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Thread: Guilty until proven otherwise?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Guilty until proven otherwise?

    Ugh... Accepted a position with a city a few months back. Guess I should have done more homework, but the attitude from of upper management Planners are guilty until proven otherwise. The developers word is almost gospel, with a few exceptions. So we have to keep detailed logs of every conversation, yada yada...

    Keep track of time in 15 minute intervals...

    Set lunch hour, if you get tied up = no lunch hour...

    Not to mention a lot of other garbage I have to do that is not really what I think about when I think of a planning function - more administrative support stuff...

    Is this common among the public side of planning??? From what I've experienced in my limited time (5yrs) and from my discussions this is not the norm... I think this is the answer in part to their %50 turnover in planning staff annually...

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Ugh... Accepted a position with a city a few months back. Guess I should have done more homework, but the attitude from of upper management Planners are guilty until proven otherwise. The developers word is almost gospel, with a few exceptions. So we have to keep detailed logs of every conversation, yada yada...

    ... I think this is the answer in part to their %50 turnover in planning staff annually...
    That turnover would have been a red flag to me. High turnover is a good indicator of either low pay (training ground and move on) or disfunctional administration. I have never heard of a city with a set lunch hour. Actually, I have never heard of a "white collar" job with a set lunch hour.

    We used to have the mistrust of staff issue here. A new mayor and city attorney can do wonders for fixing that problem.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Ugh... Accepted a position with a city a few months back. Guess I should have done more homework, but the attitude from of upper management Planners are guilty until proven otherwise. The developers word is almost gospel, with a few exceptions. So we have to keep detailed logs of every conversation, yada yada...

    Keep track of time in 15 minute intervals...

    Set lunch hour, if you get tied up = no lunch hour...

    Not to mention a lot of other garbage I have to do that is not really what I think about when I think of a planning function - more administrative support stuff...

    Is this common among the public side of planning??? From what I've experienced in my limited time (5yrs) and from my discussions this is not the norm... I think this is the answer in part to their %50 turnover in planning staff annually...
    Sounds very typical, not going to go into my past job, but it sounds similar.

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    ouch...sounds like it sucks rocks.

    I can see it happening in the public sector, but I wouldn't say it's common.

    There are a couple of munis. and consultants here in Chicagoland that seem to always have a planner position advertised....it makes you go hmmmmmmmm........
    Last edited by mendelman; 18 Aug 2005 at 3:30 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Yeap I think I fell in their trap... Should I jump ship if something good opens up??? LOL, no chance for a promotion either, the way things appear, which goes against what I was told... Oh well you live and learn...

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Yeap I think I fell in their trap... Should I jump ship if something good opens up??? LOL, no chance for a promotion either, the way things appear, which goes against what I was told... Oh well you live and learn...
    Definitely jump ship if something better comes along.

    Just be sure not do this often in your career.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    ouch...sounds like it sucks rocks.

    I can see it happening in the public sector, but I wouldn't say it's common.

    There are a couple of munis. and consults here in Chicagoland that seem to always have a planner position advertised....it makes you go hmmmmmmmm........
    Of course, you and I wouldn't have any idea who that muni could be
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    Of course, you and I wouldn't have any idea who that muni could be
    Well...I could name a couple....one ends in 'aperville' and another has 'man est' in the middle.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    If it is wrong then it is wrong. My last job (it was also my first job half way across the county, was not a good place. I was a planner I but I felt more like a paper weight. One of the guys in our office was a good guy and will someday make a great planner, but an outside source was his mentor and former senior planner. This guy was backwards that I am shocked that had a 2000 comprehensive plan. But then again the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance had not changed since 1977, and the office had Mylar, ink pens, and an electric erasure. The director once told me “We need to stop this ‘Planning’ bull $hi! So we could get back to real work” while we were in a class learning how the in’s and out’s of the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code. The mayor (whom is no longer there) was controlled by the owner of a large retail chain and I think that mayor and the director were getting some outside funds.

    I was there for One year to the day. The amount of crime and an incident involving a gun added to the insane work conditions, so I applied for new jobs.

    This town has it’s on Rail Road on the Monopoly board and is often misspelled. After that job, I will look more into why the job is open. The place that I work for now is good, even though I do code enforcement and that sucks.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  10. #10
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Ugh... Accepted a position with a city a few months back. Guess I should have done more homework, but the attitude from of upper management Planners are guilty until proven otherwise. The developers word is almost gospel, with a few exceptions. So we have to keep detailed logs of every conversation, yada yada...

    Keep track of time in 15 minute intervals...

    Set lunch hour, if you get tied up = no lunch hour...
    1) Get a mircocassette recorder and record the conversations.

    2) Get in the habit of writing down every little thing you do. Like this:

    8:00 - Arrived at work
    8:01 - 8:03 - Removed coat and hat
    8:03 - 8:03.07 - Farted
    8:03.07 - 8:09 - Checked e-mail
    8:09 - 8:17 - Sharpened pencils

    They'll get the idea.

    3) If you aren't salary... lunch is the law. If you are salary, take it when you feel like it. Get a copy of the personel policy.

    4) Look for a job, but remember... your next employer will want to know why you left so quickly. I try to stay a 3 to 5 year minimum.


    Oh, and never take a job where everyone was just fired. Easy to spot...
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you find a job in the same vicinity as this one, they will more than likely know how things are done in your community and understand why you are leaving. If you look some distance away, it should not raise a red flag if you tell them that the position was misrepresented and your talents are not being used. Don't stay and make yourself miserable. If you last a year, which is likely given the time it will take to search for a new job, it is enough.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    Ugh... Accepted a position with a city a few months back. Guess I should have done more homework, but the attitude from of upper management Planners are guilty until proven otherwise. The developers word is almost gospel, with a few exceptions. So we have to keep detailed logs of every conversation, yada yada...
    Guess I don't understand this. There's no point in playing "he said, she said" games. Your should going by what the code says- that way its not you telling someone they could do this or that- ITS WHAT THE CODE SAYS!!!

    Don't you have staff reports where you can submit written comments? As long as you're interpreting the code correctly what's there to be guilty for? This place sounds pretty bush league.

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