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Five Sure Signs That You Are A Company Squatter

‘A person who unlawfully occupies an uninhabited building or unused land.’

Ok maybe the term ‘squatter’ is a slight exaggeration but we all know what I am talking about. Every company has a squatter or should I say someone who has been there a little bit too long.  I have a huge worry about institutionalisation within an organisation; hell I even wrote about this in my Shawshank redemption post.

So what makes a company squatter?  What are the signs you’ve stayed in an organisation a little TOO long?  There are various signs of someone who is a little bit too involved in an organisation. You know the guy who lives and breathes the organisation? You might be saying ‘What has happened to loyalty?’  but there’s sometimes an involvement which is just too far.

The question I’d like to ask is if you have become a squatter? Have you become so known within an organisation that you’re suffering some of the syndromes below?

CC’ed in every email:

Ah the cc email. We meet again. A company squatter is defined by the amount of unrelated work emails they are involved with.  The conversations usually go like this;

‘Hey Ryan there’s a guy from xxxx company coming into the office today, he mentioned the internet once so I naturally assumed you’d want to come along and meet him?’

When you’re the squatter you become the go to guy for any problem mildly related to your job description. If there is a problem you will be cc’ed into an email with a simple ‘FYI’ tag. As this increases your productivity declines as you become the firefighter of the CC email syndrome.  Your job is to organise your cc emails into folders and helping others with problems unrelated to your job role.

This is the first sign of a company squatter.

Always in Meetings:

Squatters are always busy!

Squatters are always busy!

Meetings on a whole are the devil. They are poorly structured, they take far too long and the attendance levels are always a little bloated.  Do we really need half of the company to talk about this?

As the company squatter you will be the guy in these meetings. There may not be a valid rationale as to why you are in the meeting but an explanation as to why you are will have come to fruition. You will also be invited to a lot of these via FYI forwarded emails.  There is always a reason why you should be in the meeting but it’s never quite clear cut.

Company squatters spend at least 50% of their day in meetings. They also take notes. Lots of them and NEVER use the notes.

Do you…..LOVE a meeting?

Runs in the office:

The classic in large organisations. Although personally I’m a huge fan of those who walk up and down the office floor on a mobile phone the ‘run in the office’ defines a company squatter. With the sheer amount of cc emails and meetings they have to contend with the company squatter RUNS or walks REALLY fast when getting places in the office. You know because that little hop, skip and a jump makes all the difference in the company’s long term fortunes?

Point 3 in indentifying if you are a company squatter is whether you have become Usain Bolt overnight.

Always Busy:

‘How’s work going Ryan?’

**big sigh, blood shot eyeballs, cup of coffee in hand**

Another gem of a sign when it comes to the company squatter is how far you reach on the ‘Busiest man alive scale’. There’s no denying you’re busy but a company squatter is usually busy running around the office, replying to cc emails with ‘Thanks’ and attending meetings.

To be eligible for the company squatter role then you need to puff your cheeks and sigh ALOT. This is part of the acceptance process.  There are also not enough hours in the day because you are THAT busy!

Has an inbox of over a 1000 unread emails:

Does your inbox look a little like this?

Does your inbox look a little like this?

Last but certainly not least is the 1000 unread emails within the inbox. Ok so the figure isn’t really important but the problem is. A company squatter loves an unread email. It’s a natural process. They are cc’ed into every email, invited to every meeting and are always busy so unfortunately the inbox takes a hammering.

Squatters have the worst inbox in the world but a squatter loves it.

‘Hey Ryan are you busy!?’

**Big sigh, puff of the cheeks and a point at the inbox**

It doesn’t matter if the emails are all FYI’s there is a whole batch of unread emails which cannot be dealt with. Have you got a pile of emails unread? You may be becoming a squatter.

How do you define a company squatter?:

There’s so many magical ways to define a company squatter but the five mentioned are the obvious warning signs. Have anymore you’d love  to share? Have a different perception of a company squatter? Why not use the wonderful comments box below and give me your thoughts!

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog GenerationY.com was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.


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