What TV won’t tell you about working in an office

We’ve all seen the hundreds of office-inspired TV shows. There’s The Office, Parks and Recreation, Workaholics, and 30 Rock, just to name a few. There is a multitude of shows set in the workplace. You would have thought that I would’ve had a good idea of what to expect when I got my first “real” job after college. Unfortunately, I was unprepared for the realities of water cooler exchanges and deadlines.

Every office has a Dwight, but it’s rude to jello their stapler

If you though Dwight was an anomaly you are gravely mistaken. If you thought you could fend them off like Jim, you are also mistaken. Unfortunately there is a certain level of tolerance that is expected in real life offices, and encasing a stapler in Jell-O or sending faxes from Future Dwight aren’t usually considered tolerant.

You might not be best friends with your boss

It’s likely that you won’t have a boss like Michael Scott or Leslie Knope. It’s even more likely that your feelings towards your boss won’t be as cut and dry as the characters on your favorite TV show. Sometimes you will like them, sometimes you will hate them and most of the time you will maintain a delicate balance of awkwardness.

Actually, you won’t be best friends with everyone at the office. And that’s OK!

It seems like the office is a very small world where everyone knows everyone and you all communicate regularly. That’s just not the case. Some offices are huge and others are small. You may get to know a lot of your department well but have no idea what’s happening in other floors. You’ll have some work besties and some work acquaintances. That’s totally normal.

You might not have super-awesome office equipment

Unfortunately, the closest you will ever get to being Liz Lemon is having your own headset. Very few of us get our own offices starting out, and more than one of us has had to work on a sluggish, hand-me-down computer. It’s OK. You can deal.

There are way fewer pranks in real life

There seems to be a lot of workplace shenanigans happening on these shows. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Being productive at work is why you come to work. Who knows how they have time to prank each other, fight, hold 18 meetings in a day and still get stuff done. In reality, you have to get stuff done.

You Can’t Wear a Bear Coat
Regardless of the dress code of your office, you probably won’t be allowed to wear a bear coat. Sorry.

Offices can be tricky places, and not at all like The Office. Fortunately they provide comic relief when we get home at the end of the day. To all the daily office warriors, I salute you.

Ally Mann is a freelance writer from Idaho. She enjoys camping, her German shepherds and getting lost in the middle of nowhere. Follow her on Twitter @allymanneray

[Image courtesy NBC]