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the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray

Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. The phrase is likely an adaptation of a line from 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns. I always thought our business would last forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, I suppose."
See also: and, astray, go, men, mice, of, oft, plan

best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray,

 and best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.
Prov. Things often go wrong even though you have carefully planned what you are going to do. (The gang aft a-gley version is Scots dialect, and comes from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse.") Jill: I reserved a hotel room for us three weeks ago, but now the clerk says he has no record of our reservation. So much for our fun weekend in the city. Jane: Well, these things happen. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. I had all the arrangements made for my party, and then the guest of honor got sick and I had to call the whole thing off. The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley. If a little rain can ruin the best-laid plans of mice and men, think what an earthquake might do!
See also: and, astray, go, men, mice, of, oft, plan
References in periodicals archive ?
In these cases, the OFT undertakes a conciliation process a free informal service where OFT officers act as an intermediary between the consumer and the trader, explaining to both what their rights and responsibilities are under the legislation, she said.
From CS13 onward, the distal pole of the OFT wall was a-SMA negative [Figure 2]b, arrowheads] and composed the nonmyocardial portion of OFT wall.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Opperman said: "We have concerns that the OFT, despite having had repeated evidence, particularly in rural Northumberland, of a lack of competition, has still failed to act."
The OFT expects to make its final decision on whether to close the investigation later this year.
The study follows preliminary OFT research and concerns within the sector over how the market works.
The OFT's 'initial view' was reached following a consultation which led to a request for the European Commission (EC) to grant permission to take over the investigation for the proposed joint venture.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) stuck by its initial findings last October that there was no evidence that so-called tied prices - where pub companies compel tenants to buy drinks from them - damage competition.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into alleged cartel activity by commercial vehicle manufacturers.
Unveiling its recommendations on the future of bank charges, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said it would like to see options for those who do not want unarranged overdrafts as well as greater choice of charging structures.
THE head of business watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), has criticised budget airline Ryanair over aspects of its charging policy.
The UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is seeking responses on proposed changes to its guidance on director disqualification orders in competition law cases.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced an investigation into concerns that a lack of competition is leading to higher fares for passengers.
21 Jan - The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has accepted an undertaking by the Co-operative Group to divest stores in 133 areas across the UK to resolve competition concerns raised by the proposed merger.
Graham's The Family Dairy, Scotland's largest independent dairy company and the UK's seventh largest liquid milk producer, has been informed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that it is to immediately close its investigation into alleged breaches of competition law within the milk sector in Scotland.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) named 112 companies, including Balfour Beatty and Carillion, and said over two-thirds had admitted involvement in bidding for work at artificially high prices.