push paper(s)

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push paper(s)

To do paperwork for the administrative side of some business or organization, especially paperwork that is or feels petty, uninteresting, or unimportant. Usually used in the continuous tense. I spent the summer inside pushing paper for my father's construction company to help pay for college. After five years of pushing papers nine to five, seven days a week, I finally decided to quit and pursue my dream of teaching English in Japan.
See also: push
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

push paper

Do administrative, often petty, paperwork. For example, She spent the whole day pushing paper for her boss. [Colloquial; second half of 1900s]
See also: paper, push
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

push paper

Informal
To have one's time taken up by administrative, often seemingly petty, paperwork: spent the afternoon pushing paper for the boss.
See also: paper, push
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
The timing is right, as this sector of the workforce is not interested in "pushing paper" and using green screens to process their work.
It pre-dates any of the films about the Avengers, including 2008's Iron Man, and unites her with a younger Nick Fury (a de-aged Samuel L Jackson), when he still has both eyes and is pushing paper as a low-ranking member of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The film sees Danvers unite with a younger Nick Fury (a de-aged Samuel L Jackson) - when he still has both eyes and is pushing paper as a low-ranking member of S.H.I.E.L.D - and a truly scene-stealing cat.
It pre-dates any of the films about the Avengers, including 2008's Iron Man and unites her with a younger Nick Fury (a de-aged Samuel L Jackson), when he still has both eyes and is pushing paper as a low-ranking member of S.H.I.E.L.D, and a truly scene-stealing cat.
class="MsoNormalI was pushing paper, really, and we weren't going out to the field many times.
Friedman quotes from an essay that appeared in "The American Interest" (May 10, 2013) by Russel Mead entitled "The Jobs Crisis: Bigger Than You think": "In the 20th century most Americans spent their time pushing paper in offices or bashing widgets in factories.
McCaskill said the Clery Act "doesn't accomplish squat" and "to be honest with you, I am okay removing the Clery Act completely." She added that the Clery Act is "a waste of time pushing paper" and that her "goal is to remove it, or at a minimum, simplify it." A McCaskill spokesperson has since clarified her statements indicating that she is "in favor of continuing to gather crime statistics that are actionable, and virtually everyone agrees that Clery statistics are not."
"Will we have to spend more time at our desk pushing paper around to meet regulations?
Though an electrical engineer, his role had been reduced to pushing paper -- a clerical job far from the action at worksites.
By the same token, I learned a lot from my military colleagues, from what it's like to fight from an attack helicopter, to the trials of pushing paper at the Pentagon.
Companies now recognize that they can't keep pushing paper around the organization to affect functions such as accounts payable and accounts receivable."--Mark Brousseau, President, Brousseau & Associates
Many jobs in the field involve the modern equivalent of pushing paper: punching a keyboard in front of a computer.
Might I, as a foreigner living in this country for some time (incidentally not pushing paper as alleged recently by one of your readers), request the authorities to make a similar gesture to those of us who live in poverty and despair through the inability of the civil courts to implement judgements and collect settlements from those wealthy businessmen who blatantly ignore such matters.