My oldest, valued employee can be moody and rude. Help!

Aunty B,

One of my oldest employees is a highly valued member of staff. He is very enthusiastic, takes great pride in his work, is reliable and is almost meticulous about getting his job done perfectly.


But he can have outbursts, be moody and rude. Usually it is out of proportion to the event that provoked it. Staff have always put up with him and just said “that’s him” but I have some new staff members who are complaining bitterly about his manner, which even I admit has got a bit worse.


Will they get used to him or do I need to act? If so, what do I do?




Dear Worried,


Sorry. But no one needs to come to work and be subject to unprovoked outbursts from angry old men. Now I don’t know if he has a mental issue (I suspect he might) or he had a bad sleep or he had too much to drink the night before. But there is no excuse for his bad behaviour. Just because he is reliable, takes great pride etc, doesn’t mean he will continue to be. And as you have pointed out, the behaviour is getting worse.


When I first entered the workforce – which was not that long ago thank you very much – many of my work colleagues were grumpy, foul old men who felt they could say what they liked, when they liked. They were loud mouthed, sexist bullies who, while reliable and meticulous, were moody and rude to any staff that were not mirror images of themselves. Nowadays they would be virtually unemployable except, guess what? Most of them changed, adapted to the times and are far more pleasant.


Staff have a right to come to work and not be subject to irrational outbursts. And sometimes it takes new staff to ask some difficult questions and get some difficult issues addressed. Don’t wimp out up with this. Collect examples and tell him to shape up or ship out.


Good luck,

Your Aunty B.


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