(Between a Rock and a Hard Place is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
This is the worst idiom of all time – at least on the annoying scale – often describing when someone or some group is faced with only two distasteful decisions; or (less often) has placed themselves into a truly bad situation.
They are said to be between a rock and a hard place.
They’re where? Between a rock and another rock? We’re sorry, but we never quite got this one. To us, this saying never implied some sort of Sophie’s Choice – a truly difficult decision where all outcomes royally suck.
Today, it’s mostly hyperbole, isn’t it? When your annoying boss describes the company’s situation as being between a rock and a hard place, he’s being overly dramatic. Virtually no decisions in the workplace today come down to two choices where each is equally distasteful. One is almost always preferable – making the choice easy.
This idiom becomes especially annoying when neither choice is a rock or a hard place. This occurs when you work for one of those dolts afraid to make decisions. They wrongly believe that all choices have equally bad consequences, so they make no decision.
Of course, no decision is virtually always the worst decision of all – often putting the company where?
Yep, between a rock and a hard place.
Replacement phrases: Difficult decision; Bad situation
See also: Behind the Eight Ball
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon