After having worked for over 30 years in hierarchical businesses, it seems odd that Ive never earned a promotion. Ive been demoted at least 2x by having my responsibilities severely trimmed. For years I turned myself inside out to get a promotion, but it never happened, so I thought Id try a different tack and not try to advance my career, that did not work either. I had asked managers about it and was rebuffed so severely, it was clearly counterproductive.
Is it normal to never have been promoted over a 30 year career?
No, it definitely isn't.
Figure every year or so you have a review. That's 30 chances at a promotion that you missed. Pure dumb luck should have netted you at least a few, because most companies will often promote you just for staying there for 5+ years "man, Bob's been here for 5 years and we've promoted everyone else - might as well give him a shot".
There are some odd situations that may contribute to this. If you own your own company, you're not going to get promoted (or you only have yourself to blame). If you work for a tiny place where there's no room for growth, you might not get promoted. If you work in a peculiar industry (say... as a minister) where promotion is frowned upon or limited, then you might not get promoted. If you change jobs frequently, then you might not have the reviews to get promoted in-job.
But outside of that, and not knowing more, I would guess that you did something to actively prevent it.
Yes I believe it is possible to never get promoted while others who came on board after you do get promoted. And I don't think it's always about being the "worst" performer.
I do hope you get a pay raise of sort, though.
In my previous work I have seen several individuals who never been promoted and actually been demoted from a higher position. These people worked at this job for 10-14 years. Then again even the people who do get "promoted" never actually do change except by title, pay, and some additional responsibilities. I only seen one person rise above the current manager. Even for myself, I never been promoted outside of title and pay raise changes. Personally I think it's all about being at the right place at the right time. It's all about attitude, presentation and the general culture of the place and mostly just being at the right place at the right time.