Consider that this horrifying indictment of American capitalism was published in 2002, well before the dehumanising ‘gig’ platforms ripped through whole industries, destroying the conditions, such as they were, of their workers. Consider the setting is prosperity, with more jobs (if they can be called such) available than human beings to fill them.
This book generated much interest in the US – Ehrenreich suggests this is because ‘one of us’, nice white people, faked it for the story. You should read in conjunction with this, Hand to Mouth which is the the same story, but it isn’t a story, it’s the life of a bottom of the pond worker. Ehrenreich provides a foreword.
For more on Nickel and Dimed start with Wiki.
For an on the ground response along the lines of ‘Mr Walmart’s nice’ see Life at Wal-Mart.
And for a you-might-roll-your-eyes-too ‘I did what she did and it was super easy, barely an inconvenience, well on my way to riches in no time at all. Months even’ sort of article, there is this.