About a year ago, my CEO had a (blessedly rare) bad idea about a new marketing campaign. It fell to me to show him the error of his ways.
The conversation went something like this for a while:
Me: This is a bad idea, and here’s why (followed by simple, straightforward, number-bolstered explanation)
Him: Yeah, but what if (insert obscure contingency)
Me: That’s a bad idea, and here’s why (insert obscure contingency-directed follow-up)
This went on for several minutes, without him ever really HEARING me. After approximately “what if” #8, I smacked his desk and said, "What the fuck do you need? Sock Puppets? " (Making hand motions like using sock puppets) “This is a bad idea and here’s why!” That time he listened.
Since then, “Sock Puppets” has become standard shorthand in my office for, “This is pretty straightforward but you aren’t listening.” Weird thing was, I never told any of my co-workers about the story. I heard it used once, asked a co-worker where she’d heard it, and she said, “From the CEO.”