I understand you got it figured out now. But I am still puzzled about your initial experiment. Were you trying to measure voltage or resistance?
Did you rig up the pot as a voltage divider (between 0 and 4.5 V)? Or just trying to confirm that is was 10 kOhm?
Hmm, well pots are pretty easy to figure out.. what did the multimeter show when you measured from left to middle and right to middle? Do you get an error or just 0 resistance?
Just stating the obvious but it`s always good to check, 1) the multimeter is on the right setting? Mine has several functions on the 1 "resistance" setting, like continuity and diode check. And 2) it is definitely a pot and not a rotary switch or encoder?