|How to identify a Planner|
|Guidelines for successful Planners||Planners Staff Structure|
|Planning Explained to the Uninitiated||Planners Jargon Explained|
|The Planning Administrator|
|Planner Harassment||What Planners mean when they say . . .|
|Planning implications of Earth's creation and Hell||The PLAN|
|What is a Planner - there are two views!||The Rules of Planning|
WHAT IS A PLANNER?Planning can be somewhat of a controversial profession. Some of the controversy is whether it is a profession at all. I won't comment on the details of the controversy, but needless to say its the Planners who find themselves at the centre of it all the time. Here I'll present two views.
First there is A Planner as seen by the public!
Followed by A Planner as seen by a Planner!
If you've ever had dealings with planners, or are related to one, you'll know where you stand!
A planner is a close relative of the Revenue Commissioner. Planners have no personal relatives since their parentage is doubtful.
Planners come in three sizes:- thick very, thick, and bloody impossible. A planner is difficult to recognise. They have no face whatsoever, but might be spotted by their dress sense, which for the men usually comprises jeans, yellow shirt and pink tie; while the women usually prefer long skirts that pay no deference to post-eighties fashion trends. Because of the planner's vague affinity to the Arts, most local authorities will allow them to wear a higher percentage of mod gear than an engineer or a clerk. There is an unspoken agreement between authorities and planners as to how much they should support the image of the establishment.
Most planners are employed by local authorities solely to create problems in order that they might justify their existence. The planners’ efficiency in doing so is equal only to their powers of multiplication once appointed.
Having entered into local government service the planners are immediately let loose on the most important work in hand. They are encouraged to converse with all manner of people on all topics and within a few short weeks is able to engage in long conversations without understanding a single word. Here they learn to develop their technique. The broad smile, the confidential grin, the nervous giggle and the elementary standard assurance of non-committal openings to each remark.
Once they have been successful in creating a few minor crises they can expect rapid promotion and a series of pay rises.
A planner has many talents. Planners are extremely skilled in the art of delay. Any planner worth their salt can produce a six-month delay with contemptuous ease. A skilful manipulation of meetings, sickness, holidays and the democratic process, coupled with assistance from the law, can be devastating. Decisions can be avoided for years on end, and a quick transfer to another authority can enable the process to be repeated ad infinitum. A planner's dearest wish is to send everything back first time to see whether the applicant really means it.
A sense of humour is also a vital asset to the planner. Immense hilarity is gained from selecting all the refined clever, worthwhile, exciting and profitable aspects of any proposal - and then objecting to them. The ordinary, mundane and dull bits are of course praised or passed without delay.
This highly specialised form of humour can be seen in a number of ways. The planner will take great delight in bringing the full weight of the law to bear down on you if dare to use your telephone for business purposes of if your wife is wicked enough to run a mail-order catalogue from your home. Your neighbour's newly created car-breaking and worm-shredding business in their back garden remains untroubled as being 'quite different'. Other variations of the planner's mirth can be seen in the choice of road lines, pubic buildings, children's play-lots and recreational areas; not that those ever get built of course, but the humour is always there. Basil Fawlty himself would be proud of the planner's reasons for refusing most planning applications. Only a planner could really appreciate the logic of refusing your modest extension to your outside loo as being detrimental to the blood boiling factory and multi-storey chip shop next door.
The planner's written word is sheer poetry - or something. The vocabulary and language are unique and completely unintelligible. It is not difficult for the planners themselves of course since it is never meant to be understood - that being a mere detail of no possible importance. All planning language is simply made up on the spot as it is being spoken. The greater number of likely sounding words and phrases that are coined, the higher the status becomes.
Among local government officials generally the planner reigns supreme as 'not dealing with it myself '. The planner never, under any circumstances, deals with anything directly. Colleagues, assistants, the boss, their opposite number, the Committee, the Council, the Board, the Minister, the Government or even the E.U. Commission might be dealing with the matter m hand, but the planner never 'happens to be dealing with this directly'.
Yes - the planner is a very special person indeed.Go to the Top of the Page
All planners are direct descendants from Solomon and are closely related to Einstein, St Jude and Jack Charlton.
Planners come in four sizes - very clever, brilliant, magnificent, and ecstatic. A planner is difficult to recognise since it is well known that genius comes in many guises. However, if you happen to see any distinguished, benevolent, intelligent, humble, well dressed and thoroughly likeable staff wandering through the local corridors of power, the chances are - you've encountered a planner.
Whilst all planners could become millionaires within a very short space of time if they cared to, most of them dedicate their lives to humanity by choosing to serve society though local government. Without this magnificent sacrifice all local authorities would of course collapse instantly the public would run riot and anarchy would reign within a few months. Sadly, and incomprehensibly this dedication goes unnoticed by all but other planners.
A planner is called by divine power into the profession. Anybody who does not measure up to the incredibly high standard required is quickly weeded out by the Lord above and is simply not called. As an added safeguard I.P.I. (Irish Planning Institute) membership is made five times more difficult than any other two professions put together and only real professionals of learning are allowed to battle through
A planner's training is enlightened. Gentle but firm supervision goes hand in hand with an encouragement to develop original ideas and imagination. In this way a sound technique is built up with the emphasis on clear, simple, straight forward communication
A planner's progress and promotion are slow, but with such high-class competition from other planners this is inevitable. Fortunately all planners are always completely satisfied. A planner never moans, complains or bleats about extra money. A crust of bread and a cup of fluoride water are more than enough food and drink to the planner. (Curiously most property developers, and others who frequently encounter planners, support this view and some would even add a ball and chain for luck.)
The planner is indeed rich in talent;- speed, decisiveness, clarity, eloquence, diplomacy;- the list is endless. Perhaps the two most valuable assets are an ability to shift three times more work than any other officer, and a unique gift for spotting other people's stupidity, instantly. It is truly amazing how a planner can read, digest analyse and confidently dismiss six months' work as being "a load of bXXXX"!
A planner's sense of humour is highly refined. Other officers’ frailties, personal abuse, unfortunate Committee decisions, and petty jealousies are all met by a benevolent smile and inward laughter. This control does cause a certain amount of mental pressure that is released occasionally by planners being the life and soul of the party as they got stoned out of their minds
The planner's language is perhaps the finest achievement. All planners are fully agreed that their work is so complex and complicated that it is quite impossible to communicate in the present language. To overcome this problem the planner has risen to the occasion and has invented a series of brilliantly clear phrases that express a mountain of technical meaning. Far from trying to educate the rest of society before its time, the planner is quite content to let the rest of the world catch up at its own pace.
Yes - the planner is a very special person indeed.
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