10/15/12: Nickel & Dimed: Part Three


Why does Ehrenreich have a phobia about being around birds?

Why did Ehrenreich look forward assisting plumbers as a potential job position?

What does aphasic mean?


“She can offer me a job now, but first a little ‘survey,’ on which there are no right or wrong answers… I’ve gotten three answers wrong -”

“What if Claritin-D, which gives you a nice little bounce, shows up as crystal meth?

“‘Do you take initiative?’ I’m here, aren’t I? I could have just dropped off the application.”

“It rankles… to know that the many engaging qualities I believe I have to offer – friendliness, reliability, willingness to learn – can all be trumped by my pee.”

“‘Always find a church.'”

“Thievery is nothing, apparently, compared to the crime of victimhood.”

“Yes, they’re expecting me – I hope not just for the purpose of denouncing me as a chemical misfit.

“The number of Wal-Mart associates hits 825,000, making Wal-Mart the largest private employer in the nation.”

“… I have been folling myself all these years, thinking I look like a mature and sober person when in fact anyone can see I’m a vandal?”

“East Indians seem to have a lock on the midwestern motel business.”

“At $7 an hour, a $7 shirt is just not going to make it to my shopping list.”

“I even start hating the customers for extraneous reasons, such as their size.”

“It’s the clothes I relate to… I start thinking they’re mine… to organize and rule over.”

“I’m not sure what kind of deference, if any, is due here: Is she my supervisor now? Or are we involved in some kind of test to see who will dominate the 9:00-11:00 time period? But I don’t care, she’s pissing me off, messing with my stuff.”

“‘The stronger the economy, the stronger the upward pressure on rents’… So I’m a victim not of poverty but of prosperity.”

“I make my peace with the customers and discover the purpose of… my life at Wal-Mart… Then it hits me: most of the people I pick up after are mothers themselves, meaning that what I do at work is what they do at home…”

Rhetorical Analysis

Analogy: “I visit a couple of staffing agencies… and certify that I have no physical limitations and can lift twenty pounds over my head… I would feel better if I knew how many reps they have in mind.” – Reference to a workout.

Analogy: “Nor do I believe that management rules by divine right or the undiluted force of superior knowledge, as the ‘surveys’ demand you acknowledge.” – Reference to an omnipotent figure such as God.

Metaphor: “… I have to make myself into an unobstructed pipe: water in and water just as pure and drinkable coming out.”

Colloquialism: “… makes for a pretty damn impressive getup, I think.”

Interrogative Question: “Even, I wonder, if the lies are part of the sales pitch the company has taught you?”

Diction: “Maybe it was the residency issue that did me in, though I suspect it was misplaced hypocrisy.”

Short Sentence: “No one returns my calls.” – Displays direct attitude and displeasure.

Repetition: “The vicinity of the Hill View contains no diners, no fast-food joints or grocery stores, no commercial establishments…”

Details: “But I have a bad feeling about this place, partly because everything looks gray and stained and partly because there’s a deranged-looking guy hanging out by the coin-op washer-dryer who follows me with bloodshot blue eyes.”

Metonymy: “… we are not think of our managers not a s bosses but as ‘servant leaders…'”

Parody: “… the mission of the moment is to return a pink bikini top to its place on the Bermuda swimwear rack.”

Irony: “Tonight I find the new sensation, Survivor, on CBS, where ‘real people; are struggling to light a fire on their desert island. Who are these nutcases who would volunteer for an artificially daunting situation… Then I remember where I am and why I am here.”

Allusion: “… when the desire to sit down becomes a serious craving, a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transformation sets in… At this point, ‘aggressive hospitality’ gives way to aggressive hostility.”

Allusion: “So it’s interesting, and more than a little disturbing, to see how barb turned out – that she’s meaner and slyer than I am, more cherishing of grudges, and not quite as smart as I’d hoped.”

Details: “Between the two jobs, I would be making about $320 a week after taxes, so that the $179 in rent would have amounted to about 55 percent of my income, which is beginning to look ‘affordable.'”

Allusion: “But to paraphrase Keynes: in the long run, we’ll all be broke…”

Interrogative Sentence: “Why does anybody put up with the wages we’re paid?”

Satire: “… there’s something wrong when you’re not paid enough to buy a Wal-Mart shirt…”

Syntax: Telegraphic Sentence: “‘We need a union.'”

Language: “What you don’t necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you’re actually selling is your life.” – First person to second person change.


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