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. 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