(Pass the Buck 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.)
Pass the Buck
Pass the buck basically means to avoid responsibility (generally for some failure) by putting the accountability or blame for something on someone else.
To be clear, this one is not all that annoying… except when the person using pass the buck to describe someone else’s avoidance of accountability is the King or Queen of buck passing.
Unfortunately, this is the reality in many businesses. You know to whom we’re referring: that oaf manager who never takes responsibility; nothing is ever his fault.
Working with that guy would be annoying enough if he wasn’t also the most likely accuser of others not taking responsibility. He’ll exclaim how, “Joe is just trying to pass the buck,” in instances where the annoying manager (and not Joe) was the primary catalyst of whatever issues occurred.
Of course, most humans (and especially managers) are wired to avoid taking blame. This is not an excuse; just an observation. Understanding this, we have an idea: why not get beyond the blame game in your workplace and start finding ways to succeed?
Crazy thought, we know.
Replacement phrases: No replacement needed; try to rise above the blame game (it will be great for your career).
See also: Under the Bus
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon