I don’t know how much longer I can stick it out in the social services field

Hi everyone.

I currently work at a small nonprofit that basically provides assistance for pet owners in vulnerable populations, as well as having an interoperational sister organization that assists a lot of those same people with finding housing (SRO, Section 8, etc.). I've been here for about 9 months, and I think I'm finally starting to burn out.

So many of our clients are absolute hellspawn, either impossible to make happy, incredibly entitled, or straight-up aggressive. One of our biggest programs is a free pet food bank, where we hand out food, treats, supplies, and whatever else gets donated, providing supplementary assistance for up to 2 pets per month-we routinely have to explain to people that no, we cannot provide 100% of the food for their 6 huskies every month, or that no, we cannot guarantee that we'll be able to provide a specific brand or flavor (I don't even mean, like, grain-free or low-fat food, I mean chicken vs. salmon flavor) that your dog "needs". I got a call from an elderly woman earlier this week who explained that she was the de facto caretaker for something like 15 feral cats and she wanted us to help with the expenses because apparently she felt the need to get them all sterilized and microchipped and whatnot "to make it easier for people to adopt them", and was indignant when I told her that we only provide assistance for 2 animals per owner and that they must be registered and licensed and so on. Almost all of our armed services veteran clients expect some kind of special treatment "because I was over in the Middle East fighting for your freedom" or whatever bullshit. We had one client at our sister organization that we bent over backwards for for 3 days to find housing in a shelter that was up to his "standard", even driving him to it in the company van because we couldn't get ahold of a taxi, and we hadn't even gotten back to the office before we got a call from the shelter that the client had simply gotten up and left. And don't even get me started on the people that don't end up qualifying for our programs-they're even worse than all of them because they try and pull the guilt card or the anger card. There have been several instances where I've asked myself "Is today the day I get into a fistfight at work?"

I feel like so much of my time is wasted dealing with this crap. I routinely get emails from the few volunteers we have that so-and-so client wanted to know why there wasn't X item in their (free and fucking hand-delivered to their home) food package. We get calls all the time from the animal hospitals we work with telling us that one of our clients acted like a complete embarrassment to the agency, and we can either get our clients' shit together or look for a different clinic to work with.

I'm honestly so over it. I'm sick of having to apologize to volunteers and exterior vendors and all kinds of people when our clients can't just be grateful for the literal free assistance we provide and I'm sick of dealing with clients that are one step away from having to beg people for money to feed and maintain their pets but somehow find the gall to complain about food being past the "Best By" date on the bag or about how they only want the fancy clumping cat litter and not the pellet kind.

Is this kind of feeling normal? Should I be polishing up my resume and dipping tf out?

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