Managing Expectations

WaPo published Trump’s transcript from a recent interview with the AP. This exchange caught my eye.

AP: Did they give you any sense of the timetable?

Trump: I would say within a week. That’s my impression. He said two weeks. But they’re going to try and do it in less than a week.

An instructor in college taught us something I have always found useful: Say it is going to take longer than you need. Scotty told LaForge similar in the episode “Relics.” If you miss the deadline, then you look incompetent. If you get done early, then you look like a hero.

Trump clearly did a Kirk. The Saudis said two weeks. Trump probably assumed they are doing a Scotty and halved their estimate. (Technically, Scotty said he needed 4x longer than the actual.)

Everyone needs to assume Trump is going to halve their estimate and report that is the true estimate. So they need to always tell him quadruple.