Q: What do I need to know?
Attitude for Beginners : Sit down last - Stand up first; Listen first - Talk last; Laugh at jokes - Don't tell them; Arrive First - Leave last; As a new person no one will need your education but they will appreciate a humble, WORKer. Don't dress to impress or distract (You get this or you don't...); Don't smoke near non-smokers or gear or food or at all if possible; Learn everyone's name (this is big); Be especially nice to support services, security etc - it will pay off when you need a favour or info in a hurry; "Please, Thank You, Excuse Me" - always; When your are bored out of your skull, don't read a book, talk on cell phone etc. (Learn to hide like the rest of us); When you are given boring /miserable tasks, just do it and come back for more; ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask for details if you don't understand a task; Don't rely on someone else to finish an assigned task - YOU will look stupid when they don't; If you are unsafe, you are fired. If you speed, you are fired. If you are drunk/stoned etc..... DO go for a beer if invited - DO NOT get drunk and try to out talk the old timers. Avoid set politics - let everyone slag people/departments while you remain neutral. When you move up the ladder, be especially nice to people below you.
This kind of aggregated information is invaluable to newer folks and those of us who live outside of the Major Markets (ie LA and NY), and thus can't necessarily network face-to-face with more established mixers. If you don't have the opportunity to apprentice under someone (as I did not), you end up learning a lot the hard way, unless you can benefit from resources like this, along with forums like jwsound.net and R.A.M.P.S., to name a couple.
Visit early and often, kids. If I'd known about this when I'd first started out, I'd have saved my self a small fortune in Tums.