Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified



  • The Peter Principle states that employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence."

    Which means that a person will always be promoted even if they aren't capable of handling the position.

    I've seen a lot of this recently and it's still mind boggling to me of the affects of these kinds of promotions. Things such as normal professional courtesy go out the window.

    These entitled people in positions of management often (in my experience) completely forget that they don't own the business. That their pond is not the only pond (and that their pond barely matters in the IT scheme of things).

    Some issues recently have been small in the grand scheme, employee (now a Peter Principle recipient) claims to have forgotten their laptop at home, which than turns to left it in my husbands car, and then reported as stolen (2 month stretch between these stories) to finally "I found it in a bin".

    At which point I promptly ask for this laptop returned to the IT department as we need the equipment to hand out to new hires. Can't have people just sitting on equipment when they can't and don't use it.

    Anyways this went of for about 3 weeks at which point we find a laptop sitting on a bookshelf, check the serial number and behold its the laptop we've needed for now 3 months. This laptop was also promised to be returned before the EoB yesterday (and not returned) even after seeing the person and again expressing the urgency of us needing this equipment.

    So anyways, we take the laptop from the bookshelf, install a new keyboard as the one on this device is damaged and put it back into our asset inventory for a new hire.

    My professionalism is about done with this employee, between asking the employee asking for help, and never responding to downright lying about a laptop missing, to seemingly attempted theft of the laptop.

    So I write a formal email stating we saw a laptop on a bookshelf, compare the serial numbers, find it to match and impounded the laptop (for less of a better phrase), and asked the employee communicate back with the IT department if she needs any personal effects from the device before the end of the week.

    I doubt we'll receive such communication at which point I'll wipe out the hard drive with a clean image (and almost certainly 10 minutes afterwards this employee will ask for personal files from it)

    Am I being the asshole here, or is my tolerance for bulls* just not what it used to be?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified:

    Which means that a person will always be promoted even if they aren't capable of handling the position.

    Almost. It says that everyone will eventually rise until they are no longer competent. At that point you "Peter out", that's where that term comes from, and you stop rising. You stop the moment you are no longer competent. And it makes a lot of sense, otherwise you stop promoting successful people.



  • The alternative standard is the Dilbert Principle in which the least competent person is promoted to management to make sure that the competent people remain in the trenches getting the most work done.



  • The Dilbert principle is probably the correct one, the Peter principle was the only thing I could think of.

    In either case a person who is incapable of performing a task is promoted (and with it any professionalism they had goes with em)



  • After such a long winded incident, I would suspect that this warrants a note to somebody above this employee's pay grade.



  • Not that this person has any freaking professionalism to begin with.



  • @dafyre said in Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified:

    After such a long winded incident, I would suspect that this warrants a note to somebody above this employee's pay grade.

    This has already been done, several times now.



  • I'd say you're handling it perfectly. Just keep your cool when they start complaining, and produce that email as evidence.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified:

    The Dilbert principle is probably the correct one, the Peter principle was the only thing I could think of.

    In either case a person who is incapable of performing a task is promoted (and with it any professionalism they had goes with em)

    I'd say it might be neither. This person may be great at his job but is just an asshole (or twat, as we say in England). I've worked with a few brilliant salesmen who I want to kill. They're awful in every way apart from their ability to pusuade customers to depart with large amounts of cash. These people are rare though.

    Of course, your guy is probably useless at his job, but it's not a given from what you've written. The only given is that he/she's a twat.



  • @Carnival-Boy said in Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified:

    @DustinB3403 said in Peter Principle - Where internal promotions occur even if the promotee is unqualified:

    The Dilbert principle is probably the correct one, the Peter principle was the only thing I could think of.

    In either case a person who is incapable of performing a task is promoted (and with it any professionalism they had goes with em)

    I'd say it might be neither. This person may be great at his job but is just an asshole (or twat, as we say in England). I've worked with a few brilliant salesmen who I want to kill. They're awful in every way apart from their ability to pusuade customers to depart with large amounts of cash. These people are rare though.

    Of course, your guy is probably useless at his job, but it's not a given from what you've written. The only given is that he/she's a twat.

    Good point, might be a valuable employee.


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