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Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 26, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Growing up in Los Angeles and the interest that was put on our education I could have easily fallen into one of these jobs. From the time I was 15 (I lied about my age) and went to work for a temp agency along side other Mexicans that were here illegal or legal and uneducated. They would send us to the worst jobs, for instance a dog food company that had all the same characteristics of the chicken plant the author described. The one difference was I threw up after each shift because the smell was so nauseating. It was actually this job that made me choose education over sweat.
Happy Chicken (this made me laugh) I applaud you for putting your money where your mouth is. Instead of just saying "Illegals" like the majority of America, you brought light that it is not just illegals that are being taken advantage of. It's every person citizen or non citizen that walks through the doors of these companies that care only about their shareholders. Please don't assume that I am anti Capitalism because I love profit as much as the next guy but not at the expense of workers, especially docking them for having to take their kids to the doctor or no sick days.
Read the book get a first hand insight to what really happens at these kinds of jobs.
Despite was sounds like a negative criticism of the book, I did like it, and I will recommend it to friends and family.
It's hard to improve on Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, but Thompson adds another dimension by investigating migrant labor, whereas the jobs Ehrenreich took were "above the table" jobs: waiting tables, clerking at Wal-Mart, being a rent-a-maid. Thompson worked in the fields, in a chicken processing plant, and behind the scenes at a restaurant.
As odd as it was for an Anglo to show up for a job in the fields, no one bothered him much about why he was there. They assumed he couldn't get a job legitimately, perhaps because he was a criminal or an alcoholic. Mainly, the other workers minded their own business and didn't ask him questions. They did offer to share their food with him though, when they saw he brought only a few power bars with him for a long day's work.
Thompson intended to take notes surreptitiously through the day and after work, but found that he was just too tired and sore after work. He couldn't imagine how the others kept at it for months, let alone years, and managed to raise families and have any kind of life at all. But they did.
The book starts with Thompson working in the lettuce fields in Yuma, then he moves on to a chicken processing plant in small town Alabama.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unless you are from Southern California, Arizona or Texas you really don't understand the illegal immigration situation.Published 5 months ago by puffinswan
Had to read the book for High School. Any required reading isn't fun. But I liked the way this book was written. Had I read it for fun it might have gotten 5 stars instead. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ed-war-dough
I'm a retired scientist and read a lot of nonfiction. This book is among the best I have read in the last several years, as it covers an important topic, and Thompson's prose is a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing what we take for granted...this book will open you eyes to the reality of whose doing the work and the price paid!Published 13 months ago by Jake Martinez
This is intended to be the shortest review on record. The Amazon description tells you what the book is about and you're either interested or your not. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dennis
I picked up this book at a yard sale the other weekend and found it an illuminating, interesting read about certain areas of the immigrant workforce (lettuce cutting, poultry... Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by Kat
But as I progressed through this book, I realized I was really having my eyes opened. Thompson brought me into the lives of laborers, most of them immigrants, who struggled through... Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by Mary Welsh