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Giving credit, where credit is due...(an ethics check)

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
-Alright I've been trying to hold this in for as long as I could, but I finally have to vent. For everybody that has worked for some planning organization, do you give credit where credit is due or have you been not acknowledged by a higher-up when credit is due?

-A big project I did involving a lot of field work, traveling, public relations with municipalities that don't want to give you the time of day (or their info due to fears of regionalism), data entry, and comparison reports, was the recent agenda in a PCC meeting.

-The higher-up that did the presentation only put together a power point presentation of all the info I gave him (with the help from another in the department I was providing help to), and then when the committee asked how all of this info was gathered and processed, he said "oh it was some guy we hired".

-I know how most of this stuff works (in the public sector expecially), you take credit for the work that somebody else did, but blame them when the information is wrong. But come on, saying that it was just some guy we hired, no name what so ever? I had to here this from other employees that were at the meeting, and they thought it was wrong.

-I don't know, I just feel like choking him everytime he smiles at me and then ask me to do another project. What are your thoughts/feelings to this dark-side of the profession? I feel like copyrighting everything now and maybe charging a consultants fee.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I got shafted on a project that won a "Plan of the Year" award by our local APA Chapter. I did the whole thing, except go to the dinner to accept the plaque. I quit that job about 6 months later, and still to this day can't believe the crap I put up with there.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
This just makes me really piasssed though. I had to haggle and hound some of these local municipalities, and contact agencies across the U.S. with similar programs we were looking at.
 
Messages
16
Points
1
I think this is a general organizational problem. I say, get used to it. None of the resident genii at my workplace are credited properly, but a lot of idiots are praised. I've been at meetings where someone is presenting and taking full credit of my work but when it comes to question period, suddenly, the floor is mine. That is bitter sweet, but it doesn't always happen.

In your case, you can hope that the organization is going to try to duplicate your project a few years down the line...and they'll fail miserably :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I recently won an award for a plan I wrote. When I announced it to my board, a couple members said "That's wonderful, good work!" One said "Well, he had a lot of help on it." Really? Do you want to tell me who helped with it? I certainly don't know.

This ass just simply does not want to believe that I do good work. He is one of those people who will never achieve much, and resents people who have succeeded and are better off than he is. Cutting them down is his way of making himself feel bigger. I see it in the way he treats other staff as well. I will be mentioning next week that I just picked up two more awards for another project, including a "professional's choice" chosen by ballot, by membership from several states, from among almost fifty entries. I wonder what he will say then. I regret not responding to his last comment, and this time, if he says anything I will speak up.

On that note, Rumpy, I would say that you should also speak up. Beforehand, try to get your name on the work. I used to leave mine off, but now it goes on the title page. Let some of the more active board members know of your involvement. If you are in the room when somebody asks who put together the information, speak up, but keep it subtle. You might say "Well, I collected a lot of it. Did you have any questions about the methodology?" If the person does not give yo credit, speak with them. If they still refuse, go over their head. You deserve the recognition, and that recognition is the sort of thing that will help your career. Don't be slighted or used by somebody trying to make themselves look good at your expense.
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
I think that all of this is simply a reflection of the inherent genius and creativity that all of us Planners are blessed with. Those not willing to give credit are simply jealous of our intellect and abilities.

Case in point...I recently discovered that a project that I have worked on for three years is finally fully funded, to the tune of almost $4 million. When I told my my boss (a former corporate CEO) who represents the district where the project is located he smiled, and simply said, "Good, let me know what we need to do next". No "thank you", no "great job", nothing. I think deep down he realizes that the project would still be simply a dream without someone (me) with the ability to pull it all together he is just hesitant to see anyone other than himself get credit for anything.

Remember, there is only about an 18" difference between a pat on the back and a swift kick in the rear.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I did an internship where I prepared a planning board member handbook for the state Department of Commerce. I did almost all of the work - research, writing and editing, etc. When the handbook came out, the credits read like the pecking order. Those at the top and who has done no work got top billing and so forth on down, so that the one who actually did the lion's share of the work (me) was mentioned last. It has been over six years and it still irks me whenever I see the handbook, which is used across the state.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Cardinal said:
On that note, Rumpy, I would say that you should also speak up. Beforehand, try to get your name on the work. I used to leave mine off, but now it goes on the title page. Let some of the more active board members know of your involvement.

I did leave my name on the work, only to have the information taken from it. I know one thing, when the municipalities find out about this overall plan and if they don't like it, I'm the one who is going catch hell because I talked to all of them reguarding the requested information.

OT, I am about to close on a land deal and I think I actually might start to plan my independence from the man by working for myself, ha ah ha...
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
I've been fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be). With one exception, in each place I've worked the preparer of each report, study, etc. is prominently identified and assigned the task of making the public presentations. In this scenario, it's clear who earns the praise or suffers the consequences when things go bad. And I've experienced both.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
I got shafted on the credit for some work that I did while I worked at the Chamber of Commerce. Watching my boss take credit for the work at a staff meeting was the straw that broke the camel's back and I got the hell out of there not too long afterwards.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,556
Points
42
RichmondJake said:
I've been fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be). With one exception, in each place I've worked the preparer of each report, study, etc. is prominently identified and assigned the task of making the public presentations. In this scenario, it's clear who earns the praise or suffers the consequences when things go bad. And I've experienced both.

We take exactly the opposite approach -- the Department takes the credit (rare) or the blame (even rarer) as opposed to any staff planner. It was a little hard for me to swallow at first, but I see the wisdom in it. With only two planners on staff here, it's impossible for one of us to do anything without the other assisting directly or by assuming added responsibilities until the project is complete. We get along great, which truly helps.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Gedunker has a great point. This follow up is going to sound a bit sardonic, but it is reality.

Planners especially at entry levels are not supposed to take the credit. They "plant seeds". They make things happen. They remind the higher ups of the long term. They say "I told you so" over and over again until the mistakes stop happening. They rarely get the credit they deserve. The credit some in 15 years when you're driving by that cool 10 year old project with your 10 year old kid and you get to say "Daddy [or Mommy] made that happen..." .

If you're lucky your name is in the 'acknowledgements' page in the front of the plan. Be happy with that or find another profession. It it pisses you off you're in the wrong line of work. It will never stop until you are the Mayor.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,556
Points
42
Cardinal said:
First a land baron; now a political boss; what is next for Rumpy Tuna?

Umm, universal dominati ... Oh, wait! I don't want to give him any ideas :-D :b:
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Rumpy Tunanator said:
OT, I am about to close on a land deal and I think I actually might start to plan my independence from the man by working for myself, ha ah ha...

Got any conflicts of interest or ethics to worry about in this situation? This might be a safe place to vet the project.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
el Guapo said:
Got any conflicts of interest or ethics to worry about in this situation? This might be a safe place to vet the project.

-Not in this one. I'll have to download the pictures of the site and then give the details of the project. Funny thing, I actually got to see the interior last night.....
-The other thing I mentioned was signed and delivered yesterday.
 
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