Being a social worker for the past 12 years has been very rewarding for me and is truly what God has called me to do. But it certainly comes with many challenges and unique experiences as well. A friend of mine sent me the following comical, yet TRUE statements about what it's like to be a social worker. My social worker/counselor friends out there will probably appreciate this the most. Enjoy!!

You know you're a social worker when…

1. You think $40,000 a year is "really making it".

2. You don't really know what it's like to work with men.

3. You know all the latest lingo for drugs, where to get them, and how much they cost.

4. You've started a sentence with 'So what I hear you saying is…'

5. You've had 2 or more jobs at one time just to pay the bills.

6. You tell people what you do and they say "that's so noble".

7. You have had to explain to people that not all social workers take away kids.

8. You use the words 'validate,' 'appropriate' and 'intervention' daily.

9. You spend more than half your day documenting and doing paperwork.

10. You think nothing of discussing child abuse over dinner.

11. People have said to you "I don't know how you do what you do".

12. You've never been on a business trip or had an expense account.

13. You know a lot of other social workers who have left the profession for another.

14. You've very familiar with the concept of entitlement.

15. Staying at a job for 2 years is 'a long time'.

16. Your phone number is unlisted for good reason.

17. Your professional newsletters always have articles about raising salaries…but you still haven't seen it.

18. You're very familiar with the term 'budget cut'.

19. You can't imagine working at a bank or crunching numbers all day.

20. You've had clients who liked you just a little too much.

21. Having lunch is a luxury many days.

22. You've been cursed at or threatened…and it doesn't bother you.

23. Your job orientation has included self defense.

24. You have the best stories at any cocktail party.

25. Your parents don't know half of the stuff that you've dealt with at your job.

26. You know all the excuses clients use for a failed drug test by heart

27. People think its a compliment if they mistake you for a psychologist

28. It's a common occurrence to walk through metal detectors.

29. You're thankful that you have a license without having to go to school for umpteen years like a psychologist.

30. You work odd hours and wonder why others can't also be as flexible, or why we have to be the only ones who work strange hours.

31. Despite the poor reputation of a social worker your job has you interacting with those in higher authority positions (lawyers, doctors, judges, state representatives, superintendents, directors, etc)…and they come looking for you in a panic when they need you…

32. You can make just about anything a client does into a strength.

33. You laugh at things "normal" people would be shocked by.

34. You constantly struggle with the work/life balance.

35. You find it hard to get babysitters as you don't trust anyone with your children.

36. You're exhausted but you keep smiling!!

37. Hearing the worst news stories does not shock you in the least bit.

38. You think nothing of saying the words vagina, penis, or anus in a daily conversation

39. You assess your date (in your head) while out on a date just to see if they meet criteria for any DSM IV diagnosis.

40. Your mother tells people you are a psychiatrist or psychologist. For the umpteenth time, I'm a social worker.

41. Your significant other has learned that when someone greets you in public not to ask "who was that?"

42. You know the suicide crisis phone number, the food shelf and the community shelter phone numbers right off the top of your head

43. Your friends/family/acquaintances/co-workers will approach you with a "hypothetical problem" to help them with and you can't charge them for your advice.

44. When people ask for your help, they expect you to have all the answers and solution to problems that do not even exist, immediately. We're social workers…not magicians.

45. You know where to find "free" anything (clothes, food, equipment, transportation) but you are not eligible for any of them yourself.

46. You are considered an "expert" with financial assistance for your low-income individuals but you can't keep your own checkbook balanced.

47. You have a file or a list posted in your office on "Stress Reducing Techniques."

48. After a long week of solving other people's problems, you recognize that you haven't dealt with your own at home

49. You don't know what "sick days" are and you call your vacation time "long mental health breaks" or "burn out prevention days".

50. The clinical staff find the patient/family situation appalling and in urgent need of intervention and in your "social work" opinion, you don't really think it's all that bad. You're pretty sure you've seen worse.

51. You love/loathe the idea of role-plays and know that they aren't something perverted necessarily.

52. You've found yourself in a group situation with other social workers discussing a super deep topic, and someone says that they're happy that they were able to have the conversation with other people who "get it" and everyone immediately agrees.

53. You really do have the best gossip around, but have to make sure to remove any possible identifying information first.

54. You really know how to enjoy a good bottle of wine