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Planning & spirituality 101

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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28,842
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71
Seabishop once wrote a haiku that went something like:
Zoning Ordinance
Is five freakin bucks loser
Your land costs thousands

It is one of the best and funniest haikus I've ever read. Great, because what is funniest is actually unspoken - it speaks to planners, who have all had the experience of some millionaire developer complain about the cost of, say, copies which reveals something about their character. On the other hand, planners applying the term 'loser' implies a certain judgement (which we ALL are guilty of - not picking on seabishop )

Imposing this sort of judgement is also an example of something wrong in terms of spiritual development that I personally would be guilty of doing maybe 300 times a day. I should probably clarify that by 'spiritual development' I am refering to a practice of personal development or self-improvement and not necessarily to any religious traditions or belief systems.

I am curious if any Cyburbians have found occasion to consciously integrate any spiritual/self development practices into their daily work as planners?
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Hm, I think the job teaches patience. Some days I'm a good student and really take something away from the day...but then there are those days where I am very pleasant on the phone but drawing stick figures of the moron I'm talking to being eaten by a monster. It's calming and it also lets me get my frustration out before I take it home with me.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Hey, I needed the extra 2 syllables! ;-)

I think the "good deeds" aspect of planning can definitely have a spritual component to it. That's why its a tough job - are your town's growth controls really a benefit to society in general or just helping the elite maintain their property values?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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14,048
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58
Seabishop said:
...are your town's growth controls really a benefit to society in general or just helping the elite maintain their property values?

Hmmmmm.....interesting question. That's something I really need to think more about.

I like Hab's comment about patience. My planning director is a very patience manager and planner when working with the public. This job is definitely teaching me more patience and also teaching me to view the world or proposal from the other persons perspective.

though, this profession is also making me become more libertarian (within reason) in my views. I absoluately hate having to tell nice people that they have to get a variation for an non-conforming deck because they want to build an addition to the other side of their house without touching the deck at all (an example of something I have to do today :( ) I wish we had more administrative leeway for such small innocuous things. (I know....public review and mitigating staff corruption and all, but man is it burdensome and out of portion)
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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28,842
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71
Habanero said:
Hm, I think the job teaches patience.
there are no shortages of opportunities the job presents to fight impatience. I'll wager most Cyburbians would register well above average if given an intelligence test.....but I've seen this virtue cut two ways. Being smarter can also carry the downside of inviting impatience ("....how dense can this person be? Don't they see clearly what is wrong with their proposal?)
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
Maister said:
there are no shortages of opportunities the job presents to fight impatience. I'll wager most Cyburbians would register well above average if given an intelligence test.....but I've seen this virtue cut two ways. Being smarter can also carry the downside of inviting impatience ("....how dense can this person be? Don't they see clearly what is wrong with their proposal?)

Rather than being frustrated with the intelligence gap, use small logical steps to guide even the most impossible of people. IT works for most situations. I rarely loose my patience when working with people.. I hold until they close the door behind them.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
"Treat those who are good with goodness and treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained." -- Lao Tsu

I occasionally remind myself of this advice when dealing with one of the less stellar members of the public.

I also remind myself in trying times of the advice Mark Twain gave in "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar - "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
 

Gedunker

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11,514
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41
Au contraire, to all you patient types out there. Maybe its just where I am now professionally but I'm getting less patient, not more.

I find myself asking how many freaking times will I have to lead Mr. Developer through the entire development process? It really isn't that difficult and its Mr. Developer's money, shouldn't Mr. Developer be able to deliver his plans to fire prevention and return with an "Okay" letter? I mean, you've done six subdivisions with hundreds of home,s and I still have to remind you about soil and erosion control plans? Give me a break!

This thread's making my blood pressure go up. 8-!
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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28,842
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71
mendelman said:
I absoluately hate having to tell nice people that they have to get a variation for an non-conforming deck because they want to build an addition to the other side of their house without touching the deck at all (an example of something I have to do today
OT- Can you say text amendment? I have worked in communities that had the whole 'alteration of nonconforming structure (even in a conforming way) requires a variance' clause and have never liked it. I would change the ordinance.
BOT - [Guru on] my son, you seem to be struggling with an inner conflict where you do not like to say no. Deep inside you may find a fear of being disliked by others lies at the heart of this reluctance. You must discover truth in the fact that any judgement they impose has no bearing on your worth as a human being. Please follow with me as we chant...Ommmmmmmm ommmmmmmm [/guru off] ;-)
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
Maister said:
BOT - [Guru on] my son, you seem to be struggling with an inner conflict where you do not like to say no. Deep inside you may find a fear of being disliked by others lies at the heart of this reluctance. You must discover truth in the fact that any judgement they impose has no bearing on your worth as a human being. Please follow with me as we chant...Ommmmmmmm ommmmmmmm [/guru off] ;-)

He could always say.. "I had a feeling it wasn't going to work out.. from the time I saw your plan. It...it just didn't feel right. I don't want to tell you your approved, but I also don't want to tell you it's denied. I would love to approve it...but....It's not me.. it's the ordinance." :-D :p
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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14,048
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58
boiker said:
He could always say.. "I had a feeling it wasn't going to work out.. from the time I saw your plan. It...it just didn't feel right. I don't want to tell you your approved, but I also don't want to tell you it's denied. I would love to approve it...but....It's not me.. it's the ordinance." :-D :p


Good work, Boiker!!! :)

Maister: you may be on to something with the guru assessment. it may be less an insecurity about being liked and more that it is a hassle to have to do a varaition hearing for such a silly thing (silly - within the contextual confines of this one property)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,232
Points
52
mendelman said:
Good work, Boiker!!! :)

Maister: you may be on to something with the guru assessment. it may be less an insecurity about being liked and more that it is a hassle to have to do a varaition hearing for such a silly thing (silly - within the contextual confines of this one property)

You say this now, but you should see him when he has to deal with someone who knows the rules, yet chooses not to follow them. The rocking back and forth and mumbleing starts.

Back on toppic, I enjoy some of the people who I deal with that hate me. One property I had repeated problems with is owned by some people who do not like me all that much, (even let a dog out after me, but I acted like I was happy to see a little puppy, and the dog was my new best friend), I will be overly nice to them, but still making shure that they will follow the code. It will work one of two ways, they will say, "Wow, Mike is a nice guy, I will clean up my property!" or they will be like "That (&*% and his *&^%&ing smile, I should kick the &*%(*& out if him."

Overall I try to be a nice to people as possible.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Does saying "serenity now 1000 times a day" count or should I be posting in the cult thread?

On a serious note, the ethics, convictions and manner in which I choose to live my life are reinforced with every white trash/red neck inbred piglet I have to deal with. While it makes working difficult, I know that how I act is right and just towards everyone.

Now pass me a bottle so I can drown my sorrows.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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michaelskis said:
You say this now, but you should see him when he has to deal with someone who knows the rules, yet chooses not to follow them. The rocking back and forth and mumbleing starts.
Dude, do you realize how hard you make it for me to pass myself off as an all-knowing guru when you tell people how I actually act? I suppose you don't care that sales for my latest self-help publication "Plan and be Happy" were down 20% after you posted that message about me being voted 'most likely to go postal'....but being the spiritually advanced soul that I am I forgive your indiscretion. Now repeat after me Ommmmmm...Ommmmmm
 
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