Like a Dilbert cartoon, Paul Vick nails the interactions between project managers and developers in his post How to be a PM at Microsoft.
I laughed out loud more than once.
This reminds me of when I was a consultant and a client decided to add a new feature during a meeting. He asked for an estimate and I told him that it was our policy not to give estimates without being able to sit down and think through a change. He started to get angry and really pushed me for a number so I told him less than two weeks, whcih made him really mad since it was obviously a much smaller change.
My experience with this type of thing is that in a meeting, in front of a lot of people, giving estimates is bad, bad, bad. Even if you’re dead on accurate, if everyone gasps and tells you its too high, you will cave to peer pressure. In the end, we worked through some numbers in the meeting and the client was satisfied, but usually just saying “We don’t give estimates without preparation” is enough to buy you some time.