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 Thank you for shopping at Walmart 
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It is so ironic that we are reading this novel. My seventy-year old father was recently hired to be a part-time greeter at the new Walmart Supercenter back home. My father's professional career was one of management and he never worked in retail until ten years ago. He often stated that everyone should work for the public at least once in his/her lifetime. He often stated that yes, the work was difficult and extraordinarily boring at times. However, he noticed how many employees were degraded due to their lack of education. I find this the epitome of dehumanization. He recalled how one woman was openly criticized in a meeting which sorely embarrassed her. Afterward my father went to the "manager" and spoke to him about his lack of tact. Naturally, the man became irrate and asked, "How would you have handled it?" Obviously, my dad didn't rely on the money and felt he could say something. Needless to say, he didn't stay very long afterward...
However, I still cannot truly identify with the sorrows of these people from the book. I worked throughout college waiting on tables but my boss treated me with dignity and a sense of respect. How many of us are offered by our boss to "sleep in the work parking lot" because it's patrolled by the cops???

As portrayed in the text Nickle and Dimed, these people were hard workers who simply could not leave their present job to seek a more worthy job. When exactly could a person pursue and education? I don't see how one can break this cycle. Lastly, my dad mentioned how the income of these retail jobs does compensate for the hours many employees must fulfill. He repeatedly told me how he couldn't imagine raising a family on minimum wage.

I am interested to see how my dad's present retail job will compare with the one from the past. I do worry about a man of his age working 40 hours a week. I also wonder if I could in fact do a similar job...

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Nicole Atkins


Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:43 pm
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Nicole
I wondered the same things when reading Nickel and Dimed. We are all (especially as teachers) quick to say that education would be their way out - but when and how? I think the people who have the most success at changing their situations by getting an education also must have a strong family support system. People in poverty have to have other supportive people in some form or fashion to rise above it all.

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Stella


Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:44 pm
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I totally agree. When people have family that depends on them for food and a roof over their head, going to school is a luxury they can ill afford. Their waking moments may be filled with thoughts and questions like, "Are we going to be able to pay the rent this week? or where is the money going to come from to get the baby's medicine? I too believe people have to have a support system in order to better themselves educationally, and so many people don't have that.

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Suzanne Averett


Sat Jun 17, 2006 8:31 pm
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I agree with all of this. And to think of those kids that come into the classroom and have all of this burden on their shoulders before they even walk into the doorway! School is probably some what of a refuge for them because they will be taken care of there. And yet we are expected to get all children to reach the same identical goals.

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Pam


Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:32 pm
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