I first became acquainted with Barbara Ehrenreich a few years ago when I read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Ehrenreich spent an entire year as a member of the working poor. She cleaned houses and took on every other lousy job that doesn't pay decently and doesn't have benefits. She even worked at Oh My God I hate to say it Wal-Mart. And she lived on what she earned -- just barely.
It was an excellent way to demonstrate how horribly our hardest workers are treated and how certain people like The Walton Family of Arkansas makes a living off these people's backs.
I thought, This lady espouses my so-called bleeding-heart liberal causes, meaning she feels compassion for people and is passionate about it. She doesn't just talk the talk; she walks the walk.
Now I present to you the opportunity for an excellent reading experience: Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. In this book Ehrenreich poses as a job seeker and tries hiring the people who charge a small fortune to help the desperate obtain a job; for example, there are "job coaches" and people who write resumes and people who tell you what you should wear if you want to get a job.
One of the most important and seemingly worthless things is networking. You must network to get a job. I can tell you from experience that I have networked the hell out of networking and it hasn't done a thing for my business. The only time people wanted contact with me was back when I was a reporter and could provide them with publicity. They lost interest in me right after I left the newspaper.
It's also very baaaad to be old and as with people who lose the cancer battle, it's really your own fault if you don't get a job. It's your bad attitude. You don't believe in yourself. Shame, shame, shame on you.
Something I also found very interesting is that those personality tests, the ones that tell you you're an INTJ and crap like that, Ehrenreich says lots of employers and job coaches use them and lots of studies show they're worthless. Some people test as different personality types depending on what time of day it is.
This book is a great piece of investigative journalism and it comes with the Lola Seal of Approval.
Barbara Ehrenreich, you are way cool. You go girl, and keep going. We need you.
Pssssst! Barbara, next, how about a nice expose on the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame and fortune? I don't think they can ever receive too much attention.
Infinities of love,
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