Nickel and Dimed

MAJOR CHARACTERS
Who was Barbara Ehrenreich?
Author and main character. Kept her real name throughout the story but failed to tell employers of her Phd in biology or her being a writer
Who was George?
Dishwasher in the Key West restaurant

Czech immigrant

Accused of stealing and fired
Who was Ted?
Manager of The Maids in Maine

Wants Barb to tell him about complaining maids

Maids work for his approval

Rude
Who was Holly?
Pregnant maid who twists her ankle on the job
Who was Marge?
A maid who had arthritis and usually cleaned with Holly and Barb
Who was Melissa?
Wal-mart employee in Minneapolis sorting clothing

Quits when Barb quits

Brings Barb a sandwich everyday
Who was Howard?
Assistant manager of the Wal-mart
MINOR CHARACTERS
Who was Gail?
Trains Barb at the Hearthside in Florida
Who was Carlie (Carlotta)?
Trains Barb in the hotel as a room keeper for day 1
Who was Joy?
The boss at Jerry’s who yells at Barb and brings about the decision to quit
Who was Billy?
Cook at Hearthside with anger problems
Who was Joan?
The feminist hostess from Hearthside
Who was Phillip?
Top manager at Hearthside who threatened to take away the break room
Who was Stu?
Cook at the Hearthside who was doing drugs on the job – found out later to be crack
Who was B.J.?
More demanding manager at Jerry’s (Called “the b*****)
Who was Vic?
Assistant manager at Jerry’s who catches a worker stealing
Who was Ellen?
Waitress at Jerry’s who is able to manage but chooses not to because she does not want to order people around
Who was Millie?
The hispanic housekeeping manager at the hotel in Key West
Who was Tammy?
The office manager of the maids
Who was Linda?
Supervisor at the nursing home; Woodcrest
Who was Pete?
A cook at Woodcrest who Barb occasionally smokes with
Who was Liza?
Barb’s 1st team leader with the maids who assigns tasks at the house

Highest ranked cleaner and is cheerful
Who was Budgie?
What Barb nicknames the cockatail she takes care of in Minnesota
Who was Caroline?
A women in Minnesota who actually did know what Barb is experimenting – picked up and moved away with kids and little money
Who was Walt?
Conducts the orientation for Barb and a women name LeeAnn at Menards
Who was Ellie?
Womens section leader who gives orders kindly to Barb in Walmart
Who was Rhonda?
The women who usually works the fitting room at Walmart
Who was Isabell?
Encourages Barb for her work and also supervises at Walmart
Who was Alyssa?
Worker at Walmart who cannot afford a stained, discounted polo because pay is so poor
INTRODUCTION
When can Barb use her credit card?
Only when absolutely necessary and hunger was not an option
Did Barb bring any money with her?
About enough to set up an apartment she can sustain only with a new job ($1,300)
What were the 3 places that Barb worked?
Key West Florida

Portland Maine

Minneapolis Minnesota
CHAPTER 1: SERVING IN FLORIDA
Why did Barb choose Florida?
It was close to home
What was the name of the first job she had in Florida?
A diner named Jerry’s
What does Barb do with her free time while at work?
Teach George english
What are some problems that Barb faces in Florida?
Problems with co-workers and finding affordable housing
Where does Barb end up living?
In a trailer
What is Barb’s second job while in Florida?
Housekeeping at the hotel
How long does Barb do housekeeping?
1 day to find out it was too demanding along with waitressing
How did Barb end up quitting working at Jerry’s?
Once a bunch of difficult customers came in she quit mid shift without even giving George her tips like she had intended to
How long did Barb’s waitressing job last?
2 weeks
CHAPTER 2: SCRUBBING IN MAINE
Why did Barb choose Portland Maine as her second destination?
Caucasian demographic
Where does Barb end up living in Maine?
In a weekly motel
What 2 jobs did Barb get in Maine?
Maid for a housekeeping service during the week and a dietary aide at a nursing home on the weekends
What makes up Barb’s nursing home job?
feeding the residents and cleaning up the food items
What is the hardest job to do while housekeeping?
Vacuuming
How did The Maids react to hearing that Barb was an author?
Underwhelming
CHAPTER 3: SELLING IN MINNESOTA
What was a main struggle of living in Minnesota?
The vacancy rate was less than 1% and Barb had to settle for an extremely unsafe motel
Where does Barb end up working?
Ladies section of Walmart
Why must Barb depend on fast food?
Walmart is so low paying that she cannot afford kitchen utensils to cook
How does Barb try to fight for higher wages at Walmart?
Start a Union
CHAPTER 4: EVALUATION
How does the chapter begin?
An analysis of how she actually performed at each of her jobs
How does Barb feel about her performance?
She thinks she was average but capable
How does Barb describe the unskilled jobs?
Physically and mentally challenging
What was a major problem that Barb found?
The markets are becoming increasingly competitive

Housing costs are rising above payment
Why did companies forbid employees from talking to each other?
To keep employees from airing any grievances or attempting to organize against the management
What is the main way that wages are kept low?
By reinforcing self esteem portion (drug tests, being yelled at by bosses, caused of rule infractions, treated like a child)

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