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According to Ehrenreich in "Serving in Florida", who is to blame for the situation of...

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omarhashani94 | Honors

Posted November 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM via web

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According to Ehrenreich in "Serving in Florida", who is to blame for the situation of those who work at low-paying jobs in resteraunts?

Are there heroes and villians, or does the work-place itself change people who are part of it?

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM (Answer #1)

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Though much of the blame for both the servers working conditions as well as those in other jobs that Ehrenreich takes seems to lie with the corporate masters, there are a number of other factors that come into play that make the idea of picking the heroes and villians problematic.

The employees seem to be stuck in self-destructive and ill-advised behaviors.  They are renting hotel rooms on a per-night basis, something that makes little economic sense and also leads to dangerous situations and a sense of impermanence.

The workers Barbara meets do not seem to be interested or capable of planning for the future or trying to improve their situations, they are simply trying to survive from day to day which tends to increase these risky or poorly-planned behaviors.

The high-turnover in the restuarants also leads to unfriendly environments as the workers do not want to get attached to anyone as they know they will not last.  Some of them seem to try hard to overcome that, so Barbara describes some of their efforts at remaining human in a way that could be considered heroic.

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