Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving across the country, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling motels. She discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort, and that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you want to live indoors. She reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity―a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival.