(to be) asleep at the wheel

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - asleep at the wheel

"(to be) asleep at the wheel"

not paying attention;

not attending to one's job;

failing to do one's duty at the proper time


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - asleep at the wheel

Two policemen are talking ...

Policeman 1:  Why didn't you catch that speeder? He must have been doing a hundred and fifty kilometers an hour.

Policeman 2:  I was asleep at the wheel.

Policeman 1:  Well, you had better pay more attention in the future.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - asleep at the wheel

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I heard you lost the big Herschel account.

Colleague 2:  I did. It's terrible. I think I might lose my job.

Colleague 1:  What happened?

Colleague 2:  I thought that all was well as we have had the account for so long. I wasn't paying attention to details and there was a major issue that I had not been aware of.  It cost Herschel a lot of money.

Colleague 1:  Not good that you were asleep at the wheel.

(to be) asleep at the wheel - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   439   click for frequency by country

(to be) asleep at the wheel - Gerund Form:

Being asleep at the wheel may mean missing something really important at work and getting fired as a result.

(to be) asleep at the wheel - Examples:

1)  ... to the USA we have almost no competition for produce. The government has been asleep at the wheel allowing the concentration in processing and retailing that has developed here.

2)  They don't know a thing! They're asleep at the wheel!

3)  ... you know we can not fall asleep at the wheel because if we do, they'll run over us.

4)  The watchdogs have been asleep at the wheel and so has most of the media which still treats this crisis ...

5)  But it's not a time to fall asleep at the wheel. Given the broken support levels anything can happen.

6)  ... very serious about who is sitting in boardrooms and ensuring that boards are no longer asleep at the wheel.

7)  You really have to wonder who was asleep at the wheel years ago when these rich contracts were being negotiated.

8)  ... being in Canada with the Harper government asleep at the wheel we have even more work to do.

9)  ... the Federal Reserve and the SEC enforcement division were asleep at the wheel - called deregulation - and everything hit the fan.

10)  After two years of being asleep at the wheel, Congress is finally stepping up and taking action on financial reform.

11)  And I've apparently been asleep at the wheel the whole time because I sure never found any such evidence!

12)  Americans sat, on 9/11, with their military " asleep at the wheel, " their president in a daze and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ...

13)  ... and are missing the big picture. We (Developed nations) are asleep at the wheel while others are preparing correctly.

14)  We were asleep at the wheel for too long unfortunately, but it's never to late.

15)  You can't afford to be asleep at the wheel or be slow at reacting.

16)  I am sick and tired of reading that our politicians are asleep at the wheel, or Obama has no idea what to do.

17)  Newark City administrators appear to have been asleep at the wheel when they learned of pending services and burial in their city.

18)  And the Islamic world smells blood in the water, and America is asleep at the wheel and showing itself weak -- militarily, defensively, financially, morally ...

19)  ... delivered late and in insufficient quantity to have any effect. The Federal Reserve, asleep at the wheel as this calamity developed, ...

20)  I am so lucky that everybody was asleep at the wheel and I was able to sneak that picture in.