So I just finished a “crucial conversation” with an irate parent demanding I fire one of my professors for the crime of terrorizing his straight-A student with a failing exam grade.
While demanding to know how this happened, I asked if the parent had discussed with his student in what ways the offending professor had been unable or unwilling to offer help or advice during office hours before or since the exam (knowing beforehand that, in fact, the student had not attended any of them).
“I can’t ask her that! She’d be mortified I’m talking to you right now. I’m just going to relay what you tell me to her coach, and have him tell her what I find out.”
Suddenly the communication issues with the student became much, much clearer.