Because my clients are professional services firms, I tend to work with what I think are some very smart people. In addition to simply being smart, they also tend to know they’re smart (Donald Rumsfeld’s “we know what we know” locution applies here) and they also tend to like to demonstrate it. This can make life hard in business development, particularly in meetings.
What often happens is that my clients forget where they are, and decide – actually, “decide” is too deliberate a word – let’s substitute “reflexively attempt” – that rather than winning the business, they want to win the meeting. “Winning the meeting” is a synonym for “demonstrate how smart and right they are.” It’s a variation, basically, on winning an argument.
Here's the actual text of an actual email I received today, which is pretty much self-explanatory:
Mr. Monroe has been out of the office all day today. He should be able to answer your email within the next 48 hours. Thank you for your patience.