Even adults throw tantrums

Here is an email QoH sent out because we didn’t submit his precious little TPS reports on time.

Subject: payroll changes
From: QOH
To: QoH’s Admin Assistant
CC: All Graduate Students in the lab

Admin Assistant,

Unfortunately, the lab has serious problems, which I could not resolve for several months now. Since I am out of ammunition to communicate my message to students, I think it is best to terminate this ill relationship.

Please process the following changes to the payroll and appointments:

– Remove Grad Student 1 from the payroll, he is no longer with lab
– Remove
Grad Student 2 from the payroll, he is no longer with lab
– Remove
Grad Student 3 from the payroll, he is no longer with lab

Also, please work with departmental advisor to inform Grad Student 4,5 and 6 that I no longer wish to be their advisor, they need to find a different advisor if they care to graduate at all. I think they lost interest in graduate school anyway, so, termination of a relationship with them will simply formalize the existing situation.

If students want to talk to me, we will have to find a mediator, as I do not wish to communicate with them directly. Perhaps this will not be a problem anyway, yesterday I received a very clear indication that these students do not wish to communicate with me anyway.

Best wishes,


Now, I am all from drama and all, but I do think this is pushing this a tad too far. Here is the funny part. He “appoints” one of the senior undergraduate student in the lab as the mediatory and kept relaying information to us through him all day. No one the lab seemed to care since we all knew he was bluffing his ass off. Finally he gives in and send this mail.
Subject: next step
From: QoH
To: Graduate Students in the lab

To my graduate students:

Senior Undergrad has completed his mediation task, he passed a few messages along. I can communicate with you directly now.

The email I sent was not real. Names and email addresses of admin assistant were intentionally misspelled. Well, call it an imaginary draft if you like. Termination of a relationship with a students is much more complex matter than one email. I actually pride myself in taking a good care of my students. Once I fund the student, I work on providing funding continuously, I help with issues with general exams and quals, help finding jobs, etc.

The problem is that I just cannot get your attention. You ignore me often and I keep looking for ways to be listened to. I have reminded about monthly reports enough times. I do not send reminders before they are due. I believe this should not be necessary. I believe that the response “but we are busy working therefore we cannot find time to send a report” is not going to work.


I am starting to think that his 3 year old kid’s management style is starting to rub on him. Tell me this isn’t a high quality tantrum.

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