The other night I was having a really good card with one of my occasional partners. Then came a board where North opened 3NT , showing a solid minor and very little else. As it happened the hand was : K ....x.... AKQJ10xxx.....xxx. I passed, with some reservations, on my 1098xxx....KJx....void.....KJxx.
My RHO opponent also passed holding a very supportive Axx...Axx...9xx....Q987, leaving my partner to pass out the auction on his 9 count 3-6-2-3 distribution.
I opted to lead my lowest club, which partner won with the 10. He then switched to a heart and that was that, with declarer making 11 tricks ( 8D, 2S, 1H ). I could see that on the layout 10 tricks were there in spades, with only 2S and 1H to lose.
However my regular partner, who was also playing in the same direction, received the same opening bid. Yet, despite the adverse vulnerabilty, he stuck in a 4s overcall. South pondered a while before blurting out 5D, which West doubled . If West had found a low club away from the Ace the contract was down for a near certain top, but instead he led his queen of spades giving declarer the first 11 tricks and a huge number of match points.
In the bar afterwards my friend told me how his partner for the night laid into him for his 4S bid on such an appalling suit. The fact that 4S could actually make was of no significance or relevance to the argument, since overcalling (vulnerable) at the 4 level on " tat like six to the 10 " amounted to an act of sheer incompetence !! Moreover, the fact that the 4S bid had pushed their opponents into an inferior diamond contract, which turned out to be beatable, also cut no ice with him, since it was the spade overcall which persuaded him to lead that suit.
Therefore, it appears that some partners you just can't please. If the outcomes are wretched, they will be unhappy no matter how well you bid or played. Yet strangely, even when the outcomes are good, they will still be unhappy should your bidding or play be suspect in any way. However, they will always sink into a deep depression, every time a wretched score flows directly from any perceived bad bridge.