...does not constitute an emergency on my part.
Or does it?
That phrase sounds great in theory but why is it that it never really works that way? The reason it doesn't work that way is because most decent people will do what it takes to solve the problem before it gets worse. Most decent folks don't want to see some shithead but otherwise decent person wind up screwed over because they just weren't thinking.
Is the lesson one wants to teach really worth it? On numerous occasions I've had students who didn't do what they were supposed to do, complain at the last minute they won't get paid, won't get a grade, or won't graduate or whatever isn't going to happen, usually because they forgot to do something or just didn't think it was important until it came back to bite them in the ass.
Now when this happens my little voice says "oh screw it, if you help them now, what's going to happen in the real world when they screw up? Who is going to save their ass then?" and then my other little voice (like Sybil, I have many!) says "so they screwed up, is it worth them not getting their check on time and not being able to pay rent or buy food" or "because they didn't do xxx do I really not want them to graduate on time?"
Every time someone comes to me with these kinds of crises, I respond positively. Ok at first I do chastise them especially if I've had to go through this with them before, but in the end I do what I have to in order to solve the problem. It's just me. Call me a pushover, but the truth is I care too damn much about them to turn them away!