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By Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed explored the lives of low-wage employees. Now, in Bait and turn, she enters one other hidden realm of the economic system: the shadowy global of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with a believable résumé of a pro “in transition,” she makes an attempt to land a middle-class job—undergoing occupation training and character trying out, then trawling a sequence of EST-like boot camps, task gala's, networking occasions, and evangelical job-search ministries. She will get a picture makeover, works to undertaking a successful perspective, but is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and—again and again—rejected.
Bait and turn highlights the folks who’ve performed every thing right—gotten university levels, constructed marketable talents, and outfitted up outstanding résumés—yet became time and again susceptible to financial ruin, and never easily as a result vagaries of the company cycle. Today’s ultra-lean companies take pleasure in laying off their “surplus” employees—plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight region of white-collar unemployment, the place activity looking out turns into a full-time task in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social helps for those newly disposable workers—and little defense even in the event you have jobs.
Like the now vintage Nickel and Dimed, Bait and turn is alternately hilarious and tragic, a searing exposé of monetary cruelty the place we least count on it.
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Additional resources for Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
As for speechwriting, I don’t suggest to boast, yet frankly I’ve chanced on that occasions move greater if I write the main speeches. by means of earlier choice, I trace at successes that can't be absolutely divulged because of confidentiality agreements: as a PR individual at present doing loads of paintings with celebrities, I say, I focus on the challenging circumstances the place there are consuming difficulties or anger administration concerns. The drinking-problem thought had arise while Kimberly requested me to place my profession in anything referred to as “PAR” (Problem/Action/Results) shape. as soon as, on a publication travel, my media escort had shared a few dish a few definite recognized cookbook writer who was once inseparable from his 5th of vodka, and what a fight it was once to implement coherency all through an extended day of back-to-back interviews. Kimberly felt this “problem” used to be mistaken for a résumé, however it used to be the single one i may get a hold of. I pause to permit my viewers photograph me deftly herding a chain of under the influence of alcohol and disorderly celebrities, and finish that i've got consistently dealt with those circumstances with discretion, mind's eye, and crafty. The observe crafty turns out to trap their cognizance, and that i ponder whether it’s anything I should still use back. Donald indicates I do a little networking during the PR specialist organization, which i've got up to now recognized in basic terms as an internet site. Ron provides to electronic mail me a touch. eventually, it truly is Tim’s flip to talk. He has no longer been only a run-of-the-mill HR man; he’s a union buster, although that’s no longer his word. His résumé lists unions he has long past up opposed to and defeated, and he stresses those victories in his “commercial. ” Neal, who has been mostly silent because revealing his issues of getting up within the morning, asks Tim even if, if he can’t locate one other HR task, he might ponder operating for hard work as a substitute. I mumble insincerely that Tim’s adventure can be quite welcome on the AFL-CIO, here in Washington. A beat is going by means of sooner than Tim says, “Yes. ” Then he thinks for an additional few seconds, swallowing difficult and blinking again and again, sooner than asserting, “Probably now not. that might be an important adjustment. ” So Tim has rules, which, lower than the conditions, is sort of surprising. it doesn't matter what the temptation, he’d stay dependable to the managerial category, simply as, i guess, Ron may reject an overture from the Democratic nationwide Committee. I, nonetheless, have none. If Wyeth, the producer of the hormone alternative drug that most likely contributed to hundreds of thousands of situations of breast melanoma, provided me a task doing harm regulate within the press—well, below the phrases of this venture, I’d need to take it. however the manner issues are going, that's starting to look as not going as an AFL-CIO bid for Tim. 4 The Transformation Ron prompt us to plan a “Winter-Spring Plan of Attack,” and that i locate the army metaphor oddly reassuring. this isn't only a subject of “attitude,” or desire, or the projection of successful strength fields; no, every little thing hinges at the cool good judgment of method. i'm going to desire a three-part plan, I make a decision, simply because in Western tradition vital issues are available in teams of 3.