Missing Stair

Posted on Apr 26, 2021

According to Wikipedia,

The missing stair is a metaphor for a person within a social group who many people know is untrustworthy or otherwise has to be “managed”, but who the group chooses to work around, by trying to quietly warn others of their behaviour, rather than deal with them and their behaviour openly. The “missing stair” in the metaphor refers to a dangerous structural fault, such as a missing step in a staircase; a fault that people may become used to and quietly accepting of, is not openly signposted or fixed, and that newcomers to a social group are warned about discreetly.