When push comes to shove

Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 09, 1999

In Reply to: When push comes to shove posted by Nanette on December 09, 1999

: : What does "when push comes to shove" mean?

I always thought it meant that you need to be alert and more aware of a certain situation when things change and to possibly expect different reactions.
For instance:
Let's say you are at work and your team is doing very well working on a project together. Everyone is pleasant and things are going along just fine. Then, all of a sudden, upper management changes the parameters of the project, moving the due date much closer than your team had expected. Some team members can very easily adapt to the change and some can not. So in the future when the stress hits again, you will know which of your team members you can depend upon when "when push comes to shove".