A person in a corporate setting (e.g. aerospace engineering) whose sole ambition is to retire, and to garantee their survival until retirement.
The lifer has minimal skills or exposure in their particular discipline, due in part to a 15+ year stay at their current (and often only) job. Additionally, those 15+ years are actually 1 year of experience repeated 15+ times. The lifer believes that getting ahead is about “staying power” and “paying their dues”, rather than tangible achievements based on applied experience in their field. When skilled individuals arrive, the lifer has no skills to fall back on to remain competitive, and instead relies on generation of politics to diminish the impact of the skilled individual.
Skilled newcomer: “I just found out the guy in the next cube is eavesdropping on me! Plus he didn’t even get the story right. He must have overheard me telling Tom about my new project in my cube yesterday, but he totally got it wrong when he told Dick and Harry about it.”
Skilled not-so-newcomer “Yeah, you gotta watch what you say… here there be lifers, matey!!!”
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