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 ?
This would certainly save taxpayers' money, but be a bitter disappointment to those aspiring politicians groping their way up the greasy pole.
Nothing must be allowed to block her path up the greasy pole. The image they present to the public is crucial.
CHUKA UMUNNA has claimed his actions are "the antithesis of what it is to climb up the greasy pole" as he defended representing a third party in less than six months.
He said: "I get called a careerist but the things I've done are the antithesis of what it is to climb up the greasy pole."
It is all it's ever been about, making themselves popular to claw their way higher up the greasy pole.
For the last 200 years the bay has taken centre stage at the end of August when the town holds a feast for its patron saint, St Julian the Hospitaller, and a greasy pole competition is held off the promenade.
Should some deal eventually be struck, I also trust that he will then get short shrift as/when he comes crawling back when Town may well slip back down the greasy pole.
The more important matter is the duplicity of those higher up the greasy pole - the high earners.
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.
The other day while having lunch with a couple of friends one of them said to the other that their mutual friend's ascent up the greasy pole of academic advancement was impressive.
However, is he now willing to do a "U-turn" to ascend the greasy pole? Will the wider electorate remember his backing for tuition fees and his support for creeping NHS privatisation when in government, both of which he now seemingly opposes since Labour lost power?
Had I been there, I would undoubtedly have found myself joining the crowds heading down to the moor to watch the traditional battle on the greasy pole.
Of course subsequent generations might slide down the greasy pole.