Worst (best) example of the Peter Principle at work?

[Yes double meaning in the title]

Who in your workplace is in a position wayyy over his or her head? No coworkers
for me like that tho when I was working temp jobs it was obvious in quite a few
cases that the people I was working with were less suited to the job than I was
(yet they hired them and not me go figure).

Well, this has nothing do do with my workplace, but every sports fan can name loads of outstanding assistant coaches/coordinators who proved inept as head coaches.

For that matter, Gerry Faust was one of the best high school football coaches in America, but was promoted to head coach at Notre Dame, a job he was woefully unequipped for.

Does Donald Rumsfeld count?

Not anymore, he’s gone. But we had a 22-year-old guy join the news staff about 4 years ago as the low person on the totem pole. Due to turnover and the news director getting fired, this guy got promoted to news director by merit of having been there the longest. He didn’t have a freakin’ clue how to be a news director. He’d never had a radio or news job in the past. He couldn’t write very well, he couldn’t read very well on the air (did it anyway), and couldn’t do anything with sound recording software beyond start and stop. He was not a reporter, he was not a journalist. He was not a managerial type. He could not delegate, nor give direction. He could not follow a format. He was resistant to change of any kind, and would go whining to management when we asked him to get with the times. He was not much more than a rich kid, dabbling.

Now he has a job in Washington, as a radio consultant. It figures.

George W Bush is the personification of the Peter Principle AND nepotism at work.

Wow. I surprised that it went 5 messages before somebody took a cheap shot at Bush.

Bush doesn’t count. He had reached his level of incompetence long before he was elected President.

You call it “a cheap shot.”

I call it “a prime example.”

I call it a lame hijack that might ruin a thread full of interesting anecdotes. There are plenty of threads out there criticizing the President. Let’s leave the politics out of this one.

Yes, Bush is a bad example of the Peter Principle, which says that people get promoted to their level of incompetence. So an example of the Peter Principle is someone who was good at their job to a certain level, then got promoted beyond it. A common example is a professional person (e.g., a teacher or a social worker) who is very good in their profession, but gets promoted to an administrative position where they flounder. In the case of George W. Bush, did he ever have a job that he was good at? He’s been promoted because of his connections, not because of his competence.

This one has to be some sort of addendum to Peter’s Principle.

In a factory in Spain, there was a factory manager, J (male, chemist). And a production manager, V (male, civil engineer), who had a production engineer, P (male, chemist).

So when J retired, V got promoted to factory manager, very traditional. And people thought that P would be promoted to production manager. But alas, everybody lost their collective bet, because V pulled a switch.

He promoted the lab manager, A, (female biologist) to production manager and P to lab manager. A was stunned: she had never expected to hold such a job! She thought lab manager was going to be her job for the next 40 years! But she rolled up her sleeves, hitched up her trousers and got to work.

P was pissed. Oh, SO, pissed. He’d assumed the production manager job was his; he wanted nothing to do with paperwork (as if production manager was a job with less paperwork than lab manager!); he pissed and bitched and moaned and generally got on most people’s nerves. One of the warehouse guys once called him a whore; when another said “you must mean gogolo or whatever it’s called”, the first one explained ticking items off on his fingers “nah, whore: he always says yes but may be saying yes to something different than what you think, you don’t know for sure what you got until you get to business and sometimes until days later when delicate things itch and burn, and you don’t know how much it’s costing you until you wake up and see whether your wallet’s still there.”

A later got promoted to factory manager; P got a “lateral promotion” that basically put him… back in his old post as production engineer.

P didn’t hit Peter’s Principle so much by lack of skill as by lack of cojones, I swear. But that’s a department where he’s sorely lacking. Whore fits him fine.

I would have to say, me. I am a software developer and pretty good at what I do, so my manager a couple of years ago decided that I should become a project manager. I never understood the mindset where someone looks at how well someone does their job and decides they’d be great doing something completely different and that they have no training or experience in. I resisted as long as I could but through staff attrition I wound up in a project management job after all. I stuck with it for about a year and a half, had no idea what I was doing and hated every minute of it. At my performance evaluation I told my boss I would be much happier going back to what I was doing before, and now I am.

No, that’s not the Peter Principle.

THAT is the Peter Principle.