Planning Humour


The Complete Planner Humour Collection

Planning Jokes

How to identify a Planner
Guidelines for successful Planners Planners Staff Structure
Planning Explained to the Uninitiated Planners Jargon Explained

Planning Complaint form

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


  1. When you do not know what you are doing, do it neatly, efficiently, and decisively.

  2. In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.

  3. Do not just believe in miracles, rely on them.

  4. Past experience is always true, never be misled by present facts.

  5. Experience is directly proportional to the quantity of paper used or destroyed.

  6. A computer might help with most problems, if it doesn't, a hammer will.

  7. Vast quantities of paperwork are useful, they indicate that you have been doing something.

  8. The probability of an event occurring is in inverse proportion to its desirability.

  9. No matter what happens, there is always some smart ass who believes that it happened according to their plan.

  10. New plans must give reproducible results; they should all fail in the same way.

  11. No new plan is a complete failure, it can always be used as a bad example.

  12. An interpretation may be considered good, if no more than half the research has to be discarded to obtain agreement with the plan.

  13. No matter what the result of a study, someone is always eager to misinterpret it.

  14. For neatness, always produce the plan first then carryout the research analysis afterwards.

  15. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research

  16. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.

  17. Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view

  18. No one is listening until you make a mistake.

  19. Teamwork is essential, it allows you to blame someone else.

  20. A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.

  21. The planner who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.

  22. A Planner with a smile, is a Planner who knows who to blame when things go wrong.

  23. No one is listening until you make a mistake.

  24. Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the boss is watching.

  25. The first myth of planning management is that it exists.

  26. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

  27. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

  28. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  29. If something is confidential, it will be left in the photocopier.

  30. Important documents will demonstrate their vitality by moving from where you left them to where you can't find them.

  31. A pat on the back is only a few centimetres from a kick in the ass.

  32. To study a planning application best, understand it thoroughly before you start.

  33. If a research project is not worth doing at all, it is not worth doing well.

  34. The quantity which, when added to, subtracted from, divided into, multiplied by the result obtained, will give the correct result, may be explained by selective use of legislation.

  35. There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.

  36. Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about.

  37. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

  38. You can work hard and still fail.

  39. Never put a decision off until tomorrow that you can avoid altogether.

  40. The amount of planner expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the general public.

  41. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say however,  will be misquoted; then used against you.

  42. Making a report is essential. Well, it indicates that at least you've been working.

  43. Be grateful that you are not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around you.

  44. If you can't solve  it -- document it.

  45. The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

  46. Be at one with your duality.

  47. Only a lack of imagination saves you from immobilizing yourself with imaginary fears.

  48. Gladly share experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so".

  49. Accidents don't just happen. They must be carelessly planned.

  50. All you need is less to do, more time to do it and higher pay for not getting it finished.  Is that so much to ask?

  51. Find humour in everyday life by looking for people you can laugh with or at.

  52. If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!

  53. If a planning project content is allowed to change freely, the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress

  54. The better job you do, the more work you can expect to be handed ....

  55. In any planning office there is one person who knows what is going on. That person will be the next to look for another job.

  56. Nothing is impossible for the planner who doesn't have to do it him/ herself.

  57. The physician can bury his mistakes, but the planner can only advise his clients to plant trees.

  58. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

  59. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

  60. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

  61. If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

and remember; of course Planners are arrogant. The best people usually are!

In Summary;

When in charge  - Ponder

When in trouble - Delegate

When in Doubt  - Mumble

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Top Ten Things Planning School didn't teach you:

  1. There are at least 10 types of plans.
  2. Theory tells you how a planning scheme works, not why it does not work.
  3. Not everything works according to the details in the plan.
  4. Anything practical you learn will be obsolete before you use it, except the statistical analysis, which you will never use.
  5. Planning is like having an 8 a.m. class and a late afternoon tutorial every day for the rest of your life.
  6. Overtime pay? What overtime pay?
  7. Managers, not Planners, rule the world.
  8. Always try to fix hardware with software.
  9. If you like junk food, caffeine and all-nighters, go into development control.
  10. Dilbert is not a comic strip, it's a documentary.

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and finally, just for you planning students from UCD etc who are currently looking for work-experience stint in planning offices, let's have a SUNSCREEN moment!!!

to Planning School  graduates of the class of 2004 (and after):

Drink alcohol.
If I could offer you only one piece of advice for maintaining your sanity as a planner, alcohol would be it.

Writers ever since the birth of the printing press and since Gutenberg arrived in Mullingar have attested to alcohol's time-honoured value, whereas the rest of my advice is no more valid than the rantings of any other cynical planner.

Enjoy the freedom and opportunities of your youth. No matter how jaded you may think you already are, in just a few years you'll look back and miss that time in your life when the world seemed so fresh and full of possibility.

Don't worry about writing enough reports or working enough hours to satisfy your boss. You will never write as many reports or work as many hours as your boss did. You are not as lazy as your boss thinks.

Write poetry and fiction. It's the only opportunity you will have to exercise your creativity. Just don't do it on the computer at work.

Do not gossip about your colleagues' personal lives. Be careful of anyone who does, since they will gossip about yours as well.

This should effectively rule out socialising with your entire planning office. If you can succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Frame your IPI Awards. Save your job rejection letters. That way, when you make it big, you can write to the those more 'experienced' planners who snubbed you and tell them what big (expletive deleted) idiots they were for not hiring you.

Get a MBA degree if you like. But remember that one year at a fancy University up in Dublin will not look half as good on your resume as one week on a tribunal stand naming the source of a bribe.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know the names of all the Baltic states. Most planners I know don't know the names of any of the Baltic states.

Despite what you were told last term, it just doesn't matter. (Unless, of course, you decide to work in one of the Baltic states.)

Within three months you will have forgotten everything you were told last term.

Maybe you'll stay a planner, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll be promoted to a consultants London office, maybe you won't.

Maybe you'll be running a consultancy by the time you're 30, maybe your reports will be edited by a spotty young planning turk  when you are about to retire.
Whatever the case, you will never get rich working for in a planning office unless you own it.

Your reports are never as good as you think they are. If you do not believe me, pick one up in six months and take another look at it.
Doing this on a regular basis is a healthy reminder never to rest on your laurels. Read vacancies on Web recruitment sites every week, even if you do not apply for them.
Beware of lengthy job classifieds. The quality of a planning office is inversely proportional to the number of words it spends promoting itself.

Send out your CV as soon as you arrive at your new job. It will take twice as long to get out of there as you expect, and when it's finally time to leave, believe me, you will appreciate every single day that you no longer have to work there.

Be nice to the work experience kids. They just may go further than you.

Accept certain inalienable truths:
Planning offices will never live up to their potential.
You cannot regularly work more than 60 hours a week.
Planners will complain.

You too will pass your prime. And when you do, you'll fantasise that when you were young, planning offices were great and planners worked 100 hours a week without complaining.

Complain. Go to the pub, get online, see a psychiatrist from Cork if you must.

It is always better to vent in private than to do a "Kevin My Arse" on some reality TV show or Radio 'phone-in'.

But do not waste time complaining to your boss. No matter how right you are, no matter how much your office purports to be a watchdog for the plain people of Ireland, managers hate nothing more than whining. They will only hold it against you. Especially if your employer happens to be the wrongdoer.

Don't worry, senior staff and the IPI awards judges understand the constraints you're working under.

Big offices are not always better than small consultancies, but they are usually more tolerable places to work.

The most important thing to look at in any prospective employer is its track record. Unlike Vodaphone shares, a planning office's recent performance is a reliable indicator of its future potential.

But wherever you go, do not expect happiness. It stinks everywhere.

Everyone in the planning business will offer you advice. Most of it is useless, however, since success in planning has less to do with effort or talent than it does with fate and circumstance.

Advice is a form of catharsis. Dispensing it enables planners to connect with a captive audience in a way that they never could with the public.

But trust me on the alcohol.

and finally, did you know

Carelessly planned projects take three times longer to complete  than expected. Carefully planned projects take four times longer to complete than expected, mostly because the planners expect their planning to reduce the time it takes.

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Copyright 2000 N. O'Byrne