Honestly, for every project, I am amazed at the length of behavior to get the “Real Number.’ This is a personal experience I witnessed.
Large Hospital build, one billion in budget, Owner brought us on the project to protect from litigation. Our first meeting was with the General Contractor (GC) at Capitol Grill*, all the dressings, round table in the middle of the restaurant, the tower of terror food delivery. Martinis flew. The topic was about the Owners representative’s children, they would be in the NFL they were so talented, the beauty of his wife. I thought to myself, they must have known him for years. NO the GC and Owner rep had just met, however the GC were masters of manipulation, masters of interrogation, masters of getting the owner so drunk that he had no defenses.
Martinis with onions, dirty martinis, Manhattan martinis, they just kept flowing. I became alarmed, how would the GC defend the mastery of “friendship” manipulation? I became alarmed, the only woman at the table, I became an observer, then the question showed up. “WHAT IS THE REAL NUMBER?” The Owner rep was about to answer when I stepped up and asked him not to answer, he was beyond drunk and being utilized for their benefit.
Weapons against Owners are subtle, little things like, friendship (or otherwise known as manipulation). Do not be a pawn on the chess board, be the board, don’t fun your project on friendship, verify then trust! Have someone on the project that always looks at your best interest.