Too Long in the Company of Cheney and Rumsfeld
Did you ever have to start supervising someone who worked at a company so long they thought they owned it? I had this experience once and I finally had to blow up and say, "I don't care how long you've been here. Unless I drive up to work tomorrow, and see your name on the building, you're just another employee." There's all kinds of potential problems when people work at a place for a long, long time. They start believing they have accrued extra privileges and benefits outside the rules. They become experts at power-grabbing and gaming the system to survive. They form alliances with similar types that also lead to trouble. There's a false sense of entitlement in which anything that happens has to go through them. They act belligerent when challenged. Somewhere along the line, they cross over from an employee to a pseudo-ownership role. They are no longer serving an institution - the institution is serving them. It is a backdrop for their lives.
Now look at this picture from the White House in 1975. That's over 30 years ago. Do you ever get the feeling these two guys feel like they own Washington? They started out serving the American People within the system - now they are the system.
Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld at the White House in 1975