What would you call a person pejoratively who is on a professional privileged position such as Engineer, geologist, senior engineer etc (earning what the post demands) but chooses to do a job of a say a postman or peon or secretary or a clerk and get away with it.

In other word he is doing work below his responsibilities (without affecting the remuneration). Enjoying perks of the position but responsibility of a assistant.

PS: The responsibility he has for himself assigned is because of privileged position of being "the one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind". No one is able to notice it.

  • 1
    A chancer, I would call it. Or a parasite.Or a freeloader.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 15 '18 at 16:18
  • That is pretty much what all professionals do as they climb the executive ladder. They pass off the difficult tasks to others, then take credit for a job well done. However, they still need to look busy. Most don't see it as well as you have.
    – user22542
    Oct 15 '18 at 16:36
  • Shirker: : To evade the performance of an obligation merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shirker It doesn't specify that the person has taken up another position to maintain cover, only that he is avoiding his responsibility.
    – Remi
    Oct 15 '18 at 17:14
  • I should call her/him overpaid.
    – Tuffy
    Oct 22 '18 at 7:57


Collins says:

You use glorified to indicate that something is less important or impressive than its name suggests.

Sometimes they tell me I'm just a glorified waitress.

You could say:

Senior Engineer?! He's just a glorified cleaner.

He's supposed to be a geologist, but he's only a glorified stonebreaker.

She's paid to be a Project Manager but she's no more than a glorified bean counter.


I would call the position a sinecure (and when it comes up as a descriptor as in these news and opinion pieces, it's often perjorative) though this doesn't have a corresponding term for the person in the sinecure.

an office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides an income

Perjorative examples from the second link:

  • She looks out at the country from her academic sinecure and views herself as part of an aggrieved minority.
  • "Pay for performance" became an eight-figure sinecure, the rich man's version of welfare.

Forgive my mental liberties here. I have so far been unable to come up with a pejorative single word or phrase that is specific to your workplace dilemma . However, here are a couple of close, more general term references that might work out somehow.

I don't know what led me there, but you could make a oblique reference to "Bill Lumbergh" or the movie "Office Space". I can't get the images of the movie characters out of my mind since reading your description.

Another phrase coming from the same movie is "it's my stapler" - could be useful too. Maybe?

And, yet another pejorative phrase that I've heard at work is to refer to someone as "keeper of the cheese", but that's a whole other can of worms. I had to laugh. This is how language evolves. I will keep trying.





Such a person is called a slacker.


countable noun
If you describe someone as a slacker, you mean that they are lazy and do less work than they should. [disapproval]
He's not a slacker; he's the best worker they've got.

COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers


A slacker is a person who habitually avoids work or lacks work ethic.


Such a person might be an underachiever (TFD): one who performs below expectations. The term is often used to refer to students, but it does have a more general application

  • In case of a student, he would not benefit from underachieving. While an employee on high pay high post with less to practically no responsibility would be benefiting from the arrangement he has creates for himself, whilst no one is taking notice of it (while it lasts). So the word should encompass like "high post-high salary w/ low responsibilities" lucky chap.
    – AMN
    Oct 16 '18 at 4:40

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