If you haven’t encountered this particular type of employee, I’m not sure whether to say you are lucky or unlucky, but be rest assured you will unless YOU happen to be the person I am talking about J
Who is the office relic? This is the employee who has been with the company for a very long time, and often times in smaller establishments, they may be found among the pioneer staff who have been there since the company started. Please do not assume an office relic will apply to all old staff and or pioneer staff because I’m not talking about the good and faithful employee(s) who have remained loyal over the years and who add value with their employment. With the office relics, we are talking about employee(s) who despite all odds, schemes, scandals, who despite an inability to work or work well with others, have survived it all and still remain onboard.
These are the employees that survived the hard times…. Mass sackings…survived consultants…seem to get promoted while doing nothing…they are the office untouchables…commit atrocities while the boss/management looks away… Sounds familiar? There are many reasons why the office relic exists and flourishes in an office: past glory; loyalty to the company; personal sacrifice that translated to him/her endearing themselves to management. In a lot of establishments, crossing the path of the office relic(s) can cause you to lose your job. In the last ten years I’ve run across so many people who lost jobs because of upsetting these employees who then went after them. Why did they get sacked? the simple fact is these type of employees are survivors and are sometimes willing to play dirty tricks, manipulate the office culture or other employees, and or understand management enough to hide under the radar should you and them be under the spotlight for the wrong reasons. However you CAN avoid the trap of battling these employees without sacrificing your ethics while carrying out your work by simply following these steps:
UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE AND SUBCULTURE OF THE OFFICE
Office relic(s) survive for one key reason; he/she understands and thrives in the most important subculture in the office – the one that exists within the management/owner circle. He/she can give them exactly what they want and knows how to fly under the radar and avoid what they don’t like. You as a new employee must understand this culture and stand out for the right reasons. Know what is unacceptable and acceptable in terms of office behavior. Do your job well and know what you will be praised for. For example if your office is known for using up all types of hours to try and please the customer, make a personal commitment to spend time to solve a problem that has persisted with a customer and spend as many hours as you need to solve it. Management will take note. You must take at least 4-6 weeks to understand where you are working and who you are working with. In that time, concentrate on doing your job well and understand your boss. After a few weeks, you will have a better understanding of your office, who you should avoid, and the extra value you can bring to the establishment.
BECOME THE ONLY RESIDENT EXPERT ON WHAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED TO DO (AND MORE IF POSSIBLE
The employee turned relic is most likely known for past glory or being an expert in something. You as a new employee must become the resident expert in your job. You must know as much as possible. Research, study, get in touch with the people you work for. Go above and beyond your job scope so that everyone around you including management is confident you can carry out your job successfully.
PROTECT YOUR TERRITORY
Protect your territory (your job) If the office relic is known to be a bully, aggressive, passive aggressive, or manipulative. You must protect your job territory. This doesn’t mean you need to be aggressive, manipulative, or violent, but protect your job as you would anything important in your life. Remain proactive, not reactive. Have your to do lists, always think ahead, handle all tasks on your desks and keep an eye on your surroundings. Learn to read body language and try and maintain a cordial relationship with people as much as possible while ensuring you are a proactive employee who is known for their dedication, resilience, and loyalty.
No one prays to have problems on the job but truth is people are employed to work for all sorts of reasons, and problems on the job with your colleagues and employers can jeopardize your career. However, there is no problem you cannot overcome including the unique ones presented by working with or for the office relic. However, if you take note of what I have detailed further and apply it to your circumstances and work environment, you can steer clear of falling into the trap of doing battle and possibly losing your job in a situation where you at a disadvantage