Gofer

A gofer or go-fer (play /ˈɡfər/) is an employee who is often sent on errands. "Gofer" reflects the likelihood of instructions to go for coffee, dry cleaning, or stamps, or to make other straightforward or familiar procurements. The term gofer originated in North America. Another similar-meaning expression, of military derivation, is dog-rober (or dogsbody in British usage).

While often regarded by employers as a menial position, many gofers view the job not only as an achievable position (similar to "working in the mailroom") for "starting at the bottom" of an industry, but also (especially in the entertainment industries) as a means of gaining the attention of influential figures who may be dramatically helpful to the gofer: Edward Burns's submission of his first self-financed production to Robert Redford is described as a successful use of the strategy. Stan Lee of Marvel comics fame also started his professional career as a gofer for Martin Goodman's comic book office in the years before World War II.

Likewise gofer may refer to a junior member of an organisation who generally receive the most vexing and thankless work. Law firms with a top-heavy management structure, having not enough junior lawyers to take care of menial yet necessary tasks, can be referred to as having "too many loafers and not enough gophers [sic]".[1]

One early reference to the term gofer as an occupation was made in Season 1 of the television series The Muppet Show when Scooter was given the job because his uncle owned the theater where the Muppets performed. The pun was that Muppets were based on animals and a Gopher is also an animal.

See also

References

  1. ^ Larry Fazio (2000). Stage Manager: The Professional Experience. Focal Press. p. 310. ISBN 0240803361. 



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  • gofer — go‧fer [ˈgəʊfə ǁ ˈgoʊfər] noun [countable] informal JOBS someone who carries messages or gets things for their employer: • They hired me as a gofer, but while I took my boss s suits to the cleaners and bought his wife flowers, I also learnt the… …   Financial and business terms

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  • gofer — errand runner, 1956, Amer.Eng. coinage from go for (coffee, spare parts, etc.), with a pun on gopher …   Etymology dictionary

  • gofer — [n] errand boy or girl bottom person on the totem pole*, gal Friday, go getter*, grunt, guy Friday, hired help, low person on the totem pole*, office boy, office girl, peon, scrub; concept 348 …   New thesaurus

  • gofer — (also gopher) ► NOUN informal, chiefly N. Amer. ▪ a person who runs errands; a dogsbody. ORIGIN from go for (i.e. go and fetch) …   English terms dictionary

  • gofer — ☆ gofer or go fer [gō′fər ] n. [from being asked to go for whatever is needed] Slang an employee who performs minor or menial tasks such as running errands …   English World dictionary

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  • gofer — UK [ˈɡəʊfə(r)] / US [ˈɡoʊfər] noun [countable] Word forms gofer : singular gofer plural gofers informal someone who does boring jobs for someone else such as delivering messages …   English dictionary


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