on a fool's errand

on a fool's errand

Trying to achieve, accomplish, or obtain something when one has little to no chance of being successful. You're on a fool's errand if you think you can convince the boss to give you more time off. We've been fighting with the city to give us the permit to build on this site for nearly a year now. It's starting to feel like we've been on a fool's errand this whole time.
See also: errand, on

*on a fool's errand

Fig. involved in a useless journey or task. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) Bill went for an interview, but he was on a fool's errand. The job had already been filled. I was sent on a fool's errand to buy some flowers. I knew the shop would be closed by then.
See also: errand, on
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.
Peter Collins reviews Garcon Brasserie 7 Terry Walton is sent on a fool's errand on the allotments.
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.