Surely anyone with a job today has heard of sacred cows. These are the untouchable people, things, or processes that should have been dealt with a long time ago. If the cow is a person, typically the constant milking turns them into spoiled brats who demand the very best.
Here is the contradiction. Everyone talks about sacred cows and how we shouldn't have them. They are discussed with scorn and resentment. At the same time, the end result is never the slaughter of the damn cow. Oh no, the cow continues to be exalted. It's a classic love/hate relationship.
Of course I do have personal experience with this. What continues to amaze me (actually piss me off) is how sacred cows tend to be the least worthy of being exalted. These people (and things) are truly the waste of most organizations.
So, if you see a sacred cow, do me a favor and tip it over. The milk went bad a long time ago.