E-mail from V.I.S., on Saturday:
A few questions in regards to homework 1 and I was hoping that you could help me. Just let me know what time is best for you on Tuesday.
Homework 1 was due last Friday, but I’m letting them turn it in on Wednesday, since we had bad weather. I e-mail back:
Dear V.I.S., I am not normally on campus on Tuesdays. Maybe we can try this by email first? Let me know which problems you’re having trouble with, and I’ll give you some hints to get started.
By Monday night, not a tweet had been heard from V.I.S. Now, there’s background: this snowflake took the prerequisite class with me, and often came to my office hours for `help’. In practice this meant I solved the homework problems, snowflake took notes and turned them in. (I used to object to that when I was young and naïve, but now I realize these are the students who care.) Clearly more of the same is expected, and I'd be happy to help. Incidentally, the “very important” acknowledges the fact that Snowflake is active in student organizations.
My second reply, on Monday night:
Not having heard from you, I assume you still want to meet on Tuesday. So I’ll be in my office in the afternoon to meet with you, but I need two things from you: first, please send me an email by 12 noon, confirming you will be there at 2PM. Second, please include in your email the numbers of the homework problems you need help with.
On Tuesday morning, V.I.S. replied to say meeting at 2 was not possible. I offered to meet later on Tuesday (I did go to my office anyway), and still don't have a reply.
Q: Was there a better way to handle this? How do you handle flakes who make appointments and don't show up, or don't respond to email exchanges they initiate?
(I'll let you know what happened in the comments.)
- Peter K.
[not in any way related to the moderator,
because a wiseacre already asked...]