Friday, October 21, 2005
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorites. What I always like about this author, besides her finely crafted words, are the stories. Always intriguing, always human, always thoughtful.
This one by Barbara Ehrenreich made me think. She goes "undercover" and works as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing home aid, and Wal-Mart salesperson.
Long ago I worked some of these jobs myself, so I know how back breaking some of them are. Her stories about what these jobs are like did not surprise me. What did surprise me is just how far short of a decent (ie "indoor")living they can provide.
I realized that a critical differrence for me was that I did them as a student, and I did them with hope for a better life in the future. Millions of Americans are working for poverty level wages, they are working hard, and they are not surviving.