a cog in the machine

a 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! Oh, I'm but a cog in the machine—it took the whole team to get this product to market so quickly. They don't care about us interns at all. We're just cogs in the machine, doing all the printing and copying without any recognition whatsoever.
See also: cog, 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cog in the wheel (or machine

) a person who plays a small mundane (perhaps vital but generally unacknowledged or unappreciated) role in a large enterprise.
See also: cog, machine, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a cog in the maˈchine/ˈwheel

(informal) a person who plays a small part in a large organization or plan: The firm tries hard to make its employees feel that they are more than simply cogs in the wheel.
See also: cog, machine, wheel
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
He had a hand in the success, but was no more than a cog in the machine."
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.