at the bottom/top of the pile/heap

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at the bottom of the heap

In the worst or lowest position in a group. As far as our government is concerned, kids born into poverty are just at the bottom of the heap, perpetually ignored.
See also: bottom, heap, of

at the top of the heap

In a position of total or complete superiority; in a place or position above all others one is or was competing with. To think that I started in the company mail room ten years ago; now, I'm at the top of the heap! The team managed to claw their way to the top of the heap, winning the championship with 5000-to-1 odds against them.
See also: heap, of, top

at the top (or bottom) of the heap

(of a person) at the highest (or lowest) point of a society or organization.
See also: heap, of, top

at the bottom/top of the ˈpile/ˈheap

(informal) in a low/high position in society: You’ve no idea what life at the bottom of the pile is like, have you? When do you ever talk to ordinary people?
See also: bottom, heap, of, pile, top
References in periodicals archive ?
Before I retired in 2011 from Cardiff City Council, I noticed the number of managers and other people at the top of the pile being given golden handshakes as long as they "took their job with them".
McIlroy, currently recovering from an ankle injury, knows he has a fight on his hands to retain his place at the top of the pile.
Vettel, who can win a fourth world title in succession in tomorrow's race at the Buddh International Circuit, was again joined at the top of the pile by team-mate Mark Webber, the Australian 0.
Sticky Bandits romped to victory 7-3, keeping them at the top of the pile.
And it turned out to be a roller coaster of a ride, the pair sitting pretty at the top of the pile after two days only to slip to fourth heading into Saturday's medal race.
Meanwhile, David Orr finished at the top of the pile for the 10th time on the Tartan Tour this season when he shared the honours in the Machrihanish Pro-Am.
Based on the cost of each repair against the number of visits to the garage, the Warranty Direct survey put Mazda's suburban trinket at the top of the pile with an average repair bill of pounds 255.
Takeover Target, who earned him 15 points when winning the King's Stand on Tuesday, and Munsef will be bidding to keep him at the top of the pile.
At the top of the pile is the awesome 145mph V6 GTA version and a price tag of pounds 22,750.
PALMDALE - This time a year ago, Antelope Valley High's Jose Melena was at the top of the pile.
9 million complex, which was opened in 2001, received 92 marks out of a possible 100 for the ten criteria considered by writer Chris Harte to put them at the top of the pile ahead of Worcester (91), Leicester Tigers (88), Melrose (88) and Wharfedale (86) from the 60-plus clubs visited so far.
And there, at the top of the pile, are blockbusters by Boyzone, B*Witched and Westlife.
While SunGard remains at the top of the pile in terms of functionality, both S1 and GL Trade have developed very robust networks for order flow, both in the US and abroad," according to Mr.
It's been a while since a Glamorgan side has been able to say that, but last week's latest Championship victory against Gloucestershire has put us at the top of the pile in division two a third of the way through the season.
Obviously, after he sent me a copy last Christmas, I'm a bit partial, but he's a lovely bloke, a talented songwriter and he deserves to be sat at the top of the pile.