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March 30 , 2009

Maid Not For You


As Bergman becomes dismayed and disillusioned about the realities in the low-waged workplace, she rails against them in sometimes snarky and irreverent tones. She uses her stories to draw attention on how she and her low-waged coworkers play a significant role in shaping the workplace culture as well as the socioeconomic life of this country. Along this winding and revealing path through the low-wage culture of New York City, Bergman is compelled to convey her plight that is shared by the generational working poor. And while doing so, she develops a keen sensitivity to the dangers of this existence, not only for herself but for her colleagues, her clients, and American society as a whole, for which she perceives is slipping into a quagmire of low productivity, unprofessional standards, and dangerous economic decline. Something inside of Jean Bergman leads her to take inventory of this culture that she is imbibing, and something inside keeps telling her (and finally her treacherous coworkers) that something is rotten in the City of New York. She begins to rebel, starting with subtle challenges to the system and later staging confrontational encounters with her boss and his poor administration. She begins to rally coworkers around their own cause. Yet, she slowly finds out they have neither the courage nor the wherewithal to put up a real fight. Totally dependent upon gangsters for employers and managers, they are too weary of retaliation to stand their ground. Still, Bergman stands hers while expressing her concerns beyond her immediate circle. She begins researching legal requirements in order to go against her employer, “Big Bad Bob” and his minion of a manager, Madge. Although her methods are not always exemplary, she is persistent to face the truth and thus fight it … no matter what stands at “The Finish Line”. In the end, Bergman sets her sights on the bigger picture as she envisions what a low-waged culture means for New York City and American society as a whole. She becomes involved in social action, using social media to air her grievances and appropriating the Occupy Wall Street Movement to draw attention to the urgency of tackling the issues of America’s low wage standard. And she writes! In the final analysis, Jean Bergman refuses to succumb to the culture of a "low waged mediocrity" that she has lived in and so critically appraised. Despite its sprawling ugliness, she still loves New York City. And despite the threats to its greatness, she believes her county has the potential to become great again—if only the powers that be would take up the mantle of leadership and accountability for the sake of healthier wage standard in America. After all, Bergman’s America is too big to fail.
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