meaning of totem pole


I read in the dictionary that “to be low on the totem pole” means “to occupy a low rank in a company”
Could you answer my 2 questions, please:

  1. Do you often use this expression ?
  2. Can I say “He was the next lowest guy on the totem pole”?

Thanks a lot!

Yes, we say that a lot.

Yes, it would be possible to say that someone is the “next lowest guy on the totem pole”, although we don’t do it that much.

Here is a picture of three totem poles: