Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting by in America Test | Final 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. The workers at The Maids get free ________ when they arrive at work in the morning, but have to wear uniforms.

2. Where does Barbara rent a room until she is able to find housing that will work for her?

3. What does one company want her to sell, promising her $1650 for doing 54 two hour appointments?

4. The obvious __________ of the sales company is a breath of fresh air for the author compared to the false concern from Wal-Mart.

5. What does Barbara have to surrender when she goes in for her drug test at the hospital?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the author do on a night when she has nothing to do and no money to spend on entertainment?

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

4. What is the one upside of the Twin Lakes apartment that compels Barbara to sign up for a lease there?

5. What is Barbara's living arrangement when she first gets into town in Minneapolis?

6. What comes in the emergency food package that Barbara eventually gets from the Community Emergency Assistance Program?

7. What does the unattractive young cook at the elder care facility reveal to Barbara as they are out on a smoke break?

8. When Barbara goes back to Wal-Mart in order to fill out a new test, what happens when she gets a few wrong?

9. What surprises Barbara about the cleaning method of The Maids, as described in the book?

10. What does the long employment test at a Wal-Mart job fair seem to be trying to do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Discrimination seems to be a part of everyday society, it seems, at least from the perspective of the author.

Part 1: In what ways does discrimination affect the author's experience in this experiment?

Part 2: Why do you think the author focuses so much on race and on blending in when she is picking her jobs?

Part 3: In what ways are others around the author discriminated against? Or are they?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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