Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The terrible sadness of planners

I have this theory, which I’m pretty sure is an actual fact, which is that all planners are wasting their lives.

Planners are the ones your teacher loved. They sat in the front of class. They spent lunchtime reading Robert Frost while the rest of us were pressing body parts against the classroom window and competing to see who could make the loudest fart noise by sticking their hand in their armpit (it was me – I was totally awesome at that).

Planners are the ones about whom your mum said “I wonder what she’ll be when she grows up.”

But then they became planners.

They could have been doctors, scientists, business leaders. They could have made medical breakthroughs, fought injustice, brokered peace deals.

Instead, they chose to channel their intellect into selling dog food and car insurance.

One of the saddest things is that, often, they’re not even aware something has gone wrong.

They talk with enthusiasm about the latest exciting revolution in hair care or toothpaste. But beneath it all, you just know they don't belong in an agency.

It's in the way they reference some obscure 1930s French film in a brainstorm and are met with blank stares.

It's in the way they quote Chomsky in their feedback and have to watch while we google him.

And it's in the way they spend lunchtimes reading about behavioural economics while the rest of us press body parts against the studio window and compete to see who can make the loudest fart noise by sticking their hand in their armpit (still me, I'm so awesome).

I know I shouldn’t really care. It’s just that, sometimes I look at them and feel a bit sad. Nothing remains now of that bright-eyed boy or girl who once dreamt of taking the world by storm.

Of course, you might wonder why I'm going on about planners so much. What about all the other agency folk? Couldn’t they be doing something better with their lives too?

Not really, no.

Most client services people would be equally happy as estate agents or working in Carphone Warehouse.

And most creative are still dumbstruck that they’re even allowed into the building, let alone paid.

But planners really have no excuse. And that is so terribly, terribly sad.


  1. Thanks Joana, obviously it's nowhere near as cerebral and high-brow as planner humour but thanks nonetheless!

  2. As an actual planner, you made me smile sadly as I recalled the last 10 years of my life...