Describe the author's possibilities for living conditions, locations, price, type of residence.

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 1, Ehrenreich decides to get her first job and residence near her home; so she ventures out into Key West, Florida.  She realizes that this is a tourist area; so her housing will be rather expensive for what she can get.  However, it is worse than she anticipated.  She finally settles for a small cabin in a swampy backyard because it's clean--it's also a 45-minute drive from the city where she plans to work.  Her other options were trailers which she ended up not being able to afford, even trailers with no air or other "conveniences."

For work, Ehrenreich hopes to avoid waitressing, but after applying at several places and hearing nothing, she takes a job at a hotel/inn where she serves in their restaurant.  She hopes to make at least $7/hr., but begins work (as most waitresses/servers do) by serving for tips (she is paid only $2.43/hr. and is expected to earn up to or above minimum wage through tips).  As far as her other labor opportunities go, she also applied at supermarkets, hotels (to perform housekeeping), and even at a fast food restaurant.

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