the greasy pole

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the greasy pole

The route to advancement in one's place of employment or education, likened to a greased pole that is slippery and difficult to climb. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I know it's been a hard month, but it's just another upward movement on the greasy pole.
See also: greasy, pole

the greasy pole

BRITISH
The greasy pole is used to talk about someone's attempts to reach a more successful position in their career. In 1982 he joined the ruling party, since when he has climbed its greasy pole, becoming finance minister in 1991. Michael's plan was to impress the boss and start up the greasy pole. Note: This expression is often used disapprovingly, especially to suggest that success at work is not of great value. Note: In the past, climbing up or along a greasy pole in order to get a prize at the end of it was a popular fairground competition.
See also: greasy, pole

the greasy pole

used to refer to the difficult route to the top of someone's profession.
The original literal greasy pole was a pole covered with an oily substance to make it more difficult to climb or walk along, used especially as a form of entertainment.
See also: greasy, pole
References in periodicals archive ?
EXPLAINING The appeal of shows like this one, Griff Rhys Jones hits the nail bang on the head when he says: "The public love to see how their favourite comedies are made by an incestuous incrowd glad-handing each other up the greasy pole.
His ex-wife has made it impossible for him to climb any further up the greasy pole of politics.
Though a gifted orator, Cicero comes from a humble family, which makes his climb up the greasy pole even harder.
It is these difficulties which have put into a sharper perspective the situation at Brown's Lane and given the rivals of Sir Nick Scheele, once the boss of Jaguar before he moved to the top of the greasy pole in Detroit, an opportunity to challenge his position.
Nicola, 27, clambered up modelling's greasy pole to become the Oil of Ulay girl, but confessed: "Nothing would upset me more to think I'd ever go back to it.
Oddly, the story of the nameless young designer as she climbs the greasy pole and ends up designing a frock for an Oscar nominee becomes surprisingly gripping.
Perhaps they expend so much mental effort climbing the greasy pole that they have not the wit left to make intelligent decisions when they reach the top.
But already the usual round of political scrabbling, back-stabbing and greasy pole climbing is taking place as candidates struggle to top their party's list.
They may be led to believe that scrapping their intention to vote for the wrong candidate would ease their way up the greasy pole of politics.
The old seadog climbed Disraeli's greasy pole the hard way - enduring insults from snobby Tories who were horrified by a former cruise ship steward who swapped serving drinks for issuing orders.
As they stamp on each other's faces in the scramble up the greasy pole, the Cabinet have shown they are far removed from the catastrophe that two successive Tory prime ministers have caused and unconcerned about the national calamity.
Perhaps more disappointingly after much earnest rhetoric about public service during the campaign, we see Welsh Labour MPs back in Westminster setting their sights on climbing Corbyn's greasy pole - no matter what the cost to families and livelihoods back here in Wales.
They've got to get them on that greasy pole to climb that greasy ladder.
To start, a person climbs up a greasy pole in the town square and retrieves a ham at the top.
Thus exchanging one greasy pole in Westminster for a more promising one in Cardiff.