Most new parents I know say that can't believe the hospital just let them walk out with their newborn child. The panic sets in as they realize there is no owner's manual to accompany such a momentous event in their lives.
The same could be true of the workplace. Sure, some attend years and years of school, but nothing really prepares you for what the workplace is truly like.
That's why I've put together this list. Tuck it in your pocket. Post it on your refrigerator. E-mail it to yourself. Just don't forget these lessons that you need to know when you work for living:
1. Learn to read upside down.
2. Always carry two pens.
3. Never talk about bodily functions at work. This includes hormones, flatulence and constipation. Only share those events with someone related to you by blood or marriage.
4. Clean up after yourself. Maids work at the Hilton, not your office.
5. Hold the door. The smallest niceties often have the greatest impact.
6. Just because someone is lower than you on the company totem pole doesn't mean they can't retaliate if you wrong them.
7. If you keep up only with your industry or job, you'll be royally screwed when you're booted from both.
8. You are replaceable. Ten people could fill your job tomorrow, and a couple of them are within a few feet of you.
9. Look out the window. Taking your nose away from the grindstone often brings about the greatest insight, clarity and creativity.
10. Be careful of anyone who takes your side in an argument. Their commiseration can cause you to say things you'll come to regret.
What else do we need to know to survive in the workplace?