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Thread: Am I the only one that LOVES my job?

  1. #26
         
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    Now excuse me. I have to report for jury duty tomorrow.

  2. #27
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Andy Dobson
    Now excuse me. I have to report for jury duty tomorrow.
    Enjoy, Andy....I had jury duty is September....it's a disruption to life, but quite an interesting experience (I ended up sitting on 2 cases, and was foreman for one).
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #28

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    Re: Planning as a profession is going down

    Originally posted by mugbub1

    Planning is non productive because there is no need to hustle to get anything done. It moves at the speed of government with it's bank holidays, bureacracy, politcal strategery etc. The worker in the private sector has to produce something to keep his/her job. In government the worker, on the other hand, is not held nearly as accountable for his/her actions. The off the wall benefits packages also allow the gvt. worker to wallow in laziness.
    I'll argue your assertion that the public sector worker is not held as accountable as the private sector worker. I've personally been involved in two situations where the public employees' performance was very explicitly and publicly evaluated and rewarded/punished.

    In one instance, I was the town planner for a small community in New Hampshire. We operated under the Town Meeting form of government - once a year all of the voters gathered and set the budget, determined policies, adopted land use regulations, etc. During the discussion of the budget, somebody stood up and moved to amend budget line ____ down by a specific amount. That was my budget, and the amount to be deleted equalled my salary! We proceeded to have a debate for several minutes over the value of planning in our community and the need for a professional planner. The amendment was soundly defeated (I think only two votes in favor) and my job - and the merits of sound professional planning - was endorsed by the community.

    In the other case, I worked for a regional planning commission that was performing poorly as an organization. We weren't responsive to member communities, some of our staff members weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, and our perceived value was very low. Communities quit, we didn't get contracts renewed for planning services, and our budget suffered. As a result, there was a complete turnover in staff within about six months - including me. (In my defense, I wasn't directly involved with most communities. The communities I worked with were very happy and were supporters of the organization.)

    In both instances public sector performance was very clearly rewarded (my individual perfomance, in that case) or punished (at the organizational level). The market works in the public sector, too.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I love my job... and I've always loved planning. There have times that I have hated past jobs... or heck, even times that I've disliked my current job, but I think it's a profession that comes really naturally to me and that I get a lot of satisfaction from. Can't beat that at the end of the day (well, unless the end of the day is after a six hour Council meeting).

    Tomorrow is the third day out of a three-day course on Alberta legislation. I love this course... I love going to school. But I think I like it so much now because I like my job and I like to learn new things about it. I hated college, but I think I finally found my place. I've been doing this about 13 years now (since I was 19... sheesh)... almost half my life, and I still love it!

  5. #30
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    "It so broad because planning spans so many fields and therefore is diluted, generally non respected, and low paying. Just think of all the people on this forum- it ranges from transportation planners to, code enforcement, to economic dev, etc. So many jobs calling themselves planners. There was a debate on here as to whether code enforcement is planning. Code enforcers as with other "planners" are all just municipal administrators- nothing more, nothing less."

    Yes, I agree that planning is broad, but that is one thing that I love about it. I am the only planner here and get to be involved in SO many different things - historic preservation, recreation, engineering, code enforcement, zoning, site plan review, housing.... There is always something new and different. If you get bored at my job, your not doing something right. Now, I guess I would understand if you worked at a larger municipality that had many planners, and you were 'assigned' to handle say, just code enforcement, or just site plan review, etc. I think that would get tedious for me, and I probably would get bored and as a result, lazy.

    "So it is not surprising that this thread starter loves her job. You don't have to produce for a company by bringing in revenue, you have subsidized benefits and probably niceties like comp time, excess vacation, etc. Your not a bad person for loving that situation- just try to realize you're not doing much to increase the productivity of the econmomy. "

    I agree with I think it was Bturk who explained that planning is a process and therefore wouldn't produce. Maybe I am a selfish little snot, but I really don't care that I am "not doing much to increase the productivity of the economy". I work my damndest (is that spelled right) to improve my community and make is a safe, beautiful place where people want to live, play, work, visit, etc. I know that sounds hokey, but too bad. If someone comes here and thinks it ghetto, they sure wouldn't want to start a businesses, move here, visit, etc. I think my job is very important, and I work hard at it and take it very seriously. While I may not be contributing to the overall economy, in a way, my job does have some bearing on the economy of the community.

    By the way, I was the original thread start. I don't feel the need to 'prove' myself or try to argue with mugbug, but I do want to point out that while it is acceptable to have your own opinion, generalizations are not. Most of time, they simply aren't true.

  6. #31
          Downtown's avatar
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    Re: Planning as a profession is going down

    Originally posted by mugbub1
    Planning is non productive because there is no need to hustle to get anything done. It moves at the speed of government with it's bank holidays, bureacracy, politcal strategery etc. The worker in the private sector has to produce something to keep his/her job. In government the worker, on the other hand, is not held nearly as accountable for his/her actions. The off the wall benefits packages also allow the gvt. worker to wallow in laziness.
    Muggy, I agree that government workers are not held responsible enough for their actions. I'm sure every single public sector employee on this board can point to an example of someone (or many people) in their workplace that take advantage of their benefits. However, I think you're painting with a wide brush - I really do feel that the work I do is valued in my community, and that the work I do does make an impact on my physical environment.

    Some would argue that the off the wall benefits packages allow public school teachers to wallow in laziness.... but you still have a lot of very dedicated and hard working professionals that are working in that field. Yes, it is an imperfect rewards system, but when you're providing an unquanitfiable product, this happens.

    As for the private sector planners - There are a lot of planners on this board that made the switch from public to private and have been very happy for doing so. However, the firms that I have knowledge of, in this area, generally treat their employees abominably. And the majority of private firms are so top heavy, with too many principles, vice presidents and marketing people, and not enough "worker bees" - entry level CAD people, L.A.'s and planners that so many projects go insanely over budget and the quality of the end product is, at best, shoddy.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Kinda related to I love my job...

    Is it wrong for me to be happily awaiting a trip to court this Friday?

    The properrty owners we are taking to court have made my life a living hell for periods of time over the past 2 years, have had adequate appeals (and lost) and now we are going to the Judge to have orders enforced.

    I can't wait.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #33
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Re: Planning as a profession is going down

    Originally posted by mugbub1
    It so broad because planning spans so many fields and therefore is diluted, generally non respected, and low paying. Just think of all the people on this forum- it ranges from transportation planners to, code enforcement, to economic dev, etc. So many jobs calling themselves planners. There was a debate on here as to whether code enforcement is planning. Code enforcers as with other "planners" are all just municipal administrators- nothing more, nothing less. The same as mid level pukes in a private enterprise.
    This is often not the fault of the "planners", per se, but the government officials who jam everything that doesn't fit into the auspices of "planning". The larger cities, with more departments (and more management) tend to break it down, but the smaller cities I've worked for toss just about anything into "Community Development"... Grants, building & codes, CE, and much more.

    Originally posted by mugbub1
    Planning is non productive because there is no need to hustle to get anything done. It moves at the speed of government with it's bank holidays, bureacracy, politcal strategery etc. The worker in the private sector has to produce something to keep his/her job. In government the worker, on the other hand, is not held nearly as accountable for his/her actions. The off the wall benefits packages also allow the gvt. worker to wallow in laziness.
    The bigger the beast, the slower it moves. If you came to my office and tried to not hustle, you'd be out of a job. And the higher your position *in* that government, the more accountable you become. If I "wallowed", I'd be toast. I have a hard enough time keeping up, and I tend to work 50-60 hour weeks. Do some do this? I'm sure... But I had more time to do nothing in my private sector jobs.

    Originally posted by mugbub1
    So it is not surprising that this thread starter loves her job. You don't have to produce for a company by bringing in revenue, you have subsidized benefits and probably niceties like comp time, excess vacation, etc. Your not a bad person for loving that situation- just try to realize you're not doing much to increase the productivity of the econmomy.
    Revenue? I brought in over $500,000 in 10 months. You see, grant writing is part of my job here. I wrote my first one (and got it) the second week I was here. I wrote it mostly on "my time", evenings and week-ends, since it was due.

    But pure planning is supposed to save taxpayers through various means. I'll let someone else expound if they care to do so...

    Originally posted by mugbub1

    Planning often hinders and adds cost to private sector endeavors. Municipalities really only need a good plan and codes and then have an absolute minimum staff to enforce it.
    Who writes the plans? Who updates them? Who staffs the meetings where planning advice is required?

    And let me tell you... Much of the "private sector" will absolutely SCREW the people of a city to save a nickle, given the chance...
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