|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
The 80hr a week thing should have been discussed during the salary negotiations. If 80hr/wk is common you had better do it as well as start looking for another job.
The two articles from Chemical Technology are just plain awful advice. Don't follow it if you're in an IT job or there are other IT folks around. That advice is applicable to someone who doesn't need to produce. IT folks are expected to produce.
For the first year, no matter what, always have your project done perfectly and early. This will gain you the reputation you need to slack off later ;-) as well as get promoted or at least not get laid off. Make sure your boss' boss learns of this reputation as well as whoever can decide if your job should be eliminated or not. Corporate downsizing is still a trend so you need to make sure they think you're valuable and that you could and want to take on other jobs.
Offer to help everyone. Don't be pushy about it and be careful not to offend when doing it. For example you're in the morning staff meeting when Joe Sixpack mentions he is working on a certain aspect of the FooBar Project. Mention that you're done something similar and would be interested in helping there. Don't say "Joe's solution is just stupid, I can fix it in 10min if we do it the right (my) way." Sometimes it is best to stay quite in staff meetings and then approach Joe Sixpack after the meeting with your idea. "I think I can help you on the FooBar Project. If my idea is right we can finish it up early and go out for drinks tonight."
If lunch breaks are ok with your company, then eat lunch with a different coworker each day (even if it means you have to go out to the overpriced sushi place 20 miles away and put raw fish in your mouth). If there is a usual lunch bunch go with them at least once a week but no more than that. You do want to look like you fit in, but at least for the first month don't fall into any regular group. You want to fit in, but you don't want to accidentally fall in with the wrong crowd. Also try to at least once a week go to lunch with someone not in your department. This is a little harder to do in megacorps and you may only be able to do this once a month.
Find out who the office gossip is. Make sure you never ever give them anything to use against you. However you should pump them for information. They are usually quite willing to share. They can help you figure out the right people to know and what it takes to get promoted or fired. Be aware that a lot of the gossip is well just gossip.
Also find the office socialite. You need to be invited to their parties. You need to see that they get you invited to other parties. Within the first 6 months you need to have a party and ask that this person handle the invitations. For some reason the office gossip and the office socialite are either the same person or best friends.
BE NICE AND FRIENDLY TO EVERYONE. By everyone I mean everyone from the President to the assistant junior janitor. You want to make sure you don't give anyone a good reason to dislike you regardless of their position in the company. Also the assistant junior janitor can be a good source of dirt on other people in the company or can help you get access to the incriminating files.
Also get to know all of the security personnel especially the night time guards. Find out what exactly they do. Do they monitor your movements? Your Internet browsing? What else do the monitor? Who has access to their records? Where are the flaws in the system? These guys can be very useful on helping you dig up dirt, provide after hours access, or cover your own tracks.
In addition to the above, you also need to find and make friends with three key people:
Two final rules.
1) Always have candy or chocolate at your desk visible for anyone to see and take. I recommend also some sugar free options too. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Free food and free chocolate will make everyone love you. Speaking of food, if you have a garden make sure you bring in the produce.
2) DO NOT DATE, SLEEP, OR HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH ANYONE WHO WORKS FOR THE COMPANY. Unless of course it is the CEO or someone who can guarantee you a promotion and you get the evidence on tape and in writing. But seriously I've watched a number of coworkers not take this advice and eventually one or both of them have to leave.
Bottom line: Be nice, get results, uncover evidence, and don't fool around..