American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Sleeping on the job

DEFINITION

Unaware. Distracted from one’s duties. Although it can imply one is actually sleeping when you should be working it more often portrays a person who missed monitoring a situation; think of all the movies where someone is supposed to be watching the security cameras inside a building, the hero slips by unnoticed, the security guard was sleeping on the job, probably distracted by the hero’s pretty side-kick.¬† (Compare to Asleep at the wheel.)

“Son, you missed the bus to school again because you’re always sleeping on the job.”

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