My doctoral advisor did something that seems odd to me. I did a bunch of unpaid work for him, with an explicit promise from him (but not in writing because I trusted he would keep the promise) that in exchange he would do one of two mentoring-type things for me, and he has now reneged on his promise.
I want to think he is just unaware of how much time I put in, or has forgotten his promise, or is extremely busy with other commitments, or that maybe my work wasn't up to snuff and his earlier very positive evaluation of the work didn't match what he in fact thought. It may also be the case that the mentoring-type things I want from him would take more commitment from him than he realized he was prepared to offer. I fear that it is a little of some of those things, but also that he is being covertly aggressive (because I feel fairly sure he's been covertly aggressive toward me before).
What would the professors on this site suggest I do? What I want to do is send him an email politely reminding him of our deal and specifying what work I've done to gently nudge him to do his part. (And also to say, hey, if there's some unnamed conflict we need to address, and that's why you're reneging, let's.) Then again, I need him to be on my side so that I can graduate, I don't need him to do what he promised to graduate (although it would really help my scholarly development, hence the unpaid work I did), and I fear this action from me will prompt aggression from him. For example, I'm afraid he'll just say, 'Sure, I'll do what I promised,' and then will hurt me in the process again (since they involve him mentoring, which would involve more work from me and from him). I guess my question is, do I 1) send a polite email, 2) try to set up a friendly phone call, or 3) forget about it and eat a crap-ton of nachos, because that's the only satisfaction I'll really get? I can't switch advisors. Thanks!