ua alq l rupli,Laa7 r l i1t1anbau1 a cuatallrq S unuauadxT u t99 yday Lrfe Between the base pay of :h t he b usboys a nd d ishIhen there is the $30 I had ry's s ervers-a s etback i t rwn's t wo d ownscale d et d ecided i n t he e nd t hat more likely to survive a rho lacks a working husdoess omething a t a c omrut the forty-five-minute i and having the time to r my landlord, the $400 I e $ 200r eserved f or e merrosit on trailer number 46 of b udget h otels t hat c onmber4 6 i s a bout e ight f eet arrow region-because of om w hat m ight o ptimistirson t able a nd h alf-sized instt he s hower s tall w hen re b ed; y ou h ave t o c limb t or s pace o s tand o n. O ut" free b eer : t hat a dvertises no supermarket or, 3-but .rk i s a n est o f c rime a nd s Lulticultural treet l ife. B ut feam o f p edestrian t raffic Therea re n ot e xactly p eoreservedfrom the heat beew f orm o f u gliness a rises rcementon the computers rule t hat t he h otel b ar i s :ulprit, I learn through the ne-another trailer-home reroff one morning, so she .paired.T his m ostly h urts ,berband and drop by the : e nd o f t he s hift, b ut a ll o f shaws, f or t he f irst t ime I y a ssistantm anager w ho lishwashersa ttempting t o will b e w ith u s u ntil a r ereglectt o a sk w hat h e h ad BarbaraEhrenreich 5 55 been trying to steal, but Ted tells me who he is-the kid with thebuzz cut and the earring. You know, he's back there right now. I w ish I c ould s ay I r ushed b ack a nd c onfronted G eorge t o g et h is s ide o f the s tory. I w ish I c ould s ay I s tood u p t o T ed a nd i nsisted t hat G eorge b e given a t ranslator a nd a llowed t o d efend h imself, o r a nnounced t hat I 'd f ind a l awyer w ho'd h andle t he c ase p ro b ono. T he m ystery t o m e i s t hat t here's not m uch w orth s tealing i n t he d ry-storage r oom, a t l east n ot i n a ny f enceable " Is quantity: G yorgi h ere, a nd a m h aving 2 00-maybe 2 50-ketchup p ackets. What do you say?" My guess is that he had taken-if he had taken anything at all-some Saltines or a can of cherry-pie mix, and that the motive for taking i t w as h unger. So w hy d idn't I i ntervene? C ertainly n ot b ecause I w as h eld b ack b y t he kind o f m oral p aralysis t hat c an p ass a s j ournalistic o bjectivity. O n t he c onloathsome and servile-had infected me, trary, something new-something along w ith t he k itchen o dors t hat I c ould s till s niff o n m y b ra w hen I f inallv undressed a t n ight. I n r eal l ife I a m m oderately b rave, b ut p lenty o f b rave people s hed t heir c ourage i n c oncentration c amps, a nd m aybe s omething similar g oes o n i n t he i nfinitely m ore c ongenial m ilieu o f t he l ow-wage A merican w orkplace. M aybe, i n a m onth o r t wo m ore a t J erry's, I m ight h ave r egained m y c rusading s pirit. T hen a gain, i n a m onth o r t wo I m ight h ave turned into a different person altogether-say, the kind of person who would have t urned G eorge i n. But this is not something I am slated to find out. \A/hen my month-long plunge into poverty is almost over, I finally land my dream job-housekeeping. I do this by walking into the personnel office of the only place I figure I might have some credibility, the hotel attached to |erry's, and confiding urgently that I have to have a second job if I am to pay my rent and, no, it couldn't be front"so ' it's housekeepngi' desk clerk. All right," the personnel lady fairly spits, and she marches me back to meet Maria, the housekeeping manager, a tiny, fre"babe" and hands me a pamphlet emnetic Hispanic woman who greets me as phasizing the need for a positive attitude. The hours are nine in the morning till whenevet the pay is $6.10 an hour, and there's one week of vacation a year. I don't have to ask abouf health insurance once I meet Carlotta, the middle-aged African-American woman who will be training me. Carla, as she tells me to call het is missing all of her top front teeth. On that first day of housekeeping and last day of my entire projectalthough I d on't y et k now i t's t he l ast-Carla i s i n a f oul m ood. W e h ave b een " checkouts," a s o pposed t o given n ineteen r ooms t o c lean, m ost o f t hem "stay-overs," t hat r equire t he w hole e nchilada o f b ed-stripping, v acuuming, and b athroom-scrubbing. W hen o ne o f t he r ooms t hat h ad b een l isted a s a stay-over t urns o ut t o b e a c heckout, C arla c alls M aria t o c omplain, b ut o f " So m ake u p t he m otherfucker," C arla o rders m e, a nd I d o course t o n o a vail. the b eds w hile s he s loshes a round t he b athroom. F or f our h ours w ithout a break I s trip a nd r emake b eds, t aking a bout f our a nd a h alf m inutes p er queen-sized b ed, w hich I c ould g et d own t o t hree i f t here w ere a ny r eason t o. ) ruu o u Mop S urssard irns nod-pn; ou ,lrxa tssr JeJdr.u1eq1,ssed Oopaql lEql 'uorssrur W p uy'oB o 1u orsslu J4 prer-lrpan dur dn 1vr,uop I ' a^eal I l n; e u r s nsa{u o s uJnl sruEaJJS . ,{o{'a1el eln s 1ura8reqr ol luauour {q pa.resr'ueI 'ploJ ol I ur lsaralur lsol a^eq p a qs / /zleuo4rperl e odaqs rr ap"roeur8rro l uo d po l ou's>lJrJls lr l1 pualard 1 ,,l.rauado I slueaJJsaqs ,,'oN,, ' 3a ' sa8esnessra8;nq uyo s ale1d ql-pooJ a sluorJuoJd of ' (sdrr1 'aAe^\oJJ +ar I uaqM trpaurur.{eq1 q rrq.u rJuaqse SIuallg alqrr drr uer aq uerp JalseJ urrd a lrll a LIJ'rapun ,r{ leq.MJo LITnIN Il pu€ J€JapaJourJoJ 1,, fOr11 lrorvr daql J uo . Jar{olur daap sr oqal yq razrladde ue aq ol r8esnes-pue-alerued [-s^aq p;ar o1 1sn[ r I uaq.MssneJag iaru s't{,tetBVll.l,r'suoruo nqr q1r^,r,r sra8Jnq/sel ;o d8ro snonlsrtuo;d )pr{lq/^{ 'aTeqs IIur roru dq .,(larquaarua ll uaas oLIMSlsrJnol VZ alqe1 lng .,{pns rruosrlllm 'ureldurot ?J ua{JrqJ arll ol se laur'saddl q srdddnd aLIlasneJaqs;a,,rao13 leltLzalqel ^ aq I s v 'para88e1sd lSur8rlqo a .red aql s e 3 uo1 o s d po l nq'Mou a ru r oJ S urqlou f l s alq -el J noC ' af,uol e d r l lg s a1qe1,{u } o r noC ' urJols p alrad a r{l'saruoJ l I u aqJ , 'req [ rel)ror a Luosu r d n p ools uaaq 1 sn[ p ,aqs J I s e 8 ulun1 p u€ s sarp a 1rq.,u 8urp ' 3uo1 e p ue s laaq q 8rq d Surrea.u ' UIqs a ql J o a lppil.u a ql u r J a^o a )el o l d n s moqs o qm ' do{ s r a Jaql puv ' qo[ a ql o l l nraus r a q p ue ( sr l eql , ,'ang-f,e11,) s nsa{ p aureu u eur S unod e ' f,1npu o > looJa uo d po s r a raqJ ' aur l sure8e S ursser.u pearle a J€ u orlf,nJls d ' uorJenlls -ap a ql o l U ale a rour a JaM I t r ' aas p lnoM T J o s aJroj a ql l eql s t '8urro+ruouJ ssaupaJrl aLIl op ol 1eqr14 UaL;,, aJolu ou ,(ldturs sr aJaql leql aq deu 1 r q 8noql ' ;lasdur a rnsse I ' ll€ l e p arrl l ou u re 1 ' s1a38nNr6 t o I ntpueq aJauJe u aaq p eq q Junl p ue $ lJrls e llaJezzour a aJql J o o Ml a Beueur . ,{1uo er u I l nq t alunoJ u ar{JIDI a r{l t o p ua r rlrqdaur a ql l e S ulpuels r aqlaSol > IJeuse qer8 1 p ue u allg ' 1r13ra y'luaura8eueru d auour a 8err,t-a,ro1 l uarurradxa a q+ ur 1 LIIIM I Iaq o l p ue l q8ru 1 eq1s dll d ru I Ie L uH a ,r,r8o 1 a ^losar I ' alqef € r oJ r oolJ a q l o l p a l [ e ] r u p I l n q d ; e l n q e r o n p a r e q sr n o J o s l n l r I a q t a . r o l d x a ] a l r l p , a L I o ' saole1od p aleq r oI r uearJ r nos q lrl\\ s dnr r ad Jr s e s >lool p ue r alo s auroJ a q -ed a IDII S nllllt a a I o > ISEI q1 d q p azlllqotutur d gar;q r ue I u ar{.ryr'1urod uo l V 'sada s rq t uor; S ur8uer{ s uooLu-ileq l soq8 I rcp q lIM'aq o l t u1r{ l aou>I I Ie a ,'r,r aql a )rl s >lool a q l q8ruol p ue ' ualer{sun p ue s sapsll u aaq s ,ar{ s grqs y o a 1d - n o l l s p l a L l ll n g ' p a n u r l u o f p e q s u o r l e s r a n o J a t l l l l { d r l q r r n o p u e ' u r s e M u aLIa lqnoJl a ql p uelsrapun o l l ou p auraas a q l q8ner S uraq r alp s ,{ep . na; l srl; aql . 'Surragns s norlqo a roLu J aAas ,a8.roa3 d q p alrerlsrp S urga8 p role p ue aurager q 8noua > lurJp u eJ 1 y ' droaq+d ru s r ' 3u1ql q of-ozvr1 1{1 o p u eJ I s 'uns aql ur rer dtu Jo poor{ aql Ja^o $IJ€ls aql S urdrp u aql p u€ a 8uods e q lrm s uorlrod a lqlpa a r{} a noural o 1 S urlduage sqol uaarr.rlaq>leaJq8uo1-rnoq dur 1o lsotu puads I 'surels Surssa.rp-qrueJ pue dnqrlal qll^{ palporu aq o1 lq8rtdep dq a,ro;d lrrqs uerr€MeH ,,(tu paqse.,lr -puer{ q I u aqM l q8ru 1 se1 1nq r }ea-gt d q u eap d lqeuosear p a>Iool p eLI r {rrqm 's1oe1s ,drra{ u e1 . {u s l eql s l q of o 1 q ol r uoJJu or]rsueJl q loorus a l{l o } a lJ€lsqo uaasarolun d po a q1 ' ure8e ) rom o l f pear a q i l,aqs o s l snf o p o l s er{ J a)rom e s8urql ar{l Suruearu ,,'tat,+od roqel Jo uorlrnpo.rdar,, aql par.uJal xre}\tr ler{nr roI r{Jnru oS 'Un{s Sunuoruo ar{l roJ qasdru asoduror o1 ldura11e pue 'ilels aql o lul 1 r1 1 S urdools ' ramoqs ' (atur1s rql p uerq a ueu a ql) s ll^pv r nol u Mop o '9t r aqwnu o l > lJeq L ISnr ' pultu u r u orleurroyur I 1 n;d1aql eql q llM , ,'pH o u er,nod p ue ' sdep a nrJ J oJ a Juo l r p lp p H a uros,, : s,duaf 1 e S urnras L IIIM I aloq aq+l e S urdaa)asnoq S ururqtuor u r p apaaJJns J eJo s s eq a uo o u l eql a ur s uJem radaalasnoq J aqloue ' 0€:t l noqe + e a ^eal o l u orssrruJadl sanba; I u aqM ' ' ' aas u er ' sqnlqleq a q] I l €rll s auo ) rPp a ql l seal l e r o ruorl s rrpr{ r rqnd a q} S urnotuar u o a }erluaJuoc 1 sn[ J ' aJueluroJrad 1 o s lq8raq Mau o l a rar{ a ru s a8ualeqr J n{la a Jrlras o N ' sruoorqleq a ql o p a tu s lal p ue (1aqe1 ql J Jou rom u aaq s eq l sar a ql ' .,,turl;nq,, r {llm'dlsnourtuo'sur8aq } eql a Surqlauos r o1 r .uduone u e) , ,WVg,, I o a ploq l rrnbs a r{l a tu s pueq e lreJ s aurrl - a u o s ' r o o H a q l p u n o r e l r a l l s a r Mo 1. , { , r 1 e l r e J r n o ; ; o - s p u n o d . { 1 . r r q 1 n o q e pu l sq8ra^r*lr-rauealr urnnJel sno4suoLu ar{l Serp lnq op o1 Surqlou sr araq} ual -Jo l nq'pueq d q s loads r a8rel a ql d n S uqrrd d q S urtunnrel p role o 1 d r1 a 14 p alq / iapfuaa3 r r tlqanbaul uaa tuatal{rq unuauadx7 u S 9 gg 'rydayLrfe ;erspecksby hand, but of'acuumcleaner-it weighs : it around the floor. Someana cronymf or s omething rsbeenworn off the label) hallengesme here to new t >ving he p ubic h airs f rom e.... 3:30, nother h ousekeeper a rininghousekeeping at the e f or f ive d ays, a nd y ou're lrush b ack t o n umber 4 6, ,ver, tooping to fit into the s :oming shift. So much for ver," meaning the things a gain.The only un-foreseen thatm y t an J erry's s lacks, lb l astn ight w hen I h andrbe m ottled w ith k etchup rr-long reak b etween j obs b ponge nd then drying the a cand rink e nough c affeine ,reo bvious s uffering.' T he understand the trouble he lntinued.B ut t he l ast c ouI t onight h e l ooks l ike t he rnsh anging f rom h is e yes. thet ask o f f illing l ittle p a:omeso ver a nd l ooks a s i f rlary, ut I a m c alled t o t he b thatn ight a nd t o h ell w ith . A t e ight, E llen a nd I g rab the k itchen c ounter, b ut I nd l unch h ad b een a m ere ure m yself, t hough i t m ay m redness onitoring. W hat r, i s t hat t he f orces o f d es only one cook on duty, a Lhei s n ew t o t he l ob. A nd iddleo f t he s hift, w earing ming a s i f s he'd j ust b een f bles ill u p a t o nce.F our t ay areobligingly staggered. BorbsraE hrenreich 55/ As I b ev t able27, t ables 2 5, 2 8, a nd 2 4 a re w atching e nviously. A s I b ev 2 5,24 glowers b ecause t heir b evs h aven't e ven b een o rdered. T wenty-eight i s f our yuppyish t ypes, m eaning e verything o n t he s ide a nd a gonizing i nstructions as t o t he c hicken C aesars. T wenty-five i s a m iddle-aged b lack c ouple, w ho complain, w ith s ome j ustice, t hat t he i ced t ea i sn't f resh a nd t he t abletop i s sticky. B ut t able 2 4 i s t he m eteorological e vent o f t he c entury: t en B ritish tourists w ho s eem t o h ave m ade t he d ecision t o a bsorb t he A merican e xperience e ntirely b y m outh. F lere e veryone h as a t l east t wo d rinks-iced t ea a nd milk shake, Michelob and water (with lemon slice, please)-and a huge promiscuous o rgy o f b reakfast s pecials,m ozz s ticks, c hicken s trips, q uesadillas, b urgers w ith c heesea nd w ithout, s ides o f h ash b rowns w ith c heddar, w ith onions, w ith g ravy, s easonedf ries, p lain f ries, b anana s plits. P oor J esus!P oor me! B ecausew hen I a rrive w ith t heir f irst t ray o f f ood-after t hree p rior t rips just t o r efill b evs-Princess D i r efuses t o e at h er c hicken s trips w ith h er pancake-and-sausages pecial, s ince, a s s he n ow r eveals, t he s trips w ere m eant to be an appelizer. Maybe the others would have accepted their meals, but Di, who i s d eep i nto h er t hird M ichelob, i nsists t hat e verything e lse g o b ack w hile " they work on their slarters." Meanwhile, the yuppies are waving me down for m ore d ecaf a nd t he b lack c ouple l ooks r eady t o s ummon t he N AACP. Much o f w hat h appened n ext i s l ost i n t he f og o f w ar. J esus s tarts g oing under. T he l ittle p rinter o n t he c ounter i n f ront o f h im i s s pewing o ut o rders faster t han h e c an r ip t hem o ff, m uch l ess p roduce t he m eals. E ven t he i nvincible E llen i s a shen f rom s tress. I b ring t able 2 4 t heir r eheated m ain c ourses/ which t hey i mmediately r eject a s e ither t oo c old o r f ossilized b y t he m icrowave. W hen I r eturn t o t he k itchen w ith t heir t rays ( three t rays i n t hree " What i s t his?" S he m eans t he trips), J oy c onfronts m e w ith a rms a kimbo: food-the p lates o f r ejected p ancakes, h ash b rowns i n a ssorted f lavors, t oasts, " " Uh, s crambled w ith c heddag" I t ry, a nd t hat's . . . " burgers, s ausages,e ggs. " Is "NO," i t a t raditional, a s uper-scramble, a n e yes he s creams i n m y f ace. opener?" I p retend t o s tudy m y c heck f or a c lue, b ut e ntropy h as b een u p t o its t ricks, n ot o nly o n t he p lates b ut i n m y h ead, a nd I h ave t o a dmit t hat t he " You d on't k now a n e ye-opener f rom original o rder i s b eyond r econstruction. a t raditional?" s he d emands i n o utrage. A ll I k now, i n f act, i s t hat m y l egs have l ost i nterest i n t he c urrent v enture a nd h ave a nnounced t heir i ntention to f old. I a m s aved b y a y uppie ( mercifully n ot o ne o f m ine) w ho c hooses t his moment t o c harge i nto t he k itchen t o b ellow t hat h is f ood i s t wenty-five m inutes l ate. J oy s creams a t h im t o g et t he h ell o ut o f h er k itchen, p lease, a nd t hen turns o n J esusi n a f ury, h urling a n e mpty t ray a cross t he r oom f or e mphasis. I l eave. I d on't w alk o ut; I j ust l eave. I d on't f inish m y s ide w ork o r p ick up m y c redit-card t ips, i f a ny, a t t he c ash r egister o r, o f c ourse, a sk | oy's p ermission t o g o. A nd t he s urprising t hing i s t hat y ou c an w alk o ut w ithout p ermission, t hat t he d oor o pens, t hat t he t hick t ropical n ight a ir p arts t o l et m e pass, t hat m y c ar i s s till p arked w here I l eft i t. T here i s n o v indication i n t his exit, n o f uck-you s urge o f r elief, j ust a n o verwhelming, d ank s ense o f f ailure pressing d own o n m e a nd t he e ntire p arking l ot. I h ad g one i nto t his v enture a lt41u0wqtul ,,,sdf sulls C uqo{ ruorg) ,ue aruJoluarrad t u uo ryor* sraploqqol q8noql'(7'9 nsra.r. s ,l. a ql;o l uarrad7 '9 aqunu a r{l' 966luI . g '9lleaqrraql Jo " iuraqarBsar4snpur p talsds.r,rau iJalJar x aql uaaMlaq sau s rarprqsalo dpoo1,11 s wa"I ut stavoM uI .v a leu aql ssor)esarlrJ latuoHlnoqBslrec rqlo1Surprorre nq 1 lels ou purJplnor I .€ {JO.MI a raqM s lupJ oEuatul ou s e^r l Jp, ' a8e.u I u € g I'9$ r o :r'raAaMoH' sa8e.,n saadoldua p addrl,, '7 I a ql o l S urprorry a //'sarlruarue lqP ruPsp up'aJes ,luaJ )lnoM l eql l unoru€ rrrlrsJ ou Paq a ql u l a^rJa ql u r l uar a lq Ie r oJ ,/lual l alJ€ru aql o l S urprorcy ' 1 SIIION €qll. ^ rOu)I Ol a uroJ pred e r,daql s a8e.u us o ol J EJ'saser 1 1e sor.ule ur 'are oq,rl aldoad Jo arrapereru€J aLIl-)Jom a3e,u-^,r,rol lJa(q€ lsour aql J o a rnlea; S uruaapar a uo r alo)srp p lp I l ng . ssaJlsp u€ l lnsur q 1r.trl q8nerl aq o 1 d 1a41a re d aql d lrlear u 1 ' 8urdonq,,{llerrSoyoqrdsd p ue B urryrldn d lerour are sqof ]salqrunll aql ua^a lelll s€,l,rruroJal areJIaM pulqaq Buoprql aq1 dnpeq e s e a Jellam;o u orlralord '8ur,res u aryo s salaqlauou ' ILISIISa ql l nq l nor{lrm 1 18 unel a q a srnoJ J o I II.t,r .rood Sur1ro,nvr.qt pue 'slJaJJaasaql aJuer{ua ,{po IIr.\,\ uJn}umop JrurouoJa a ' alqelre^e s qof;o J aqurnu a ql p ue s a8e.u.L {loq u o p aga B ulssard leraua8 V -ap e a leq I Ir^ a JropIJoM p allqs-Mol a ql o lur s luardrJar a reJIaM J oruJoJJ o xnFul a ql t orlJea p auorluaur s v'uorssaJar a lqelr^aur l sorul€ a ql l noqlrM u a^a 'uasJoM o ] p unoq a re . rood 8 ur1ro,,r,r a r{l J oJ s uorlrpuoJ J rurouoJa , sreal p ue sr{}uoru S unuor a ql u I ' alels a JeJIaMa ql;o , {traru a ql l e a Jrl u eql u o4errrrdap pue drqsprell arou sallolur dllenpe ryo,u. e8e.,vr-rvtoleql ,4to1y a\a114-mo1 l pua a tullaly a awns u a4qo111 a fiuls l LoH: laary s pu7 8 uryuyg4 ooqluarar r raql u l 'ura1 e rnel p ue u rpa u drqlql I o u orsnlJuoJ a ql s lJrperluoJ a JuarJadxad w u r Surqlou d prelra3 ' poddns p ue r oJ a JeJo l u aJpp{J o u p ue ? er S urryoane , eur -uels 'Lllleaq-rood rural-8uo1 aql yo .{uetu ol alqolun{}un sa8eluenpe peq 'auo L{ll^{ uo a^rl ol dauoru qSnoua a>letu l,uplnoJ I pue sqof o,^,qploq I puv l,uplnoJ I l eql s l . Mou>lI I IV ' auo a ,teq d aql J r ' salf,rL{a^ raql u r a ruaprsar d n r a)el I IrM d aql a qde^ ' sqo[ a urr111n] aa^qaq s rnoq J o a ldnor a q] o ]ul-slBaru u pue ' aJueruor d .lpunel , Sursrer-plqr S urpnpur-sa^rl J rar{l a suapuo) o l .\4.or.I arn8ry 1I,u daql aqde14 'aur8erur louueJ I ,aJropForr,ra8e.u-,r,rolaql uI lno alrlrns ( op p ue) I IrM s Joqloru a 18ursp ue s quardrtal a reJIoMr aurJoJ. tloH 'sarrJp ue s ra8rnq p remol d prreaq p alq3ra,r,r arp e l uo's)aam r noJ u r s punod J noJ l sourle l sol I l er{} p alou a q p lnor{s 1 rl nq , sarols ' uaryo a rour af,uarualuoJ l aryetu"radns e o l u a11o8p eLI I J r p ooJ t o p ealsur uo a IDII e p a^es a ^eq p lnor 1 s deqra4 ' (1arp d ru u r s a1qe1a8a^ > lrel a ql r oJ Jo alesuaduror o l g u rr'uelrl a tuos , ,{nqd leur1 p rp 1 ) a rer l eJrpau r o s 8nrp u orl -drnsa.rd o u p ue $ lJels p arrnbar a r{l J oJl darxa S urqlop o u l q8noq I a luq s 1r{} 3ur;n6 ' (r{ruou a r{} J o + rels a q} + el apod , ,{ruu r p eq I r {seJa q} u eql s sal g lg s r TIJILIA)r a^o U al Z Zga^eqpue l uar a ql d ed o l a lqe u aaq a leq p lno^ 1 d rualrrl ' sarlrTrlnp ue , auoqd d rpunel , sarrlaIol , se8 -Ia 0 09$ A u u r p aurerual p Eq I JI 'poo1 u o l lg$ l uads p ue 0 70'I$ d lalerurxo.rddep aurea p eq 1 , qluoru a uo u I 'a8roa3 o 1 p auaddeq l eqm l no p unoJ ralau I ' aprslllreaH a ql L uort p arrt u aaq p eq n ls l eql p ue u el r aq u r B unrl 1 y1s st ueof l€ql atu plol aLIS'raq ol parraJsuerl aq o1 ysodap dr.u ro; pa8uerre pue ,ryed ralr€rl aql IIeD ol 9t raqunu o1 da1 aq1 ene8 1 Jo lno pa^our I uaqM 'qo[ r raql S urop ; o a 1q 'aral{l ,sread duetu ur aurq -eder 114spue IIqs alp slJnp Jeal aLI} leql }srrJ aL{} to!'azrleat o 1 u orlrsod e u r r ue 1 1 nq d ;r l ,uop I . synq s FIl , ualg p ue I IeD a III aldoad snoraua8 '3ur>po,t.rprer{ol u,r ou) lseq sdeqrad suoseal roy ,pue ,sdrq fu a 8roaS a nr8 o 1u a11o8ro1 a^a p eq 1 , ra,rras/radaa)asnor{ e s e l no p auelJ u I peq f po l oN ' palreJ a ^eq I d pealo p ue , ;1asdu J o l sal e a ru€Jaq l r , uorleJluaf, -uoJ s sallualar p ue q lqs 3 uo1 d q p asodurr u orsrl , aurl a ql g uo1e I auunl a r{l u r araqMaluos 1 nq ' uorlrsodord l errleruaLlleu e l sal o l , af,uarJs l rrrds a ql u r ;o a!1 r tap/ina1u t / i1r1anbau1 a uanllrg S unuauadxT p uu g gg tay Life osition, but somewhere hifts a nd r elentlessc onlve f ailed. N ot o nly h ad ;ottento give George my rrking, generous people a position to realize, for rtill t here,a nd s till c apakey t o n umber 4 6 t o G ail , She told me that Joan is n t he H earthside.I n ever ) a nd s pent$ 517o nfood, remained in my $500 efrave $ 22left o ver ( which rrt of the month). During I s lacksa nd n o p rescripritamin B to compensate Lldhave saved a little on ,'insteado f c onvenience roundsi n f our w eeks, o n ers w ill ( and d o) s urvive l they will figure out how laundry, romance, and rbs.M aybe t hey w ill t ake I k now i s t hat I c ouldn't o l ive o n w ith o ne. A nd I erm poor-health, stamrpport. Certainly nothing ryn E din a nd L aura L ein, S lothers uraitteWelfarennd rlves more hardship and te. In the coming months )or are bound to worsen, ntioned earlier, the in{lux rorkforcew ill h ave a d ejobs a vailable. g eneral A ;s, and the working poor ronethelessoften saving, vent he h umblest j obs a re eality they are likely to be : redeeming feature of the ,eople ho a re, i n a lmost w BarbaraE hrenreich 5 59 all c ases,f ar t oo s mart a nd f unny a nd c aring f or t he w ork t hey d o a nd t he wages t hey're p aid. T he h ope, o f c ourse, i s t hat s omeday t hese p eople w ill come t o k now w hat t hey're w orth, a nd t ake a ppropriate a ction. NOTES 1. A ccording t o t he D epartment o f H ousing a nd U rban D evelopment, t he " fairmarket r ent" f or a n e fficiency i s $ 551 h ere i n M onroe C ounty, F lorida. A c omparable r ent in t he f ive b oroughs o f N ew Y ork C ity i s 9 704; i n s an F rancisco, g 713; a nd in t he heart o f S ilicon V alley, $ 808. T he f air-market r ent f or a n a rea i s d efined a s t he amount t hat w ould b e n eeded t o p ay r ent p lus u tilities f or " privately o wned, d ecent, s afe, a nd s anitary r ental h ousing o f a m odest ( non-luxury) n ature w ith s uita b l ea m e n i t i e s . " 2. According t o t he F air L abor s tandards A ct, e mployers a re n ot r equired t o p ay "tipped e mployees," s uch a s r estaurant s ervers, m ore t han $ 2.13 a n h our i n d irect wages. H owever, i f t he s um o f t ips p lus $ 2.13 a n h our f alls b elow t he m inimum wage/ or $ 5.15 a n h our, t he e mployer i s r equired t o m ake u p t he d ifference. T his fact w as n ot m entioned b y m anagers o r o therwise p ublicized a t e ither o f t he r estaurants w here I w orked. 3. I c ould f ind n o s tatistics o n t he n umber o f e mployed p eople l iving i n c ars o r v ans, but a ccording t o t he N ational C oalition f or t he H omeless's 1 997 r eport,,Myths a nd Facts a bout H omeiessness,"n early o ne i n f ive h omeless p eople ( in t rrenty-nine cities a cross t he n ation) i s e mployed i n a f ull- o r p art-time j ob. 4. ln workers i n a L ean w orld: u nions i n t he I nternational E conomu ( verso, 1 997), K im Moody c ites s tudies f inding a n i ncrease i n s tress-related w orkplace i njuries a nd i llness b etween t he m id-1980s a nd t he e arly 1 990s.H e a rgues t hat r ising s tress l evels reflect a n ew s ystem o f " management b y s tress," i n w hich w orkers i n a v ariety o f industries a re b eing s queezed t o e xtract m aximum p roductivity, t o t he d etriment of t heir h ealth. 5. [ n1996, t he n umber o f p ersons h olding t wo o r m ore j obs a veraged 7 .g m illion, o r 6.2 p ercent o f t he w orkforce. I t w as a bout t he s ame r ate f or m en a nd f or w omen ( 6.1 versus 6 .2), t hough t he k inds o f j obs d iffer b y g ender. A bout t wo t hirds o f m ultiple jobholders w ork o ne j ob f ull-time a nd t he o ther p art-time. o nly a h eroic m inority4 percent o f m en a nd 2 p ercent o f w omen-work t wo f ull-time j obs s imultaneously. (From J ohn F . s tinson J r., " New D ata o n M ultiple j obholding A vailable f rom t he CPS," in t he M onthly L abor R eaiew, M arch 1 997.) ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 10/01/2009 for the course 920 103 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online