cog in the machine

cog in the machine

Someone or something that is functionally necessary but of small significance or importance within a larger operation or organization. I'm tired of working in this thankless IT support job. I don't want to be just a cog in the machine anymore!
See also: cog, machine
References in periodicals archive ?
Chances are you weren't hired to be a smooth-running cog in the machine of commerce.
He had a hand in the success, but was no more than a cog in the machine.
To a government bent on suppressing speech, this mode of organization presents opportunities: Control any cog in the machine, and you can half the whole apparatus.
The whole installation had an air of corporate condescension about it, pointing to the office worker not just as a cog in the machine but as the emotionally stunted child of the parent company.