You may recognize this species: A person who can do no wrong no matter how much wrong he or she does. A person who has the ear of the boss no matter how busy the boss is. A person who tries to fit in with coworkers in spite of the fact that no one trusts her.
This description is remarkably similar to that of a teacher’s pet, except this is the adult version.
I’ve seen many variations of this prototype among my clients, and will share three. In variation #1, the CEO is well aware of the games this person plays, but doesn’t want to deal with the severe discomfort that is likely to happen by disentangling the relationship.
Variation #2 happens when one boss favors an employee while another boss feels differently. The outcome of this inherent conflict is that the employee is treated as “protected” while the other boss stews about it. (I’ve seen this play out when the immediate manager does not favor the employee, but the manager’s boss does.)