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Thread: I hate office work

  1. #1

    I hate office work

    I've noticed one thing about myself during my internships...I hate office work. I hate sitting in the same place, either a little cubicle or office, for 8 hours in front of a god damn computer. One of my friends doesn't mind - hes the mousey introverted type, but I think I'm different. A part of me screams that I am going to go insane if I stay in one little place for hours on end. And I'm afraid of getting a big computer butt, life almost everyone else I see who does office work. And I feel depressed, horribly depressed, knowing that I am allowing my precious life to trickle away in some puny little office. Is this what planning is like??

    But is that one of the trade offs I must make? Should I compromise, and accept it, in exchange for having a career that pays a decent salary, like planning? Is that the nature of work, something that you must endure, and then enjoy life with your free time after work?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I also sometimes wish I had gone into a field that got me out and about more often. But, one good thing about planning, in most cases, is that there are always properties and projects "out in the field" that you can check out whenever cabin fever starts setting in. The more comfortable you get in your job, and the more independence you gain, the more chances to just say "I'm going out in the field", and you can take the scenic route to and from whatever you are looking at, to check out some apparent violations or some properties where future projects or petitions may occur.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Environmental planners seem to get out and about a lot. I switched from zoning/land use to trails, and I get to dress a lot more casual and get out of the office more often.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Environmental planners seem to get out and about a lot. I switched from zoning/land use to trails, and I get to dress a lot more casual and get out of the office more often.
    Was that an easy switch? I've long thought about switching to trails/park planning but it seems to be a more specialized field.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jess's avatar
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    Planning isn't only done inside those four corners of the cubicle. You need to do ocular surveys to verify what you are planning is feasible at the site. In your internship, you should witness actual implementation for you to appreciate what's going on there outside of the planning world.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Was that an easy switch? I've long thought about switching to trails/park planning but it seems to be a more specialized field.
    It really was. I'm still dealing with site plan review related to trails and my team is glad I can understand, and deal with, zoning and comp plan issues. The only really "new" thing I had to do was grant-writing. Also, Trail Nazi had worked in local and regional planning, and trails, before she went to VA a few years ago, and she did some parks planning up there.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Jan 2004
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    montana
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    I think that your office life depends on how you decide to work it. I am a general planner in a fast growing county. I've got an office job. I don't, however, spend 8 hours in front of a computer, as that would kill me. Let's take yesterday as a typical example.:

    Arrive at work at 8. Staff meeting begins at 815, so we all troop over to the meeting room and talk about big policy changes that are happening and all of our roles in it.

    930: Go off-site to a meeting at an architect's office. Spend an hour learning about a very significant new development that they've been working on for the past 9 years, and which i'm beginning to take over. Fulfilling for both myself, as the staff planner, and the architect/developer, because we're actually having a conversation as real people. Plus, a lot more fun than sitting in my office reading file after file and trying to learn it all myself.

    11:00 Another meeting, this time back at my office, with the consulting planner working with us on doing a neighborhood plan for 1000 acres outside of town. Again, interesting work, and fulfilling for both of us.

    12:00 Lunch meeting with the development community. We do this once a month, and its a great way to sit around eating pizza talking about process changes, process hitches and hangups, ways that all of us could work together better.

    1:00 Hour and a half in front of the computer working on staff reports. Gotta do this sometime.

    2:30 Commission hearing where i present very controversial project. Only lasts about 45 minutes, because we've ironed issues out in meetings like the ones i attended earlier in the day.

    3:30 Thirty more minutes in office working on project.

    4:00 meeting with architect on project i'd just been working on, detailing my issues and setting up meeting next week with architect and fire chief to iron them out.

    4:45 30 minutes spent working on permits

    5:15 Go home.

    That's a pretty typical day for me. Today is another typical day- i spent all day yesterday in meetings ironing issues out, and today i'll spend most of the day working on staff reports for those (and other projects). So today is a computer day. By this afternoon, owever, i'm going to head into the field for some inspections that will take about 2 hours. So, like i said, you can be a person that sits in your office and types and reads reports and does GIS or whatever, or you can make it interesting for yourself (and worthwhile for the people you're working with) and get out and talk to them. If your an extrovert like me, you'll probably work out a system where you can be fairly independent and do what you need to do to keep yourself sane and get the job done.

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