"Well we'll just discuss this offline. I'll call you."
Then they never call and spend the next meeting in a huff that it was never discussed with them.
My entire team exists because of a team like WerKater's customer. They spent years not doing anything other than endless committee meetings and status reports. Our team was created to basically do that team's job. We're full of Type As (minus myself; I'm good at faking it though), so we got done in 6 months what they couldn't do in 6 years. Now they're under scrutiny from way high up in the company, and of course they feel hugely threatened by us. And it looks like we might be forced to hand our work over to them to save their jobs.
I understand the reasoning, and I'm not really upset about it--everybody knows which team produced the work. But there's a fairly good chance I'll be sent over to that team to make sure they don't mess it all up moving forward--it's not gonna be pretty for so many reasons. I've already told my boss that I would strongly consider seeking new employment if I ended up on that team--he said he'd do the same in my shoes.
That's an incredible story. Except, knowing what I know, I find it extremely credible. I am wondering, whether it's the same company as my customer. But probably not; the world is too big and I'm sure there are many companies that (dis-)function like that.
Fortunately, I am very rarely in physical meetings, it's usually just phone/online (advantage of sitting in another country). But I have been chewed out over
- having been on-site at one location, getting lots of work done, but not doing daily status meetings (which had never been requested) with a manager who is also in yet another country
- being unprepared for a meeting (the agenda of which had been sent to me 3 minutes before the meeting and was completely different from what was supposed to be discussed.)
- doing a small piece of work that had not been speficially approved by this one, very special, manager. Of course, I did lots of work, that he had not specifically approved. Because I am not a minimum-wage worker who needs to be told how, when and where to turn which single screw. I am a professional who (usually) knows that the fuck he is doing. I never found out why this one example pissed him off so much (or why he gave a shit at all).
And then there was the case where something was actually broken (with users screaming that they can't do their very urgent work), and I was fixing it. I knew what the problem was, and what to do. It would take about half an hour. I told the customer so (via email). Minutes later, they call me into an emergency meeting. I tried to get out of it, but they were insistent. So I spent a freaking hour discussing with them what went wrong and what I would do.
They then decided that I needed to write a proper action plan which they would approve. And then I could actually fix the problem. So I wrote the action plan and sent it to them. I had sort of expected a reply within minutes -- naive, I know. After 15 minutes, I called my counterpart and asked him when approval would be forthcoming. He would get it to me the next day(!), he said. Of course, he didn't. Suddenly, it was no longer urgent. It took a total of 10
days for the approval. And then I fixed it in 30 minutes.
These are the moments where I dream the most of being FI already, just saying "do it yourself, then". Hanging up the phone, walking out and going home.