The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

My Sons Reaction Hearing My Description Of What Planning Is …
April 21, 2015, 6:25 am
Filed under: Comment

How about that for a title?

How about that for a photo?

How about that for a reaction?

OK, so I admit that maybe my sons yawn was down to tiredness more than anything else, but what if it wasn’t?

I don’t know about the other dads on here, but I often find myself – at 4am, when I’m trying to calm him down from his latest screaming extravaganza – telling him all sorts of stuff.

From how much I love him.

To how much my Dad would have adored him and how much my Mum did adore hm.

To what I hope for him.

To what everything around him is called and what it does.

Floors. Windows. Lights. Cats.

And then that got me thinking about what I’d tell him if he asked me what I did for a living.

To be honest, I’ve struggled with this for many, many years … and that sort-of bothers me.

Policeman wouldn’t have that problem.

Lawyers wouldn’t have that problem.

Even creatives wouldn’t have that problem.

Sure, their discipline has had longer to establish itself in the public consciousness but the fact is what they do stuff is tangible. Stuff that you can see, hear, feel and touch.

What the fuck do we do?

Sure, we do stuff that leads to the stuff you can see, hear, feel and touch but it’s all a bit bollocks isn’t it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing the discipline … it’s important and enjoyable … but the fact it’s hard to describe what I do and that every single planner I know has a different explanation for what they do is troublesome and probably explains why so many people in our industry think we’re a waste of space.

Mind you, when you call yourself an ‘epiphanies hunter’ [which someone I vaguely know actually does] I don’t blame them.

26 Comments so far
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Welcome back. Otis is in great hands.

Comment by Pete

You’re saying that because of Jill aren’t you Pete.

Comment by Rob

As happy as I am you’re slagging off planning, I find it hard to jump on the old bandwagon and start the abuse. It’s a good post but more for how you talk about Otis than the planning stuff.

Comment by DH


Comment by Pete

we owe it to campbell to get back on the abuse band wagon or hell think were not treating him normally. were basically saints. or i am, you fuckers are lurking around like jehovah fucking witnesses.

Comment by andy@cynic

but i am fucking proud of you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

God bless you Andy. I needed that.

Comment by Rob

Thank you Dave, you’re a sweetheart.

Comment by Rob

Good post Robert. Part of the problem is the planning community keep trying to directly associate themselves with scientific or intellectual disciplines which comes across as desperate as well as arrogant, especially when they try and claim some sort of responsibility for theories or findings that have been in existence for years.

Comment by George

I also feel similar to David in regards to finding it hard to write comments about subjects that simply aren’t significant compared to what you have gone through.

Comment by George

Yes, I particularly hate it when they jump on the bandwagon of stuff [like ‘behavioural economics’] but act like they invented it, let alone used it.

Comment by Rob

Your son is devine. May I ask if this is an old photograph as he looks much smaller than the images I’ve seen of him recently.

Comment by Lee Hill

otis isnt devine, hes a fucking cutie. campbell is devine and i mean the shit eating bald fucking “actor”.

Comment by andy@cynic

In a very weird way, you have made me feel better than I have in ages Andy. Thank you.

Comment by Rob

always saving your fucking bacon.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks Lee, he is awesome isn’t he. It’s a very old photo [at least in relation to a boy who is only 4 months old] but as I mentioned yesterday, some of the posts I’m going to be putting up were written before my Mum died so they’ve been mothballed for a few months.

Comment by Rob

Definitions matter.
Rigour matters.
But hey… I know a bloke who’s Head of Planning at some WPP agency who calls himself an AD-Neuroscientist.
Glad to see you’re doing better.

Comment by Miguel Tokumoto

Thank you Miguel … getting there.

Comment by Rob

Don’t forget that the various professions you suggest wouldn’t have a problem describing what they do would most likely give self-deluding answers that bear no relation to the reality of their petty-politics-ridden, clock-watching, pen-pushing existence. Just like planners.

Comment by John

Good point John, but let’s be honest, it’s one thing where planners really lead the field.

Comment by Rob

I met someone last month with value engineer on his business card
I wasn’t sure which was most surprising, the name or the fact he had a business card
You obviously love Otis more than the whole world, they look after us in a strange way don’t they?

Comment by northern

If this planner is happy to have “epiphanies hunter” on their business card, then I don’t rate their ability to understand any genuine human insights. Except those related to ego, self importance and stupidity.

Good to have you back Rob.

Comment by Bazza

isnt someone forgetting they once had a fucking job called creative innovator. i know you werent planning then but its still fucking pretentious wank.

Comment by andy@cynic

As opposed to an uncreative innovator?

Comment by John

should have been creative fucking duplicator.

Comment by andy@cynic

[…] For me, that’s what planning is about. […]

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