Can you communicate with your PI?

The trigger for writing this blog post is the following excellent PhD Comic -

There are many other Phd Comics similar to this one, usually showing how disconnected Prof. Jones is.

Clearly judging by the FB comments on this post there is a problem - (and I've selected only a very few):

When I'm talking  to PI's I usually get the totally opposite reactions - "I know what my students are doing", or "I maintain an open door policy, my students can approach me if they have a problem".

I'd like to get your views on this particular issue - it must reflect hold some truth in it - right?

I'm wondering -

  • How do you see the role of your PI in your research?
  • How involved should he be?  is he involved enough?
  • Do you share the problems you have in your research with your PI?

Comments (even anonymous are welcomed).