If diamond engagement rings were giant flat screen TV’s instead.
(Re-post from Social Work Humor)
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
I am obsessive about backing up my personal hard drives. I have been my family’s unofficial archivist for many years, spending hundreds of hours scanning old photos and transfering video from VHS, Hi-8, and VHS-C tapes. Over the past few years, I have been recording all of my family videos in 1080p at 60 fps and most of my photographs are large RAW files taken with a DSLR. The result has been well over 600 GB of photo data and nearly 1 TB of video. This content brings me a lot of joy and I have had fun building my skills as an amateur video editor and photographer. Unfortunately, this joy is matched by a significant amount of anxiety regarding the vulnerability of digital media. Having suffered data loss due to malfunctioning hard drives, I am well aware of the risk of digital media storage.
Unfortunately, there are very few realistic solutions to some of the most severe problems with digital media storage, such as “data rot”(1). On the other hand, the problem of failing hard drives is something that anyone can, and should, prepare for. The basic rule is to backup as often as possible to as many backup systems as possible. Hard drives will fail, so you must have redundancy(2) and automation(3) built into your digital storage workflow.
Currently, I am using four tools to backup by data 4.
iTunes Match. I highly recommend this option for those who have large music, tv show, and movie collections through iTunes. Basically, it gives you server-side access to all of your content, including music you may have imported from CD’s or stolen on Napster. The cost may seem high for some at $25 a year, but it is worth it because it eliminates the need to waste space on your other backups with iTunes content. In my case, iTunes Match saves me from having to backup well over 1.5 TB of data (TV season passes can be especially large at about 1 GB per episode).
Time Machine. Time Machine is a core component of OS X. Just connect an external drive to your Mac and it will prompt you with the option to set it up as a Time Machine backup. This is my top level backup. It keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for the rest of my system’s history (as long as there is still space on the drive). One of my favorite features of Time Machine is its ability to backup data on the internal HD in addition to any external drives that are connected to the computer. There is also an option to exclude drives and folders that you don’t want to backup. For example, if you have iTunes Match, you can exclude your iTunes library from the Time Machine backup to save some space.
SuperDuper. My “backup for the backup” is SuperDuper. This application creates a complete, bootable copy of my HD and external drives. The app costs $28, but is worth every penny. It is a little more complex than Time Machine and may be too intimidating for some. This is especially the case if you are wanting to backup multiple HDs (creating multiple Read/Write “Sparse” Image Bundles, etc). SuperDuper can also be used to make a copy of your Time Machine backup; however, I feel that it is probably best to have multiple backups from the source drives to avoid the problem of having two corrupted backups if the Time Machine bundle messes up. SuperDuper gives user much more control over the automation aspects of backups. I currently have my system set to backup any new or modified files once per week during a time when I am unlikely to be using my home computer.
Backblaze. This is one of the best online backup solutions that I have found. Backblaze will make server-side copies of all your files (excluding the operating system and application files). As I mentioned before, video and photo files can take up a lot of space. Most online storage solutions will charge hefty fee per GB, but Backblaze offers a flat fee for unlimited storage ($3.96/a month if you sign up for two years). It took nearly two weeks for all my video files and photos to upload to Backblaze, but I now have the peace of mind of knowing that I have a backup that is safe from theft, fire, and tornadoes. If you need access to the Backblaze backup, they have a great iOS app that can access individual files, you can download your backup from their servers, or they will mail you an HD with a copy of your latest backup if you need it (for an additional charge). Like Time Machine and SuperDuper, Backblaze is able to intelligently monitor your system for changes and only update changed and new files.
Fortunately, more and better options for securing data are emerging every day. I am interested in Flickr’s recent announcement of 1 TB of free photo storage per user as a potential option for additional backups (assuming that automation is developed at some point). Of course, some may choose to continue to print their photos and make dvd’s of their videos just incase. If you meet all four of the above criterion, you may be diagnosed with Backup System Disorder, Paranoid Type. Congratulations.
Even as we transition away from traditional hard drives (with moving disks that wear out with time) to SSDs (that contain no traditional mechanical components), there is still the pervasive risk of “data rot" that can corrupt a filesystem and even its backup drives. There is very little that the average consumer can do to protect their data from "rot." If there is nothing I can do about it, I choose not to worry about it. ↩
Redundancy basically means backing up to as many HDs as possible with a diversified portfolio of backup apps, like the ones suggested in this article. Don’t use the same external drive for two separate backup apps. Also, don’t use the same backup app to create backups on multiple drives. That would just be stupid. ↩
Automation is probably the most important element of maintaining good backups. If you have to do anything to make the backup happen, even if it is just a click of a button, you will probably forget to do it. Good backup apps will do their job with no need for human involvement after the initial setup. ↩
This post is obviously geared towards Mac users. My apologies to the Microsoft and Linux folk. ↩