Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When the going gets too rough for Barbara, she admits she will use ____________ to get by.

2. Barbara will take the ____________ paying minimum wage job she can find when she's off on assignment.

3. Barbara admits she has two things going for her as a minimum wage worker - she is ________ and she is a native English speaker.

4. One manager threatens to take the _______________ privilege from the employees even though this is their only hideout to smoke or eat.

5. The other staff of the hotel refuses to exchange _________ with the housekeepers or show any sort of respect.

Short Essay Questions

1. What will Barbara not rely on in order to get a job and to support herself, as one of the rules of her experiment?

2. When Stu says that drugs have been found at the restaurant, what do the employees speculate about this action?

3. Why do people end up living with others or in conditions they don't want to live in, according to Barbara?

4. What statement does the author make which leads to her getting the assignment to write this book?

5. What does Barbara feel she is compelled to do with the patrons at Hearthside, where she works as a waitress?

6. Once Barbara begins to let go of her elitist attitude, what does she realize about the workers around her?

7. What does Barbara find out about Gail and what she has to do when her boyfriend suddenly dies?

8. Why doesn't Barbara think the physical exertion of her new job should be bothering her so much?

9. What is Barbara's fear about working in the area where she currently lives, Key West?

10. What are some of the other reasons why Barbara doesn't really want to take on the assignment of working for minimum wage?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Barbara seems to be a good person, someone who looks out for others and even stands up for them when they are being taken advantage of.

Part 1: Do you think Barbara is a good person? Why or why not?

Part 2: Do you think Barbara would have stood up for Holly, for example, if she had actually had to rely on her job for money?

Part 3: How do you think Barbara's assignments affected the way she interacted with the other workers? Or didn't it?

Essay Topic 2

It seems that the odds are against those who are in minimum wage jobs. From the costs of housing to the way these workers are often not paid well, it seems the cycle of poverty may never end.

Part 1: Why do you think minimum wage workers can not get ahead in their lives?

Part 2: Do you think outside influences are the main reasons why people can not lift themselves from poverty? Why or why not?

Part 3: Do you think society willfully creates conditions in which minimum wage workers can not succeed? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

The author herself is white and someone who is certainly in the middle class, even if she's not working as though she was.

Part 1: In what ways might her 'white-ness' have affected the way her experience turned out?

Part 2: In what ways might her experience have been different had she been a man?

Part 3: In what ways might her experience have been different had she been of a different class or race?

(see the answer keys)

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