Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A funny thing happened at the nail salon

TO CELEBRATE MID-TERM SURVIVAL, I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. As I sat in the "drying station," (the area where you place your feet and hands under heat lamps to set your polish and dry your nails), I started a conversation with a woman next to me.

Because it's a small world, and there are probably only six degrees of separation between all of us, it turned out I had worked with her when I was at the magazine. She is a designer in town and I had photographed some of her amazing creations at a fashion show a year or so ago.

She taught me a couple of things during our brief encounter. Our conversation had begun with a lesson on preparing lobster, a treat she gifts herself with on her birthday each year. In our east coast city, lobsters are abundant and fresh, and I learned how to prepare one for my foodie husband, thanks to her.

I also found out that she needs a seamstress, and I have a friend who sews quite well who is in need of a job. Networking, especially when it's serendipitous, is so cool.

The final life lesson came when I shared with her what I am mastering in graduate school and why I left the publishing business where I had worked for a decade. I told her I plan to become a licensed therapist. Her response was immediate and emphatic:

"I could never do that. I would just have to tell people to get on with it." She went on to explain that she is pretty much an "anti-social worker," a word I jokingly use with my husband. She believes that people need to get over it and on with it and when she hears the stories she pretty much says, "What!?"

My response? And I have to add that I had no hard feelings, nor did I feel any judgement toward her when I said: "Thank goodness there are people like me who feel differently."

~Ms. T. J.


  1. It takes all kinds...but people who are part of the solution (and who watch out for their friends) are far too few in this world, so the world is lucky to have you in it.

  2. When I told my new neighbor what I was getting my degree in he literally took a step back like I'd smacked him.  Then he said "Wow, i could never do that".  And I'm not even in it to do therapy.  I'm a macro SW through and through. As I've said before, I'm glad you are there to help the kiddies in the world, TJ, because I know I certainly can't!

  3. Thanks Guin.

    Amy Rose:
    I would love to hear about what you want to do with your degree.

    ~T. J.