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Thread: You know you are a Planner I (or Entry Level) when ...

  1. #1

    You know you are a Planner I (or Entry Level) when ...

    Okay, perhaps it's been years since you were a Planner I or, perhaps, you presently are employed as a Planner I. Not a Planner? Not a problem! Insert the words 'Entry Level' wherever you see the Planner I job title. (Oh, and tell us what you do!)

    What jobs/duties/tasks are most characteristic of the Planner I position? What are some jobs you had to do that made you think 'Huh?' or 'Cool!' or 'I went to Grad School for this?' Other observations about getting started in your profession?

    For me, there was absolutely no administrative support whatever when I was a Planner I. I would stand at the copier and think it was plain stupid to pay me as much as they were to stand there and make photocopies.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  2. #2
    ..when you are the fist person the secretary looks to anytime there is a really stupid question at the counter.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I am a Planner I and luckily we have a Planning Technician and a great administrative staff, otherwise I would be doing home occs, sign permits and zoning compliance letters all day.

    The good parts: I was specifically hired to administer a zoning overlay and historic district, which I love. I also do alot of day to day planning, large site plans, rezoning requests, and taking phone calls from various people on planning and development issues. My boss trusts me with the more controversial projects so I get to work on interesting things. They also value my opinion on planning issues and embrace my fresher perspective on things.

    The bad parts: since I am the low-woman on the totem poll I get all the projects no one else wants, include these small site plans that are typically in response to a zoning compliance issue. Usually the owner doesn't want to bring the site up to code so I have to 'work' with them to get everything done. These things have no set schedule so some of them drag on for months! I have one that is now going on for a year and a half, over some screening shrubs and a wash bay.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    2 words-code enforcement. That which does not kill you or drives you out of the profession, makes you stronger. My stint did teach to think on my feet and never write a reg that I could not give a good reason for. It also taught me to duck and cover.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I am not a Planner I, but a Planner, which is the low man on the totem pole, none-the-less. I get to do a lot of things that many Planner's don't (We are a staff of two in Zoning with 5 in Admin), but as the low man within Zoning/Administration, I always get the grunt jobs.... go to a stupid meeting 2 hours away, take packets to trustees, do work that the higher ups should be doing, but don't want to. And my favorite, write letters from higher ups to citizens. Ugh.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    After 33 years, I am still a Planner I. Code enforcement is my highest priority, so I am told.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I am not a planner, but my soon to be finished degree says I am
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    ...when you aren't invited to the really cool meetings.

    ...when no one offers you bribes or ball game tickets (ok, same thing)

    ...when the boss transfers the idiot on line 2 to you without a quick shout out as to the idiot's intent.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    you think you can change the world.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    ...when you aren't invited to the really cool meetings.
    So true!

    I have been working on this huge rezoning-mixed use-sustainable development project, but its not mine and I help my supervisor with all the grunt work. Since I am a Planner I, my pay grade it under the 'non-exempt' employee, meaning I get overtime at time and half (not paid). I am the only Planner in the office with this 'non-exempt' status. But with that, if I don't have to go to a night meeting or council meeting where the project I have been toiling away at is being presented, I am not asked to go. I still could go, but I don't get OT to go...does this make sense? The time and half is great when they let me earn it!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  11. #11
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    you think you can change the world.
    i think that now... i'm not a planner though

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    ...when you aren't invited to the really cool meetings.
    And you still believe that there are any "really cool meetings."
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  13. #13
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    And you still believe that there are any "really cool meetings."
    They're only cool cause you can't go!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  14. #14
    Here's a few more...

    Writing meeting minutes. Having the Chief Planner nit-pick the holy-snot out of them (with a red pen, natch), editing, resubmitting, and doing this dance over and over for a few years. To this day, I despise writing minutes and try to be as gentle as possible in editing them. (Right, PlanICan?)

    Learning (the hard way) why having an open container (coffee, coke, water) on a drafting table (remember those, ofos) is a really, really bad idea.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    FNG

    Being told to taste the pickles in the refrigerator to see if they're still good.
    WALSTIB

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Learning (the hard way) why having an open container (coffee, coke, water) on a drafting table (remember those, ofos) is a really, really bad idea.
    Not to mention grabbing for Exacto knives that are rolling off the drafting board. Another really bad idea.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  17. #17
    Cyburbian PlanICan's avatar
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    Minutes?? What are those? Am I supposed to be paying attention at the two mandatory meetings I have to go to every month and don't get paid extra for? Yes, I am a Planner I...I love going to meetings nobody else wants to attend, doing the work nobody else wants to do, and answering the phone calls about why somebody can't do whatever they want on their own property whenever they want, that nobody else wants to take...but I see it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and I am learning a lot that I wouldn't be learning in a bigger city, plus I have a great boss so things aren't all bad...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Not to mention grabbing for Exacto knives that are rolling off the drafting board. Another really bad idea.
    They STILL don't let me play with sharp objects!
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  19. #19
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    you're the first one on the chopping block for payoffs!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    You spend an hour fixing what someone "above"* you has screwed up, hurting your own performance rating because otherwise you could be doing other things, while they move on to do stuff they will get scads of credit for.


    Not a planner. Entry level corporate drone.



    * I don't mean my boss. I mean a 2 or 3 -- someone who makes more money and has more training and all that but can't be bothered to do their job properly.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    You know you are a planner when your kids are the only one among their friends that can read a map.

    When I worked in local government and a long range planner, I hated it when the current planning staff would decide to not take calls or walk ins to get their work done and make me deal with the stupid variance questions. Somewhere along the line, the boss, who was an idiot, never realized that me and my staff had work to do also. Everything was about current planning.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  22. #22
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sisterceleste View post
    You know you are a planner when your kids are the only one among their friends that can read a map.

    When I worked in local government and a long range planner, I hated it when the current planning staff would decide to not take calls or walk ins to get their work done and make me deal with the stupid variance questions. Somewhere along the line, the boss, who was an idiot, never realized that me and my staff had work to do also. Everything was about current planning.
    R.T. is great with a map and says "GPS makes you stupid." She's taking an architecture class this year. Her teacher asked her why she knew so much about urban design and sustainability concepts and she said "my mom's a planner." His response was along the lines of "It figures."
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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