a fool's errand

fool's errand

A task that has little to no chance of being successful or beneficial. Giving the baby a bath before he eats spaghetti is a fool's errand.
See also: errand

a ˌfool’s ˈerrand

a journey, task, etc. that is a waste of time because it was not necessary: Are you sending me on a fool’s errand again? The last time you sent me to get tickets, the play wasn’t even on.
An errand is a job that you do for somebody that involves going somewhere to take a message, to buy something, etc.
See also: errand
References in classic literature ?
I do not know why I had an inkling that it would appeal to Strickland's sense of humour to bring a furious stockbroker over to Paris on a fool's errand to an ill-famed house in a mean street.
Their disappointment, therefore, may easily be conceived, when they learned that their warlike attack upon Astoria had been forestalled by a snug commercial arrangement; that their anticipated booty had become British property in the regular course of traffic, and that all this had been effected by the very Company which had been instrumental in getting them sent on what they now stigmatized as a fool's errand.
But given that Trump offered few specifics for his many sweeping campaign promises, and often reversed himself throughout the election even on his core issues, such predictions seem like a fool's errand.
While the Assad regime, together with Russia, Iran and their proxies, has slaughtered Syrians with impunity and changed the military facts on the ground, the administration has been on a fool's errand pleading with Vladimir Putin to negotiate a political solution to the very hostilities he perpetuates," McCain said.
The older you get, the more you realise what a fool's errand much of that is.
This journey was often considered to be an old expression of sending someone on a fool's errand, thereby signifying that this could have been the origin of the essence of the April Fool's Day.
Like the first book, A Fool's Errand features a briskly paced plot that still yields a fair number of surprises and keeps readers eagerly devouring pages right up to its cliffhanger ending.
Nation-building in a land of tribes and warlords, with no cultural tradition of central authority, was a fool's errand.
When it comes to the shutdown that's going on, I heard just before I came some senator from Arizona, uh, a guy that liked Gaddafi before he wanted to bomb him, a guy that liked Mubarak before he wanted him out, a guy that's been to Syria and supported Al-Qaeda and rebels, but he was saying today the shutdown has been a fool's errand," Gohmert said.
This short-term tinkering is therefore a fool's errand.
The "regeneration" has become a monument to sheer incompetence and I urge Ray Mallon and the Labour councillors who backed this to now pursue an alternative path, one which will no longer leave residents fearful for their futures and herald an end to the complete waste of much-needed public money in a fool's errand which has left the ward desolated.
Predicting political races is a fool's errand - remember "Dewey Defeats Truman"?
Peter Collins reviews Garcon Brasserie 7 Terry Walton is sent on a fool's errand on the allotments.
They are wasting their time and our money on a fool's errand, especially as their own contractors haven't been paid for all the work done on site or for those materials already used.
Given how poorly commercial leasing and sales have done in the city this year, some people might think they're on a fool's errand.