1. Your paycheck is going to blow.
Taxes suck. HR will tell you your hourly/salary on your first day, and you’ll initially be stoked about the amount once you start crunching numbers. DON’T GET EXCITED. There will be a huge section on your paycheck that I’m pretty sure is put there just so the government and all the financial powers that be can say one last “screw you” before that money is gone forever. Once your benefits kick in, it gets worse (but it balances out because your job is paying for you to get medical attention, so that makes it kind of ok.)
2. You WILL have awkward restroom encounters.
Everyone uses the bathroom. Fact. Unless you can hold it for eight+ hours, you’re going to eventually use your work’s facilities. You WILL encounter coworkers (yes, including your BOSS) in the restroom. You will hear noises that you’d rather not hear. The restroom is like the great equalizer of the office: everyone looks like a fool with their pants around their ankles.
3. You’ll probably work through lunch.
If your office is like mine, your break room is probably pretty small. You’ll end up taking your lunch at your desk just to avoid sitting at the same table as people that you barely know for 30 minutes/1 hour and listening to their sexcapades from last weekend (see #4). You’ll spend 5 minutes eating your sandwich and the rest of the time scrolling through your Facebook feed on your phone. You’ll start by organizing your desk; then you’ll print off something for your boss; 30 minutes later, it’s time to clock back in and you’ve completed 10 of your tasks listed in your Outlook. My advice: DON’T GET CAUGHT. That’s unpaid work, and there are laws and stuff saying you shouldn’t do that, or something to that effect.
4. Your coworkers are nasty.
**Note: This is more relevant if your coworkers are under 35**
Your coworkers are sexual beings, and they WILL discuss their dirty adventures with their work friends. Is this appropriate? Heck no. Is it awkward? Duhh. Is it funny as hell to listen to? Also, Duhh.
5. Your boss will make mistakes. You may or may not have to fix them.
We’re human. We screw things up. That’s in our nature. Your boss(es) are no exception. They’ll give you the wrong fax number, make typos, forget to save important documents, abuse grammar rules, etc. Whether or not you should point out the mistake is in direct relation to the mistake itself. Some will require someone with more authority to fix; the rest, well, that’s your problem.
6. Watch who you spill your tea to.
This rule isn’t just for work, but it’s more important at work than anywhere else. The office is like a giant game of telephone (you know, that game you used to play where you’d whisper a word to your friend and they’d pass it down the line and it would always be something ridiculous and unrelated to the first word). You’ll tell someone that you think “so-and-so” screwed up and that’s why we lost a major account and by the time the rumor comes back to you, “so-and-so” is now moving to Azerbaijan to raise alpacas with their pet elephant. That rumor is all on you, and you’ll be responsible for the hurt feelings because you were the first to open your mouth. Don’t be the first to open your mouth.