Review of Nickel and Dimed in The Guardian (UK)
This world, she says, is a dictatorship, where companies intimidate their employees, through drug tests, surveillance and public admonishments, into quiescent acceptance of their meagre lot - which is why so few dare to rebel.
The point the author feels need to be outlined is the fact that it is not the extremeties which are suffered by the few but the many who are forced to work in dull low paid jobs that lack respect, interest and sometime dignity. The best emphasis within the article for me was the fact that mundanity being something many of us would wish to avoid in life here is an everday occurence.
There is little to be done when those who have no choice are stuck in badly paid jobs that grant them few freedoms and mean they are forced to suffer under the tyrannical fists of those in charge.
Ehrenreich went on to write that she aspired to become 'trailer trash' within the book as she could scarcely afford to live on the wages which she was paid. "You thought it would be simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping."
The books significance today seems rather relevant with movements like the 99% occupying Wall Street and America's current financial crisis seeming endless we believe that Americans in this day and age, unless the 1% are prepared to distribute are doomed to suffer in the dull squalor of the lower working class sector.