Things I know now that I wished I knew then

This was something that was sent to me by a former colleague of mine who is just leaving the army, it did make me laugh because when I left the army some of these were an almost a daily tick sheet for me!

Things to consider whilst adjusting to Civvy street:

  1. Speech:
    • Time should never begin with a zero or end in a hundred; it is not 0530 or 1400. It is 5:30am or 2 in the afternoon.
    • Words like “pit”, and “PT” will get you weird looks; use bed, workout, get used to it.”F***” cannot be used to replace whatever word you can’t think of right now. Try “um” instead.
    • It’s a phone, not a radio, conversations on a phone do not end in “Roger That” or “Out”
    • People will not know what you are talking about if you tell them you are coming from Dalton Barracks with the C.P. platoon or that you spent a deployment with the RN…. no more acronyms
  2. Style:
    • Do not put creases in your jeans.
    • Do not put creases on the front of your dress shirts.
    • Do not refer to your suits numerically; your best jacket and trousers are not your number 1’s
    • Wearing a hat indoors does not make you a wren; it makes you like the rest of the world.
  3. Women:
    • Being divorced twice by the time you are 23 is not normal. Neither are 6 month marriages, even if it is your first.
    • Marrying a girl so that you can move out of the barracks does not make “financial sense”. It makes you a retard.
  4. Personal accomplishments:
    • In the real world, being able to do lots of press-ups will not lead to automatic promotion or help your career in any way.
    • Most people will be slightly disturbed by you if you tell them about people you have killed or seen die.
    • How much pain you can take is not a personal accomplishment.
  5. Drinking:
    • NATO is an organisation, not the way you want your tea made
    • In the real world, being drunk before 5pm will get you a written warning (or sacked), not a pat on the back from your boss.
    • Shouting “Naked Bar” at your works Christmas party will have no effect.
    • That time you drank a bottle of Absinth and shat in your pals suitcase is not a conversation starter.
    • That time you went to the combat life saver school and practiced giving vodka IV’s will probably not impress a civilian.
  6. Bodily functions:
    • Farting on your new colleagues and then laughing hysterically while you walk away may be viewed as “unprofessional”.
    • The size of the dump you took yesterday will not be funny regardless of how big it was, how much it burned, how much it smelled….. or how clear the photo is.
    • You can’t make fun of someone for their disability, no matter how funny the ailment is.
    • VD will also not be funny.
  7. The human body:
    • Most people will not want to hear about or see your balls. Odd as that may seem, it’s true.
    • If your arse is sore, don’t ask your colleague on the next desk if he can see what’s wrong with it.
  8. Spending habits:
    • One day, you will have to pay for the things that keep you alive; heat, light, shelter, food, etc, etc.
    • Buying a £30,000 car on a £16,000 a year salary is a really, really stupid idea.
    • Spending money on video games instead of on nappies makes you a twat.
  9. Interacting with civilians:
    • Making fun of your neighbour to his face for being fat will not make you popular in the neighbourhood.
  10. Real jobs:
    • They really can fire you. On the flip side you really can quit.
    • Screaming at the people that work for you will not be normal. Remember they really can quit too.
    • You can’t tell your secretary to “follow it down” if she drops her pen.
    • And taking naps at work will not be acceptable.
    • Sport is no longer part of your working week. Wednesday afternoons are for work, just like every other afternoon
  11. The Law:
    • Your civvy boss, unlike your C.O., can’t save you and probably won’t. In fact most likely you will be fired about 5 minutes after he finds out you’ve been arrested.
    • Even McDonalds do background checks, and “conviction” isn’t going to help you get the job
    • Fighting is not a normal thing and will get you really arrested and/or fired, not yelled at Monday on morning before being asked if you won.
  12. General knowledge:
    • You can in fact really say what you think about the Queen in public.
    • Pain is not weakness leaving the body. It’s just pain. Unless you were infantry, then it is probably arthritis.
    • Your new boss won’t wear anything shiny that tells you they are more important then you are. Be polite.
    • You no longer have to go to the POL point; just go to the BP garage like everyone else
  13. Finally
    • Read the contracts before you sign them – remember what happened the first time…!!
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