Another very common trick that bosses used during Soviet times was saying to an employee in a severe voice, “I have something very important to discuss with you. Come to my office in 3 days, and I’ll let you know. In the meantime, think about whether there’s anything you want to tell me.”
The employee stews in his juices for three days, imagining all sorts of bad shit and wondering what kind of dirt the boss has on him and expects him to confess. When he finally comes to the boss’s office, he’ll be so much more compliant because he’s been worn out by the wait. The KGB loved this sort of tricks.
When a boss tries to do this to me (and yes, they absolutely do), I show up at his office immediately, saying, “I was passing by and wondered what it was you needed.” I also have a series of tricks to get the boss’s secretary to let me through without an appointment.
“Gosh, I think Jack forgot this folder in my office! I’ll just pop in to see if it’s his.” Or, “Jack is expecting me. It’s not on the schedule? Hmm, weird. I guess he forgot to tell you. He’s so funny sometimes.”
If it’s a legitimate meeting and not a manipulation, they’ll tell you what the meeting will be about. If they don’t, it means they need to cow you into compliance for some reason.