The client contact calls you from his car. His boss unexpectedly invited himself to the upcoming meeting, so he would like your boss to come along as well.
You pause. Your boss (aka your Terrible Office Tyrant—or TOT) is known for her unpredictable behavior. But since this client relationship would benefit from a meeting of the two high-ranking peers, you venture up to her office to test the waters. You float the idea of her attending the meeting and she is completely upbeat and flattered. "Great idea! Good thinking! You're doing a great job!"
You call your client back enthusiastically. You tell him proudly that your boss will be there to join everyone. He thanks you.
When the client team arrives, you escort them to the conference room and excuse yourself to let your TOT know the meeting is getting started. But instead of being jovial as she was just an hour ago, your TOT is now peevish and cranky for no apparent reason.
She pulls you aside: "Do I really need to be there? I think it does you a disservice to have me hold your hand. It'll make you look ... helpless. But it's too late, I guess." She drags a dark cloud into the conference room.
From there, the meeting deteriorates. Both TOT bosses are whiny and carping at their underlings. You and your counterpart exchange helpless glances. In the end, no business is conducted, and both TOTs leave the ...