Ain't got nothing to do with fruit
, but it does involve dogs
It's a term used for picking the easy job over a more difficult one. I first ran across this while in the Army serving as an electronic technician. Presented with a variety of jobs to accomplish, certain people will invariably 'cherry pick' -- take the easiest one.
This can sometimes lead their supervisors (when their supervisors are STUPID) to mistakenly think these workers are productive. All the while their co-workers know that said individual is just a cherry picker.
Some people tend to gravitate towards working on 'dogs' - the time-consuming pieces of shit you'd really rather avoid. But given copious amounts of alcohol the night before and precious little sleep, even the best workers have a tendency to become cherry pickers in the morning -- at least until that third cup of coffee kicks in. These workers have earned the right to cherry pick once in a while.
Cherry picking is usually the result of selfishness or low self-esteem. That is, trying to make oneself look good at the expense of others or fear of failure. Garnering a reputation as a cherry picker is not a good thing. Analagous to Noding For Numbers; i.e., choosing quantity over quality.