See also the book "Scratch Beginnings", about how a guy started with only $25 and got himself into a stable financial situation (e.g., apt, pickup truck, $5k in savings) in only 10 months with only hard work.
As explained in the article, Mr. Frantz has been promised promotion many times only for the company to renege. Is this because he does a poor job? I can't really say. It sounds like he is at least somewhat ambitious in getting ahead. Also it sounds like his employer isn't above being unscrupulous.
I've also found myself moving up the chain only to suddenly have the position eliminated and demoted further back down the chain. One job I worked at, getting a promotion was the first step to getting fired what with how often they fired managers. In some cases it's better to keep your head down, but it all depends on the situation. I think it's a bit of a fairy tale to say you'll start in the mailroom and end up an executive in 20 years by "working hard". Does it happen still? Probably, but rarely.
My guess is that criticizing some local supermarket (unknown outside of portland or wherever it was) wasn't as sexy as criticizing big evil Walmart.
Your guess is wrong. From the online book synopsis:
Ehrenreich is eventually hired by both Wal-Mart and Menards (a large-box building supply retailer), passing both the personality and drug tests and enduring their respective new-employee orientations. After discovering that Menards not only back stepped on the initial starting wage of $10 per hour but would demand 11-hour shifts, Ehrenreich opted to accept the Wal-Mart position, despite its lower wage scale.
Yes, and by also being white AND highly educated AND not having a family or people dependent on her AND not having a history of abuse and poverty to NOT draw strength from. Which was hardly the case for most of the other employees.
Not that I remember those cases for "promotion" in the book.