Sometimes, I wonder what's going on in the head of the people at Autodesk, because for some reason, Maya or 3dsMax behave in a very weird, non intuitive way.
I came across a problem the other day with Maya, when I was trying to select my controls to animate a rig, but every time I click on the control in the viewport I would select the Shape node instead of the transform node. The curve ball here is that I could still select the control through the outliner or the rig's selection tool (those small windows were you have all the controls for the rig).
After 10 minutes digging into Maya's settings and preferences, I decided to call for help, and I did what every animator should do in case of emergency: Ask Google.
I find this little thread in an Autodesk forum. Basically, it says that whenever you want to select an object that is locked through a layer, you will select the shape instead of the transform. Go figure!
The thing is most splines used as controls in a rig are basically made of two objects (or nodes): the shape and the transform. If you don't believe me, check your outliner, right-click on it and select "Show Shapes" (if it's not already active) and you'll see that every control is made of a transform node (top node) and the shape (child). So generally, by clicking on the object itself on the viewport, we're selecting the transform node, which is the one we animate. Since the transform nodes are the ones that go into the layers, whenever that layer is locked, Maya selects the shape instead, which IMO is useless.
Anyhow, it wasn't Maya's fault, it was my fault for inadvertly locking the control layer of the rig. My bad.