So, after last Friday and my almost crying on him and him calming me down for 25 minutes I decided that I really needed to take a step back from Mr. Grumpy and keep a professional distance. I had the best of intentions!
And then, Tuesday morning at 8:00, Mr Grumpy stops in my office to simply chat with me. Oookay. (I had monday off)
Later in the day both him and my colleague are in my office at the same time (because other doors were closed and my office was the only way to the Boss' holy room) and they've known each other some years and chattered on and it was funny. And colleague leaves and I had a building law question for Mr. Grumpy so he stayed back. And we talked about building law but in a good way and he cracked up about something I said and really laughed and muttered: "As long as you can make me laugh like that...".
And he went out of his way to do something for me that's not in his job description. I could have ordered him to (if I'd known), but wouldn't have done that. He simply put the file with his draft of the dismissal of an action on my desk. Granted, I still needed two hours to read through it, skim the file, and correct it. Still. He saved me work.
Today I had a talk with my boss because he needed to evaluate my work. I told him how satisfied I am with all of my staff, what good work they do. My boss said that they all put in that little bit of extra work because they don't want to compromise themselves to the new, young jurist (none of my staff is a jurist even if they do building law). I was astounded to hear that but the boss has known them all for so long...there's a good chance he's right. Which would partly explain Mr. Grumpy's behaviour re draft.
Tomorrow we have an appointment in one of the little villages we're the relevant authority for: just him and me and possibly a third who's not my staff but my colleague's. Three hours. And today the secretary, him and me made quite some jokes about what kind of clothes to wear and whether to say I'm from the north or not (they don't like that in those little villages).
Jesus! Someone has sent that man to test me.