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Shell Shocked: Applying for a position on the planning commission

By Staff | Jun 23, 2020

Art Stevens

The Sanibel Planning Commission announced recently that it was seeking new members for its board. The experience and background that’s required is somewhat murky but it’s clear that in order to join the planning commission you need to know how to plan.

Let’s look in on a recent interview the recruitment committee of the planning commission had with a Sanibel applicant.

Committee: So you’re applying for our board, are you? Do you realize your appointment was for yesterday?

Applicant: Yesterday? I could have sworn it was for today. Thank you for seeing me.

C: You’re fortunate that we’re all here today. We just interviewed another applicant who knew exactly when his appointment was. As long as you’re here, can you tell the committee what your background is and what qualifies you?

Applicant: Well, I once planned a birthday party for my son. I even put together a list of attendees, bought invitations and sent them out in the mail.

Committee: This experience you describe seems to be a bit of a stretch but we’ll give you every opportunity to convince us that you’re qualified to be a Sanibel planner. Did the birthday party go off well?

Applicant: Well, to tell you the truth, I put the wrong date on the invitation. I thought I wrote June 23rd but later I found out the printed invitation actually said July 23rd.

C: Uh, oh. Sounds like your planning wasn’t very good.

A: Oh, but it worked out fine. There was just a minor glitch. We were sitting at home on the afternoon of June 23rd waiting for the guests to arrive. And not a single one did. My son thought that he was being slighted by his friends and family and left home that evening. He showed up in Tibet several weeks later. We’re still trying to figure out how to get the monks to allow him to come home. And while we were involved with the Tibetan monks to negotiate our son’s return, wouldn’t you know it that on July 23rd one hundred people showed up at our house to celebrate my son’s birthday. We were totally unprepared but my planning skills came in very handy.

C: What did you do?

A: I called Timbers and they sent over 3,000 shrimps and cocktail sauce. They saved the day.

C: Didn’t anyone ask where your son was?

A: They sure did and this is why I’m qualified to be on your planning commission because of how I think. I told the guests that my son was out driving the new Lamborghini we had gotten him for his birthday and would return any moment.

C: How old is your son?

A: He’s twelve but he’s always been fascinated by exotic cars.

C: How did your guests react when your son never showed up?

A: I shrugged and told the guests that boys will be boys and that he had probably driven his new car all the way to Sarasota. I asked one of my son’s friends to make the birthday wishes for him and to blow out the candles. I then told all his friends to have as much cake as they wanted and forced Timbers shrimps down the throats of the adults. No one knew that the actual birthday party had been scheduled for a month earlier and that I had put the wrong date on the invitation. I call this big time planning.

C: This is getting very confusing. How can we have any faith and trust in your abilities if you wrote the wrong date on a birthday invitation? If you made the same mistake on our planning commission this could result in closing traffic on the Sanibel Causeway for an event that’s actually scheduled a week later.

A: Oh, but I’ve learned from that mistake. That’s why I’m qualified to be a member of your planning commission. One has to learn from mistakes otherwise no proper planning could ever take place. I can assure you that I’ve learned to get dates right. In fact, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on calendars. I’ve memorized the entire calendar for 2020 and can tell you that August 26 is on a Thursday.

C: But you’re wrong. August 26 is on a Wednesday.

A: Are you sure? I’d better call the printer and tell him that. August 26 is my daughter’s birthday and I was planning her party for a Thursday.

C: We will consider your application very seriously. We are shorthanded so maybe we can help you with your calendar shortcomings. We’ll let you know by Friday, July 31.

A: Isn’t July 31 on a Sunday?

C: No, it’s not. It’s on a Friday.

A: So you’ll be calling me to let me know?

C: Sounds like a plan.