Have you ever had a meeting where the real agenda is hidden and you are trying to figure out what the heck is going on from the first words? I have and, to be blunt about it, it sucks.
I was in such a meeting recently. There was an ostensible agenda in place. The opening conversations actually seemed relevant to the stated purpose of the meeting, and then ... it went to heck in a hand basket. Sensible suggestions were ignored and there were long winded cases of verbal diarrhea around every answer. After wasting an hour in inane volleys, I had somewhat figured out what the hidden topic of the meeting was and could put 2 and 2 together to figure out why it was not being brought up directly.
So being the blunt character I am, I flat out asked the question: "Why are we tap dancing around what seems to be a pink elephant sitting in the corner? Don't we have to figure out how to handle A before we proceed further?" You would have thought I'd farted and the gas masks were in short supply.
Turns out that the people who had called the meeting (part of another political body) had cut an under the table deal with A and were now trying to get an alternative plan in place and then somehow leave it to me to handle the A issue and weasel them out of the under the table agreement. Which is interesting in and of itself since I have nothing officially to do with A.
I can't disclose more about the topic at hand, but it makes me real unhappy when people try to use me like that. Why not be straightforward and honest? Admit you did something idiotic and that it will have to fixed before the long range plan can go forward. I am a lot more likely to try and help if I am not forced to delve into the slime of your mind and dealings with nothing more than a flashlight.
You ever have meetings like that?