03/11/2014 01:18 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2014

My Life As A Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, And Cheap - Joseph Williams - The Atlantic

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My plunge into poverty happened in an instant. I never saw it coming.

Then again, there was no reason to feel particularly vulnerable. Two years ago, I was a political reporter at Politico, and I spent my days covering the back-and-forth of presidential politics. I had access to the White House because of my reporting beat, and I was a regular commentator on MSNBC. My career had been on an upward trajectory for 30 years, and at age 50 I still anticipated a long career.