The verb to escalate is usually intransitive
, meaning to get worse: the Cuban Missile Crisis
could have escalated, had the Soviet
s not backed down.
There is a degenerate transitive
use, meaning to make worse: the situation in Northern Ireland
was escalated by the intervention of troops.
Then there's the tech support/business jargon usage, which is just plain wrong
. That said, referring something to the boss usually will make it worse.