Thanks for the advice, everyone!
Jim Austin wrote:I'd like to add an angle I haven't seen here yet: Yes, you need to have a free, open chat, but here's why: This guy is endangering his career and probably doesn't realize it. This kind of behavior can really turn people off (like I really need to tell YOU that? ;-). If this student were to seek a job in industry, and this attitude were to emerge during the interview, the potential employer would immediately mark him off the list.
Jim, yes! It's exactly this I'm worried about. I can handle my own annoyance, but I can't stop him from shooting himself in the foot by pissing off other people.
We've had a chat -- data is slowly forthcoming, with argument, but coming, so I think the work does actually exist. He claims that he is not upset or frustrated, and appears just simply oblivious to the appearance of his actions. I wasn't quite prepared for that. I think we've diffused the immediate crisis with the examiners, as he is changing his behaviour while still protesting he doesn't understand why he has to. But I'm wondering if we need to have another chat along the lines of "you might not experience frustration, but you need to learn to recognise when other people might be disturbed". Yet, even though he claims he is not bothered, I can't help worrying that he is and don't want to press by spending time having a "meta-talk" about actions in general after I've already addressed specific instamces. Assuming we get this paper done before he defends, perhaps a chat before the defense is warranted, whem he might be more receptive to advice from me?