The Peter Principle–Reached

The Peter principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter and published in 1969. It states that the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”. Text and illustration from Wikimedia.

An email arrived in my inbox yesterday, advising me of updates to WordPress that MUST be made and if said receiver of email hadn’t done so yet, click on this link.

That was the first step on the above stairway to chaos. I successfully deleted said email because I don’t click on ANY links in email and especially from people I don’t know.

But then, I went to WordPress and had a long chat, meaning a chat via text not voice, with an accommodating tech who said, “Hmmmm. That’s curious…” and proceeded to put me on hold while he checked it out. Didn’t come from WordPress, he came back to write. Just delete it as spam. But your email address is visible to anyone and perhaps I should buy Privacy. But my email address isn’t on my site, I said, and he went on to explain how some site or another has all these addresses listed, but I could buy Privacy from, oh, I don’t remember the name, something like BOTARMY (probably not but all in caps, but whoever processes my payment to Bluehost for hosting my site name) and said I could buy Privacy for my account there.

Now. Mind you, I’ve been on some kind of computerized communication since the late 1980s, let’s say more or less 1987, when I bought my beloved Smith Corona Portable Word Processor on some rare trip to the states and lugged it back through suspicious Mexican customs to sit on a desk, in front of a window, in my apartment in the Zona Rosa in Mexico City, only to lug it back to Washington D.C. in 1989, to lug it to Hawaii in 1992, to lug it to Georgia in 1993, to take it to Santa Fe in 1994, where I bought my first HP computer in 1995 and signed up for email. The Smith Corona and its disks went into an overhead storage shelf in my little 600 square foot adobe in Santa Fe. I have become fairly adept at electronic communication in the meantime.

That’s probably more than you want to know and this is likely to become a really long post.

So anyway, I’ve been on a real computer with Windows and email and all that stuff since 1995 and I advanced up the stairway rather successfully. I do, in fact, have stored files from those first disks and even a machine to plug into current PC and read said disks. Maybe I had floppies, but I can’t remember and I don’t have any saved so maybe I didn’t. I do, however, have saved disks from the Smith Corona, and if anyone knows how to read said small disks, and I’ve looked, mercy, I’ve looked, let me know.

Anyway, back to yesterday. So. WordPress guy said contact my site name provider, in short. And I did, and had a realllllly long chat with said provider who used to host my website but now doesn’t but has to host my name because WordPress doesn’t have that ability yet…although I wish they would get it as it would simplify my life. At least it would have yesterday.

So at any rate, I advanced to the next step after very long chat, and since I rarely go to Bluehost except to re-sign up again to host my name (isn’t my name MINE???), I’d forgotten how to get there and what to do once I did. The chat person was patient. It was a long chat of me going back and forth trying to make sense of what I couldn’t do. Fortunately (although it didn’t feel fortunate at the time), I lost the connection to chat person and couldn’t retrieve it. But it went something like this:

Okay. Here’s the problem. church06 with new password doesn’t work. The old domain doesn’t exist anymore so I still can’t log in.

5:03:55 PM Anujna P can you login using : or

5:04:33 PM Janet Sunderland I don’t know. let me see.

5:04:51 PM Anujna P sure

5:08:35 PM Janet Sunderland I can get in and I can update information, but I can’t get to anything. It says the account was ended in 2012.

Anyway, this went on for a very long time before the chat dropped (and possibly, Anujina was really tired of answering my inane questions and stopped). However, I had managed to go in, change the password and log in name, signed up with Privacy (it’s a one click deal wouldn’t you know) and, oh, yes, updated the credit card info.

But I called anyway and spoke to a very kind and patient tech who walked me through what I’d done, set me up for automatic renewal, and reminded me how to get around on the BlueHost site.

And then I got off the phone, noted all information the the passcode book, and took a nap.

I have risen to the level of incompetence with computers, that much is obvious.

But I shall persevere. I mean, what am I going to do if I don’t? My history, if not in the stacks of journals I lug from place to place, is in computer files.

Whine. I guess I can whine. Not particularly charming or effective, but you have now, if you’ve reached this point, read the whine and possibly even absolved me. Maybe you’ve even laughed.

The end.


17 thoughts on “The Peter Principle–Reached

  1. Hmmm. You had a Smith Corona? Electric? I used to type my papers in Grad school on one. Still somewhere I think.
    (Though I started with computers in 1972. Freshman year. On an IBM 360. Days of writing programmes by hand, and then punching cards…)
    The chat people are generally nice but most, like I said, are wired differently.
    Suggestion: if your history is all computer files, buy yourself to hard drives and make two separate back-ups… Today.

    1. Yes, a Smith Corona Portable Word Processor. For real. The problem is, there’s nothing that will read those little 3″ disks anymore. I have three screenplays and several essays and all sorts of stuff on them. And have them all saved in a little box. After my Smith Corona died, and after I began working on PCs, I bought a second hand machine from Ebay but it wouldn’t work. Waaaaaaaa. So. If you can figure out how to get digital copy off of 3″ disks, you would be my forever friend. Well, you probably are anyway. And yes, I have all sorts of back ups. I even have a machine that will read the old floppys and etc and I have backup, Lordy, do I have backup. Both online with Mozy (thousands of pages) and on flash drives and and and. But I still can’t open the Smith Corona disks.

      1. Anything can be recovered. I found this video:

        Which may or not work for you. The format 3″ is a bit peculiar but I’m sure you can find something on Google. The ideal would to have a working second-hand SC machine and then connect to a PC… The main thing is to find the hardware that can read the 3″disks. Once you have that, it’s all a matter of wiring and the adequate transfer programme.

  2. Oh dear … one of those most annoying experiences for sure – trying to unravel something when you are not even sure … and neither is the service provider … where or even what the problem is.
    I think software service providers are out to get you. The minute you purchase something, a thousand bugs turn up which you can’t swot away without help or without further purchase.
    Life was far less complicated with my office computer which was set up by the IT department with I suspect copy software – which ran without a hitch. I NEVER had the problems I experience since I loaded original software … I feel ‘marked’ and tracked and traced by Microsoft. Everything about me seems to be stored on some data base and linked to something else making me wish I had stuck with pirated software … at least they leave you alone and your privacy is guaranteed.

    1. I hear you, Rose. I don’t know if service providers are necessarily out to get me, I just think the network of things to do to keep electronic media safe has become so complicated, it’s hard to know how to get to where to do what! LOL.

  3. What an awful experience. I am not at all tech savvy. I just hope my blog posts are somewhere in a cloud and leave it at that. Who knows? hope you got things straightened out. 🙂

    1. Well, it wasn’t so much an awful experience as it was confusing. But it also came on top of a five day battle with a repair company who overcharged, so I think my brain was a little fried! 🙂

  4. I stopped self hosting my blog with Blue Host after I got zero help and customer service. Sorry about your troubles. I went back to WordPress hosting with the premium package and couldn’t be happier. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks, Terri. I have a WordPress premium too, thankfully, but I don’t have a WordPress address, just, so that has to migrate over from Bluehost. But oh, well. It’s done, and I had fun writing the blog. That whole Peter Principle has come to haunt me more times than I want to remember. LOL.

  5. Ah. Now I know why GoDaddy recommended that I purchase the privacy option. I went in and double checked our correspondence and yes, I did.

    I’ll spare you the story of the two-week saga centered on trying to use the same template for two blogs, and having them look not at all the same. The answer came, but with difficulty.

    You know what I can’t figure out? Why my credit card was busy purchasing pizza and Netflix in Melbourne, Australia, while my back was turned. If it was going to go to Australia, I wish it had taken me along. But that’s all fixed up, too.

    1. Well, yeah! If your credit card went to Melbourne, you’d think it would have been kind enough to take you! Lol. I have GoDaddy for one blog address but Bluehost for another. I think I complicate my life…..

  6. Janet,
    We all whine about computers. And we still rely on them.
    I am rapidly approaching my Peter level, though others around me insist on asking me for tech support. Maybe I should deliberately screw up. Then would they leave me alone? (And that’s my whine for the day.)

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