One of her major fears is that she will be recognized by one of the locals, and she will have to explain her investigation of the working poor. George McCormack gmccormack lagcc. Questions like those Barbara mentions show how these tests are looking for employees who are obedient, dutiful, and honest to the point of putting the company before fellow employees; the question about stolen goods additionally reveals how companies inherently distrust their potential employees, which Barbara will show is part of a broader atmosphere of corporate suspicion of low-wage workers. Barbara Ehrenreich begins her low-wage experiment near where she lives in Key, West Florida. In order to make her budget work, Barbara constantly has to recalculate her wages, expenses, and extras like the uniform she had to buy, all of which means that she might have to change housing situations on a dime. Now, all new hires will be tested, and current employees could be subject to random drug tests. Joan stands up to Billy after he curses the female servers.

Barbara never finds out what happens to George. Gail mixes pieces of instruction with personal confidences, like the fact that she misses her boyfriend who was killed in a prison fight a few months ago—he was only in prison for a few DUIs, she explains. However, she was the one who devised the experiment and could have extended the date if she pleased. These priorities trickle down even to managers who used to be on the other side, leading to unpleasantness for the workers who bear the brunt of such obsessions. Carlie can only deal with the comparative disadvantage of her chronic pain by relying on being paid by the hour—the potential shift is, of course, meant to benefit management. Her experiment was well thought out, but since she was moving down a class, I don’t think she thought about the other side.

As her job search begins, she realizes that there is no relationship between the number of ads and the number of jobs available. The manager throws a fit, and Barbara walks off the job. He lives in room with a lot of other Czech dishwashers, and sleeps in a bed that is vacated when one goes to work on an alternate shift. The new cook starts to get overwhelmed and the tourists start to send food back when the appetizers come with the main courses. You are commenting using your Facebook account.


Serving in Florida Essay Example for Free – Sample words

Heroine and cocaine are also tested for. Large waves of people come in the restaurant and keep up to serfing waitresses moving at top speed. Table 24 consists of ten British tourists who each order at least two drinks and an array of food. Ehrenreich is trying to speak out to the middle and upper class, hoping that people will realize that the minimum wage is not a living wage. On the other hand, Ehrenreich knows that she will be going back to her middle class life which allows her to be very judgmental and comparative.

She takes a short break for dinner before the rush—only one, new cook is on duty. She gave the chapter the title “Serving in Florida”, which immediately lets the reader know that she will be serving others rather than being served. The Economics of Poverty.

Serving in Florida Essay

LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. This is very common in our society causing employees to suffer physical and mental health issues, for instance, muscle spasm, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, or depression because of the stress of the lifestyle.

The poor can only ever treat their symptoms—both physical and regarding their finances—and never address the root causes of their problems. Also Ehrenreich never thought about possibly finding a roommate to help her pay rent, maybe due to her constraint of time. Here, she concentrates on housing, which is generally precarious trailers, boarding rooms and usually far from ideal—though this often depends, again, on comparative advantages like owning a trailer or being a native English speaker the Haitian servers seem to have the most crowded situation.

Her goal was to try to live off minimum wage for one month. The poor, in other words, have no buffer to protect them. Though she tehsis negative memories of waitressing as a teenager, she ends up having to accept such a job.

With her uniform provided, Barbara is officially a part of the low-wage workforce. While she understands the procedural aspects of writing, as a ghesis she simply has to deal with requests from all sides.


Victhe assistant manager, says that one of the dishwashers was trying to steal something, and he has to keep him around until Vic finds a replacement. As she learns about the job, Barbara theais longer fears being overqualified—instead, she misses being simply competent. They work four hours without a break, with Barbara covering the beds and Carlie the bathrooms. He lives in room with a lot of other Czech dishwashers, and sleeps in a bed that is vacated when one goes to work on an alternate shift.

All of the employees are forced to abide by ridiculous guidelines set forth by a manager who spends his time sitting all day doing absolutely nothing, or yelling at others for doing just that.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand Terms of Service. Gail is the waitress who trains Barbara.

serving in florida barbara ehrenreich thesis

Nevertheless, her hour-by-hour description of her days shows how monotonous such labor can be, especially given her long commute.

What makes this lifestyle far less sustainable is the management: As they do within the job, they find ways of supporting each other outside work as well.

serving in florida barbara ehrenreich thesis

The tables fill up and there is a difficult group of English tourists that decide to order floriad everything florrida the menu. He shares an apartment with other Czech dishwashers and can only sleep when one of them leaves for a shift and a vacant bed is left. Almost all the working housekeepers she sees are African Americans, Spanish-speaking, or Central European refugees, while servers are almost all white and native English speakers.

Our author does pretty well under the pressure but realizes it will be a challenge to be accepted by this sisterhood of waitresses.