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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Americans were snookered into deals with zero down and balloon payments and the regulators fell asleep at the switch," Perry said during a speech to the Nashua Chamber of Commerce early Wednesday.
City officials fell asleep at the switch and allowed the Asian longhorned beetle to obtain squatter's rights in my neighborhood.
Dramatizing phrases such as, "Satellites can have several important uses related to intelligence," Sputnik Declassified concludes that the stoic Eisenhower took secrets "to the grave." These belied his "popular image" as an unimaginative duffer who dismissed space exploration as mere theatrics and fell asleep at the switch while the Russians rocketed ahead.
Moreover, there's not a damn coonskin cap to be found, which, given that every kid in America wanted one in the 1960s, indicates the marketing/merchandising folks fell asleep at the switch.