In one week, I will be starting my first ever full-time job. You heard me. At 27, the closest thing to regular working hours I’ve ever experienced is high school, and even then I used my free periods to watch movies and shirk responsibility. (Side note: let’s make a group effort to say ‘shirk’ more frequently. Shirk.) I had a close encounter with full days of work in a brief stint at a call centre, but that was only two days a week, and largely involved me watching funny goat videos on YouTube for secret hours on end while inventing excuses about my neglected call list (needless to say, I didn’t last long).* But all of a sudden, I’m about to get schooled in how to sit at a desk and type away like a grown-up. The thing is, I know nothing about logistics. I have a myriad of questions about full-time work, some of which I’ve had for years and others that have been waking me up in the middle of the night since I decided to take on this new job. If there are any full-timers out there, anyone who hasn’t described themselves as ‘funemployed’ every day since uni, then please help me. I’m more lost than Nemo.
FULL-TIME QUESTIONS FOR FULL-TIME WORKERS
Will someone tell me when I can go home at the end of the day? I’m assuming there is no bell… but it would be handy so we’re all on the same page.
While we’re on that topic, do I need to sign out at the end of the day?
If I’m good, do I get an early minute?
What if I finish all my work and can’t think of anything to do? Is it okay to play Minesweeper?
I’ve heard sitcoms and grown-ups and comedians talk about things that were discussed around the Water Cooler. How quickly should I locate the Water Cooler? Should I hang out there until someone talks to me? Should I bring a chair and snacks? Do I have to actually fill up a cup to be ‘in’ with the Water Cooler Crowd, or can I just waltz over and nod along? And what the FUCK do I do if my office doesn’t even HAVE a Water Cooler?
Toilet breaks. Is it okay to just go, or should I put my hand up?
If my phone rings, will I get in trouble? One time in science class I got a message, and then a detention. I don’t want a repeat of that disaster.
Should I get a briefcase? Worky people seem to have briefcases. If so, what should I fill it with? Muesli bars? Pens?
What if they ask me to do something and I don’t know how to do it? WorkSafe plays ads that indicate you should always be clear on your task or you might lose a finger. I’m going to be an editor, so do I still have the chance of losing a finger?
How does time-off work? If I have a dentist appointment, should I get a note from Mum?
What is considered an acceptable excuse for being late? Is ‘sorry I’m late, I was watching Charmed’ considered to be unprofessional?**
In my usual day-to-day life, I spend most of my time auditioning, and sometimes I don’t get to stay because of things like height, or hair colour, or being the wrong age. What are the chances that I will get asked to leave my new job for being too tall?
I was really into co-curricular activities at school. Are there co-curricular activities at work?
I hear normal people talking about ‘Friday Work Drinks’. What if it gets to Friday and no one has mentioned drinks? Does this mean I am unpopular? Should I just start drinking by myself? Would it be uncool to drink chocolate milk?
At school and uni I used to get in trouble for talking all the time. I’d like it if I didn’t get in trouble for talking in my new full-time job. That’s not a question, that’s a wish from the bottom of my heart because no matter how much I try to shut up, I just can’t help it.
In my usual funemployed life, I get to give in to any and every whim. I have a lot of naps. I assume I’m not allowed to nap at the office (or am I? I would like that VERY much). So what do worky people do when they suddenly get really, really sleepy?
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY OF ALL…
Do I bring food? Should I bring a spare roll-up to try and make friends? What happens if I eat the spare roll-up? What if I get hungry because I ate all my lunch at recess? DO WE EVEN HAVE RECESS??
Friends, as you can see, I am nervous. This full-time thing is a mystery to me. It seems like it’s going to put a serious dent in my sleep/eat/nap/repeat cycle. Feel free to leave me any tips. Right now, I gotta go. I’ve got one more week of freedom left, so I have to get through my to-do list. Next task: Get some fro-yo before Nap 3. Sigh.
* In my defense, the reason I’ve never had a full-time 9-5 job is because acting is (and hopefully will always be) my full-time job…. it’s just not very 9-5ish. Bruce Willis and I always get together and bitch about that. I’m actually currently touring with a kid’s show, and it’s really hard work. Today I have to do a FULL 50 minutes of work. Who’s got time for that?!
** According to my uni professors, yes.
By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably buying heaps of pens to fill her briefcase.