What exactly is a Realistic Job Preview?  Let me start by asking a question.  Did you ever start a job and find out within a number of hours or days that it wasn’t exactly like you expected?  I think that most everyone has had this happen.  Let me tell you about my experience, but you must understand, I’m not whining about the work — as a college student I needed a summer job, badly.  But it was considerably different than explained to me by the hiring manager.

1971 was a difficult year for many people trying to find work, especially college students looking for summer jobs.  The economy was tight.  The country was still reeling from the Viet Nam War and inflation was rising.  After having applied to get back the same summer job I had the previous year, and being told I’d have to wait until all applicants were considered (also a euphemism for ‘not getting the job’)

I found an opening at a large commercial printer.  I would be working on the ‘Betty Crocker Cookbook line and had the job of picking shrink-wrapped cookbooks off of conveyor belts, packing them in boxes and because I was a “big strapping young fellow”, I also had to lift and stack the boxes, each containing 24 cookbooks, onto a pallet.  Sounded fine to me.  I wasn’t afraid of lifting and stacking.  But what I didn’t know was the ‘rest of the story’, to coin a phrase by Paul Harvey.