5 Reasons High School Doesn't Prepare You For Work

#2. New to the Company? Expect Shitty Tasks

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I don't know anyone who hasn't complained at some point that he does all of the work while the manager just sits on his ass in the office doing jack shit all day. I'd say it's a rite of passage, but I know 40-year-olds who still say it. Part of that is not knowing what it is a manager does or the level of personal responsibility they're required to take with the business, which is understandable -- you can't know it until you've worked it. But the other part is that the worker gets piled under so many shitty tasks that every other position seems easy by comparison.

Unfortunately, it's true that new hires and low level workers get stuck with a ton of menial shit that any monkey could fling. It feels like punishment or an initiation, but in most cases, I assure you it's not. You have to remember that the person who hired you most likely doesn't know you. Because of that "personal responsibility" and "trust" thing I keep bringing up, they're going to naturally hand down easy, foolproof bullshit until they know you're not going to destroy the company with constant fuckups.

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That's hot dog acid. He died four hours later.

That sounds crazy, since they studied your application, interviewed you, and trusted you enough to hire you. But you have to understand that there's a huge difference between you on paper and you in action. My wife once hired a woman who interviewed perfectly, but once she was on the job, it turned out she was physically incapable of counting money. They worked at a loan company that handled cash six days a week.

So are you being tested? Yes, in a "make sure there are no turds in the pool before diving in" sort of way. But it's a good thing, because it's probably the most influential time of your career. There won't be many, if any, times when you are watched and judged as closely. Not just with your performance, but the way you handle and react to the job. Your ability to do it without being a bitchy little douche will dictate how fast you get to hand off those chores to the next poor bastard they hire.

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"Welcome aboard. Come with me, and I'll show you where the garbage tasting room is located."

#1. Recognize the Benefits of a Lateral Move

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As far as growth and pay are concerned, this is easily the most important lesson I ever learned about the working world. Listen up, kiddos, because nobody ever told me this shit, and I really wish they had.

Let's say you're capped out on how high you can be promoted in your department. You're a supervisor and the direct boss of the whole jade division of the cock ring factory. You learn that there's a new position open in the pig tail butt plug warehouse, but it's 25 cents less per hour, and you'd be the lowest person on the totem pole.

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But at least it's better than "dildo tester."

Many people wouldn't even consider the pay cut, let alone the loss of stature, but the fact that there is room to grow makes it an investment. Not only are you giving yourself the opportunity to surpass where you currently are, you're also building a more diverse knowledge of the company, padding a resume that most of your other co-workers likely don't have unless it's from a customer standpoint, in which case ... ew.

Lateral moves are scary because it's putting you into unfamiliar territory. Your brain panics, trying to convince you that you're throwing away everything you've worked for on a risky bet, especially if that lateral move means switching employers. The idea of starting from scratch sucks, but that's the whole nature of growing. It's like switching gears in a stick shift. There's a short time where the car has to coast while the clutch is pushed in. You're not gaining ground until the next gear engages ... but if you never go up a level because you're afraid to push down the clutch, you can only go so fast.

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And let's face it, if you can't get up to 88 miles per hour, you'll never almost fuck your mom.

It's not an easy decision to make. Nor is it always the right one. I'm just saying it's worth the consideration if your goal is more money, responsibility, and authority. I know a guy who's had the same assistant manager job for 25 years, and he's perfectly happy with it. He's told me many times that he's as far as he ever wants to go with the company, and that's totally fine. But he didn't get to that point without understanding all of these lessons. It's just too bad we didn't learn them before jumping into the adult world.

Your move, high school. We'll talk about improvements to sex education later. You may need a lawyer for that one.

John is an editor and columnist right here at Cracked, with a new article every Thursday. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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