It's MINE! Ya Hear?! It's ALL MINE!!

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“It’s the clothes that I relate to, though, not the customers. And now a funny thing happens to me here on my new shift: I start thinking they’re mine, not mine to take home and wear, because I have no such designs on them, just mine to organize and rule over.” (Nickel and Dimed, pg. 166)

When I read this quote, I couldn't help but smile at the familiar feeling of possessiveness. I worked as a kitchen aid in a girl scout camp last summer, and I can definitely relate to Ehrenreich's mindset about patrolling her area with a shopping cart and making sure that everything was in order. If anyone were to enter that space, blessings be upon them 'cause they're gonna need 'em! That kitchen was my domain and if any one of those kids, or counselors even, decided that they wanted to go over the counter for the food, they were going to be snapped at post haste! It sometimes got ugly, but then again, no one wanted to tick off the head cook, so we kitchen staff merely drew an imaginary line across the floor and God help ya if ya crossed it. (It tended to be worse it we'd just scrubbed and mopped the floor and someone would then walk all over it, but that's another story.)

However, after reading this section of the book, I can definitively say and write that I will never look at a Wal-mart "associate" the same way as before. I mean, you've gotta give 'em props just for staying there if the working environment's anything like in the book. Barring that, they've got to put up with all of us pesky customers to boot! Treat them respectively as is best else they might have to clean ya up in aisle 6 somewhere down the line.


Attention shoppers! Attention all Wal-Mart shoppers! Food spill aisle 6. Bill's on it, but ya should take the detour HERE.

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3 Comments

Stephanie Wytovich said:

haha I can totally relate to that. As I mentioned in class, I work as a waitress back home, and I know that the part of the floor that I'm on is always neat and tidy. If someone spills something or leaves their plates on my counter space, I know that they are getting and ear full!

Oh and as for the Wal-Mart associate, I completely agree. It's hard to imagine living in such a tiring and unfair work environment (even though I can relate, because my job is unbelieveable. So much in fact that I don't like talking about it). But one has to rememeber that these jobs are all the people have as means of income. So even if its unfair, they can't risk speaking up because that money is their only source of income.

Kayley Dardano said:

I can relate also I worked at a clothing story and every time someone came and messed up a pair of pants or unfolded a shirt I would become incredibly possessive.

Erica Gearhart said:

I really liked how Ehrenreich took more possession of this job than the earlier ones. It seems that this allowed her to almost enjoy the job-at least it gave her a valid purpose. Great points Maddie. I also like how you bring up being kind to the people who work at these types of places where you know working condiditons are not the best. I agree with you that we should be nice to them, but shouldn't we just be nice and polite to all people all of the time? If everyone did this, the world would defintely be, if not a better place, a more pleasant one.

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on March 3, 2008 10:32 PM.

Serfs work, don't chat, and double-time it from one table to another was the previous entry in this blog.

By God's grace, THAT'S IT!!! is the next entry in this blog.

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