Spiteful behaviour from a middle manager on an all hands conference call that he is enjoying but you are not. She may have detected from your tell-tale keyboard clatter that you are not paying attention. So she pins you with a doozy of a question, expertly phrasing it so that she only names you (your point of awakening) at the end of the question, at which point you have no hope of having been listening to it.
There are defensive techniques, the most rustic (but effective) being to cite Skype trouble, trying to take it offline or answering the question with a question.
- “You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”
- “Why, what did she tell you?”
- “I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”
- — Douglas Adams, 'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy'
- ↑ Indeed, you are googling for sewing machine oil for your shaver, or something like that: Real-life example.