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> "How could it possibly take that long? How do you not know how long it will take?"

Well, if they really said that, you can just dismiss the comment as incompetent. A witty retort may be in order if a non-technical manager is in earshot, e.g.:

"How long would it take for you to earn a green belt in karate?"

"Hmm, what does a green belt entail?"

"Exactly, you don't even know what you don't know, yet."

They did, and I replied

"We don't know because we've never done this before, and we can only compare to the most similar work we've done, and any existing data."

Before I could say more, they I interrupted: "You have to know, it's your job, or you don't know what your doing," or something along those lines. It was the most heated I've felt. I know what I'd reply with today, but I was younger and more naive then.

I commented above that the initial questioning was fine.

> "or you don't know what your doing,"

That though was unprofessional, and should be addressed as such.

What would you reply today?

"Yeah, well I had sex with your wife!"

Or just offer over-inflated estimates since they won't accept something realistic anyway.

Not OP, but I will answer with the second option and ask him what I should do?

> A witty retort may be in order

I don't think this will score you a lot of points.

Depends. Are we talking self-esteem/dignity points, or good doggie/loyalty points?

I'd guess career-progression points, or even keep-getting-a-paycheck points at worst.

This low-stakes exchange won't affect much, it's about putting Mr. Incomp in his place. Remember it's a PM we're talking about, not "the Boss."

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