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.
"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.
But the political Right is on a fool's errand. Minds were made up about Thatcher by 1990.
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. On this week's Webcast, The Real Deal's Jen Benepe talks to principals at Bond New York and at Mark David Real Estate, which are both launching commercial divisions, and to an existing commercial competitor, Massey Knakal Realty Services, about how much of an uphill battle they're facing and what their chances of success are like.
If Belmont were to become the permanent home of the event, Aidan O'Brien and Godolphin could, when they had chosen the likely candidates for the various events, send the horses to New York during their summer break in order to ascertain their suitability for the surfaces, rather than sending them on a fool's errand on the day of the race.