Ehrenreich___Working_at_Walmart

Ehrenreich_Working - Case Study"Working at Walmart It's Saturday and the time has come to leave my free lodgings and neurotic avian roommate A few

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Case Study "Working at Walmart" It's Saturday and the time has come to leave my free lodgings and neurotic avian roommate. A few hours before my hosts are scheduled to return, I pack up and head down to Twin Lakes, where-no big surprise-I find out that all the second-story rooms have been taken. The particular room I'd re- quested, which looks out on a backyard instead of a parking lot, is now oc- cupied by a woman with a child, the owner tells me, and he is good enough to feel uncomfortable about asking them to move to a smaller one. So I de- cide that this is my out and call another weekly rental place on my list, the Clearview Inn (not its real name) which has two big advantages: it's about a twenty-minute drive from my Wal-Mart as opposed to at least forty-five in the case of Twin Lakes, and the weekly rate is $245, compared to $295. This is still scandalously high, higher in fact than my aftertax weekly pay will amount to. But in our latest conversation Hildy has promised to rent me a room with a kitchenette by the end of next week, and I am confident I can get a weekend job at the supermarket I applied to, in bakery if I am lucky. To say that some place is the worst motel in the country is, of course, to set oneself up for considerable challenge.' I have encountered plenty of contenders in my own travels-the one in Cleveland that. turned into a brothel at night, the one in Butte where the window looked out into an- other room. Still, the Clearview Inn leaves the competition in the dust. I slide $255 in cash (the extra $10 is for telephone service) under the glass window that separates me from the young East Indian owner-East Indians seem to have a lock on the midwestern motel business-and am taken by his wife to a room memorable only for its overwhelming stench of mold. I don't have enough Claritin-D for this situation, a point I have to make by holding my nose, since her English does not extend to the concept of al- lergy. Air freshener? she suggests when she catches my meaning. Incense? There is a better room, her husband says when we return to the office, but-and here he fixes me with a narrow-eyed stare-I'd better not "trash" it. I attempt a reassuring chuckle, but the warning rankles me for days: have I been fooling myself all these years, thinking I look like a mature and sober person when in fact anyone can see I'm a vandal? Room 133 contains a bed, a chair, a chest of drawers, and a TV fastened to the wall. I plead for and get a lamp to supplement the single overhead Excerpt from Nickel and Dimed: &i (Not) Getting By 1.n Anwi-a, pp. 150-169 by Barbara Ehrenreich. Copyright 2001 by Barbara Ehrenreich. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
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- neurotic return, I find out nl I'd re- i now oc- 1 enough , So I cle- y list, the s about a i.
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2008 for the course REL 228 taught by Professor O'brien during the Winter '08 term at DePaul.

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Ehrenreich_Working - Case Study"Working at Walmart It's Saturday and the time has come to leave my free lodgings and neurotic avian roommate A few

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