bottom man on the totem pole
of, relating to, or situated at the bottom. (of one of a series) farthest down; lowest. bottom. Historical Examples Ladies and Gentlemen Irvin S. (Irvin Shrewsbury) Cobb Ladies and Gentlemen Irvin S. (Irvin Shrewsbury) Cobb The Lost Ambassador E. Phillips Oppenheim adjective lowest or most fundamental
bottom of the barrel The least desirable, the dregs, as in The nominating committee had trouble finding candidates; they were settling for the bottom of the barrel. The phrase often occurs in scrape the bottom of the barrel, meaning “to use the least desirable elements” (because one has no choice), as in Bringing up that […]
Lowest or most junior position in a hierarchy. For example, If we hire you, you’ll have to begin at the bottom of the ladder . The rungs of a ladder have been likened to a step-wise progression since the 14th century. Also see low man on the totem pole
being the cheapest item of its kind made by a manufacturer; produced as inexpensively as possible (opposed to top-of-the-line): bottom-of-the-line merchandise that has no warranty.