fall asleep at the switch

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fall asleep at the switch

To fail to attend to one's responsibilities or duties; to be inattentive to that which is important or for which one is responsible. Johnson was supposed to make sure the paperwork went through before the deadline, but it looks like he fell asleep at the switch. Our goalkeeper is such a nincompoop. We would have won that match if he hadn't fallen asleep at the switch!
See also: asleep, fall, switch
References in periodicals archive ?
But I can't help but think how the de-treeing of my street is such a microcosm of the times - the subprime mess, the banking scandal, all involving gatekeepers falling asleep at the switch, allowing some insidious parasite to eat away at the foundations of our lives.