1. You never use the full term when an acronym will do. You practically swim in the national alphabet soup, and without any mental fumbling you know the meaning of: DOS, DOJ, DOI, DOD, LOC, NGA, HHAS, DHS, INS, FBI, CIA, DEA, SOL, DCA, IAD, BWI, SAIS, GU, GW, DCU, NOVA, CHBC, CLC, CDC, IMF, MCC, GAO, OMD, NSA, NASA, FDIC, WHO, USAID, GWOT, and dozens of others.
2. You don't look up, much less flinch, when a formation of military helicopters flys over your head.
3. You know better than to trust a roadsign within a 10-mile raidus of the Capitol building, you never go anywhere without knowing if your destination lies within SE, SE, NE, or NW, and you have sat aghast at the intersection of Glebe Road and Glebe Road.
4. Seven o'clock is going home early.
5. Your friends regularly ask you if they can list you as a reference for the background check on their security clearance.
6. Your next-door neighbor has a special government passport and travel overseas for long periods, coming home at strange hours, but he or she is always very vague about the details of their job.
7. You manage to get "Where are you from?" into every conversation with a stranger, since you can be sure that, 9 times out of 10, they come from somewhere else.
8. Your favorite obelisk is actually two-toned, and you know why.
9. You have a pretty well-defined idea of what's wrong with the world, and how to fix it.
10. If you don't have your Master's or your PhD, you've at least given it serious thought, and you've probably taken your GRE, just in case.
11. You know which side of the street to catch a cab on in order to avoid extra zone fees.
12. No matter how much you complain that your job doesn't tap into your true passions and talents, the cherry blossoms still make everything worth it for you.
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