Two days before the big day, your toddler wanders into the living room. "Pirates are yucky," he says. "Me wanna robot birt'day." You put the patch over your eye, wave a sword in the air, and say, "Yarrrrrr, matey," trying to re-ignite the earlier buccaneer frenzy. He starts crying. "No! Me hate pirates!!!" he wails, running out of the room.
Cut to your office. You've been working for a month on a series of reports. You have ensured that each report conforms to the content and style agreed on with your boss four weeks ago. Every detail was hashed out in that meeting—from length and style to format and delivery—and you followed instructions to the letter. Finally, you are just minutes from project completion.
While polishing the elements of this enormous undertaking, your indecisive Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT) drops by. Perching casually on the edge of your desk, he says, "You know, a virtual presentation would be more exciting, cutting edge, and cheaper ... why don't you revise these reports so that they can be delivered online?"
Welcome to the world of TOT fickleness. Your boss does not intend to undermine you. In fact, he probably thinks his suggestion is helpful. But you know otherwise: His new brainstorm throws a wrench into a month's worth of hard work—and you go through this scenario almost every time you try to wrap up a project. ...