Snakes And Ladders Meaning

(idiomatic, figuratively) any situation in which people or events go forward and backward, seemingly at random

Example: A children's luck-based board game played on a numbered grid, the aim of which is to proceed to the end, and in which ladders aid progress and snakes impede it.
1970, New Scientist, Volume 45, Issues 682-694, page 493,
  Teachers, senior teachers, and principal teachers would have built-in status and the scales would offer well-defined career prospects instead of the ambiguous and often misleading snakes-and-ladders situation which at present exists.
1983, Opera, Volume 34, Issues 7-12, page 1295,
  His Mireille has had a snakes-and-ladders career, starting up, going down, then finally rising once more.
2009, Kathryn Bonella, Hotel Kerobokan: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali's Most Notorious Jail,
  But his snakes and ladders career would soon take its biggest hit.