It’s an elaborate conspiracy

Someone commented that “working on a problem” was, for WordPress, their version of progress. So I got to thinking. What is the opposite word — the antonym as it were — of progress?

And after considerable research I discovered there is no antonym because “progress” is a contextual word and what is means depends on the way in which you use it. If you are talking in military terms, the answer would be “retreat.” If you can’t move forward, the way to go is backward — another antonym. Also, don’t forget “reverse.”

One way or another, “progress” in this case would definitely indicate some kind of “forward movement” on the project.

Today, as expected, they told me they’d solved my problem because now that I have had to change my title, they can find a few pieces of my newer posts and if you look up my name – or Garry’s or Tom’s or Ellin’s or Rich’s – we exist.

There are about 6900 posts missing and nothing shows up under Serendipity at all, even though I blogged under that name for more than six years. Also, apparently my followers are gone because, he explained, they needed to sign up again and make sure to accept the link they’d get from WordPress.

I had written:

I am comforted by the fact that you are working on this major issue. Please don’t worry that my post about it has been reblogged many times in a variety of languages. I’m sure no one really minds having you make a complete mess of their contacts with the outside world. After all, we only do this so you can make more money and have no personal stake in the matter at all.

Many people will be comforted knowing you are working on fixing your broken search engine. It’s touching, really it is. After all. I’ve written 7,000+ posts for you — and been a premium customer — yet my NAME — nor any of the names of the other four writers on my site — can be brought up through your engine — even though they always showed up in the past. How special is that? What I love BEST about you guys is how hard you work at “fixing” things without apparently having any clue as to the other issues involved with the work — like what happens to databases when you disconnect the names of customers, probably by eradicating the pointers that have so effectively worked for years.

Listen, if you need people who actually understand how this stuff works? I used to be in this business and I know some really top-notch people who can fix a database to perfection. Of course, that means that EVERYBODY in your tech department also has to learn how they work so they don’t casually destroy them without even knowing  what they are doing.

Have you considered hiring PROFESSIONALS to work with rather than kids just out of school? I know you might have to pay them a better salary and that’s rarely done these days, but it’s worth considering. Because as someone who spent a lot of years of my life working with databases, you guys are clueless.

Your friendly neighborhood paying customer with a 40 year background in the problem you can’t solve (because I’m sure you have no idea how you broke it in the first place),

Marilyn Armstrong

Which I thought was being too snarky, but apparently I wasn’t remotely snarky enough. No one has looked at my history. So as far as they are concerned, if a few older posts show up randomly, and you can dig me out of the search engine, FIXED.

Freaking HAPPINESS ENGINEERS? Do they blush when they have to say that in public? Doesn’t it make them cringe with embarrassment? Has a WordPress “happiness engineer” made you happy? Their job is fixing the problems that they — themselves — have created. So effectively, they are “technical assistants” whose job it is to fix the messes they make.

They have yet to actually look at my site in context and see what has happened since “they fixed it” about a month ago. No one has yet looked at anything except the title and my name. That’s it. That’s their entire process. And whether or not my followers are following the right way.

I am angry while being gloomy. I have a name on Blogger which presumably still exists, but I don’t think I have it in me to do this whole thing again. I’ve written, I’ve explained, complained, been angry, been patient, been helpful, snarky — you name the emotion and I’ve been there and back again.  Now, I’m simply tired.

I love writing and I can’t imagine not doing it, so I suppose I will.

Oddly, I feel like I just got fired from a job for which I was never hired. How weird is that?

I’m sure, in weeks to come, they will be sending me more meaningless notes asking me if my “new followers” — apparently  all you old followers aren’t in their calculations — are the real problem because you (whoever you may be) haven’t signed up the right way.

If you feel like signing up again, please do, but don’t feel obliged. There’s no reason this should be so difficult. Meanwhile, I’m inclined to turn myself off for a while. Maybe a break will give me the breather I need.

I expect I will keep hearing from more (they are different each time which of course makes any kind of continuity of purpose in getting this repaired meaningless) “Happiness Engineers.” I’m positive they will explain why and how I’m supposed to be happy.

For now though, I will be at peace knowing I have a new sink in the bathroom I’m not allowed to touch, bump into, or even think about using for at least 12 hours and a week to ten days would be better.

I want to be happy too. I think I’ll be happy about my sink.

NOTE: Add this to the “high humor” of this event. I just got this right now and its original date is April 17th. I also just got a note from Sue dating to the 18th. Oh yeah. Everything is so fixed!

XXXX. (Automattic)

Apr 17, 19:47 UTC


That note you received was an internal note that was not meant to be sent to you. This is why the link cannot be accessed. Indeed, we are working on the issue still.


XXXXX. | Happiness Engineer

Categories: Application, Computers, database, Photography, Search Engine, Software, WordPress

Tags: , , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. Wait. You changed your blog’s name? I still see Serendipity as its name and as your URL. Aren’t they (blog name and URL) the same as they’ve always been?


  2. Love the new sink! Now for real progress from your WP Happiness Engineer… 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A new sink (and new vanity, I presume?) make everything better. Did you ultimately get the vanity for a decent price?

    I can’t believe WP made you change the name of your blog. It’s YOUR blog, you should be able to use whatever name you want. It’s not your fault that WP is full of idiots.

    BTW, you still come up in my Reader, so I guess WP still considers me one of your followers. At least until they fix your follower list, anyway.


    • We kept the old vanity because the new ones were really junk. This one at least is solid wood, frame, doors and all of that. A new one would have cost at least $350 and it wouldn’t have been as nice. What we REALLY need is to take all the tiles off the walls and get new tiles and at least a repainting of the tub. The “all plastic refit” option gets very mixed reviews and all I can see is that underneath the clean, shiny plastic will be a boatload of mold growing. At least the tub works. We need a lot of new things and we don’t have the money for a lot of it, so we are doing what other people with limited means do: what MOST needs doing in order of most neededness. The sink was old, cracked and the faucets were leaking. The ants and mice were overwhelming, and the rotting window in the front of the house was a no-brainer. A hit on the lottery would really help.

      As for the rest of the stuff — it’s a bit of a heart-breaker to build something up the way I’ve built this site up and have them knock the props out from under it in a matter of weeks. Their unconcern infuriates me. If I really felt they were trying hard to make it work, it would be one thing … but they are so casual. They don’t care.


      • Just a quick couple of comments, Marilyn. We had the acrylic tub overfit done at two different houses. It’s very expensive, and not for everyone. But I can say this – they take the walls down to the studs, if necessary, and put up new green board where needed so there’s no issue with mold. Any existing mold is gone before the new walls go up.

        I hear you about WP. It seems like they’re picking on the larger bloggers. Or maybe it’s just because the larger blogs are harder to track. Who knows. I suspect at some point the entire WP system will go down, and none of us will have a writing outlet.


        • I worry about that too. That they will go down and we’ll have nowhere to go. But if they don’t take care of us, they’ll go down anyway. We ARE the reason they exist and the WHY of their existence.

          As for the work on the bathroom — the people I’m dealing with just put a plastic cover over everything and do none of the underneath work. If they did all of that, it wouldn’t be a “cheap” alternative to replacing your bathroom. That’s what really needs to be done, but I don’t have the money for it. Meanwhile, everything works. For now, at least.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. They make a mess but expect you to do a name change. That’s just not fair.


  5. New name? Did they make you change the name of your blog after all that? Dang. I’m still seeing you regularly in the Reader and getting notifications in my email that you’ve posted something new, so some of us (maybe the ones that pay, perhaps that makes a difference) are still on your radar. Apparently. I’m sorry for the trials, but I AM glad you’re still posting.


    • Some people are getting me, others not. The older bloggers — the ones I’ve been in touch with for a long time — seem to get me more. Everyone else? i have no idea. i know i lost almost 300 followers today. I’m so frustrated with this. I post because i can’t help myself, but they sure have taken a lot of the joy out of it.

      I had to change the name. They have allowed half a dozen other baby bloggers into my space, so if you go into their engine and type “serendipity,” you’ll get everyone BUT me. I’m trying not to feel so bad about it. But I’m tired and I hate fighting with supposed customer service and I should NOT need to battle with them to do their jobs. They should just DO their jobs.

      Idiots. But what kind of idiot does that make ME?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Heaven help us, but the world is being run be idiots, and I don’t mean just wordpress. They at least feel vaguely benign even if they don’t know what they’re doing. Commiserations anyway. And yes, that is a nice sink. Very classic.


  7. I SO love you Marilyn. That was impressive! I’m sure you do snarky well, but that was the outskirts of snarky. I’d be so snarky and I love the contempt! That was the icing on the proverbial cake! XOXOXO I’m really really aggrieved by what’s happened. Now I truly wished I had “the nose” and could twinkle it on your behalf.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That sink looks very nice, Marilyn, definitely progress there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As the old joke goes, if the opposite of pro is con, then the opposite of progress must be Congress!!

    Liked by 1 person

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