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. Barbara certainly does not want to do hard ________ labor when she is working at her new jobs.

2. Barbara begins to realize that minimum wage workers are no less ____________ or intelligent than she is.

3. Barbara is concerned that her biggest challenge will be to hide her _____________, even though this does not turn out to be an issue.

4. Barbara feels to truly replicate the experience of a minimum wage worker, she would need to have a few __________ in tow too.

5. Barbara notes that she made a rule that she had to work hard at her jobs to keep them, not go off on ________ rants or sneak off to read novels in the ladies' room.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the one line of work that Barbara does not even apply for since she does not have the proper clothing?

2. What does the bad tempered cook like to do sometimes back in the kitchen, according to Barbara?

3. What is the one thing that Barbara says she will not mention as she is applying and working during this experiment?

4. What kind of job does Barbara say that she will take, money-wise, at least at the start of the experiment?

5. What are the workers in Portland, Maine expected to do as the wages seem to be falling between $6 and $7 an hour?

6. Why does the author think so many managers are needed to manage the low wage workers?

7. How does the government measure the rate of poverty in the country, according to the author?

8. What is the second job that the author takes on in addition to the maid job in Maine?

9. What does the author admit to doing which is making her a little nervous about the drug test she needs to take?

10. Why so the Maids think that the job they are offering is easy for someone to learn and to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The idea of a living wage is something that is hotly debated these days.

Part 1: Why do you think a living wage is necessary?

Part 2: What do you think a good living wage would be for your current location today? Why did you choose this number?

Part 3: If prices keep rising, but the living wage does not, how can a minimum wage worker ever get ahead? What might you suggest as a plan to keep people from living off of fast food and avoiding healthcare?

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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