I'm currently only going to the office 2 days a week. The rest of the time, I work remotely from home, so sometimes, I don't get some office news.

One of those days, I came in late, 9 am instead of 8 am, which isn't a problem because I then stay until 6 pm instead of 5 pm. And this intern (let's call him John) told me: "You are late"; which I thought was very rude and I almost said, "Well that none of your business" but when I saw he was a new guy, I just said "Yes, I know", marked my entrance and went to my desk.

Then, next week, I realized that he had the tendency to say the obvious. We have been under frequent blackouts and every time it happened, he said very loud "Not again". I know blackout are annoying, but I just take a book and go to the window to read while the electricity return.

Also, it seems like he doesn't understand sarcasm. I was talking to a coworker during another blackout and he came and this conversation happened:

John: "This is unfair".

Me: "When did you arrive?" (and move my hands showing around).

John: "I arrived at 8:30"

Me: "I mean when did you arrive in this country because those blackouts are common and you already should be used to."

John- Yes, like 8:30".

Now I'm wondering if John is like Sheldon because I had other similar interactions and I feel like I'm in an episode of "Big Bang Theory".

The thing is because I'm not in the office, I don't know if my boss said anything when he introduced John and not sure if I should ask. I'm not sure if have to be more tolerant when I hear something like "You are late" or when he is loud and more careful of not doing sarcasm around him.

Should I ask my boss about John situation and if there is something I should know about him?

Edit: I'm not in charge or work with John, but he is seated next to me and even when those loud complains are middle annoying, I won't call him out about it. Also as I said only at office 2 days so doesn't affect much. Now even when I describe the event cronologic those weren't even an issue until I did the light sarcasm and my surprise by his response trigger an internal analysis of everything that happen previous weeks.

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    Just to be sure, are you officially responsible for the intern in any capacity? Are you working on the same project, supposed to be supervising him, things like that? If Jhon doesn't know about the (presumably) flexible working schedule your office allows, he might be interpreting your varying arrival times as being neglectful. – user34587 Apr 9 '19 at 8:30
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    @Kozaky When you are a new intern at a company, the first thing you should not do is jumping to conclusions. – user100470 Apr 9 '19 at 12:35
  • @Kozaky even if the company has no flexible hours in general, exceptions may exist. It's the manager's task to call problematic cases out, not yours (whether you're an intern or have 10y experience). – KillianDS Apr 9 '19 at 13:13
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    Never, ever use sarcasm. Ever. Talk plainly and clearly. – Fattie Apr 9 '19 at 13:19
  • If an intern bizarrely says to you "You are late" - correct him in no uncertain terms. Be extremely harsh and clear. Your his senior so treat him like a senior. – Fattie Apr 9 '19 at 13:21

He's an intern, part of an internship is learning how things work in an office. So don't take things so at heart, tell yourself it's someone who just doesn't know better, and try to be kind/compassionate to that person.

Being kind could mean educating the intern on rude behavior :

Since you're an intern you may not know this, but unless you're someone's manager, it's really rude and unprofessional to comment on someone's work hours. You don't know the full story, so best is to focus on your own work and do your best.

Being kind also means no sarcasm. If you use sarcasm with people you don't know well, you risk coming of as mocking them instead of joking with them. This might be why he doesn't respond the way you think he should. Nothing you describe indicates he might be on the spectrum or having mental health issues.

It seems more like you took a real dislike to this person, and see everything he says negatively. That's why I encourage you to switch your perspective and see him as an intern who is here to learn, not just someone who is rude or stupid. You don't have to explain everything to him (for example, you don't have to explain to him that commenting on people's hours is rude), although that would help him to be a better colleague, but you can at least stop viewing him with contempt.

Also, don't go to your boss. Nothing you've described requires that. And even if he is on the spectrum or has mental health issues, it's up to Jhon to disclose those to who he wants, no one is entitled to that information.

  • I agree with most of your answer, John indeed is there to learn about the workplace and how to work in a professional environment. However, saying something like "You're late" when you've never seen them before.. that's flatout rude and has nothing to do with being new in a workplace or being an intern. – Edwin Lambregts Apr 10 '19 at 14:10

Well, I believe, Jhon is crossing some boundaries here.

Should I ask my boss about Jhon situation and if there is something I should know about him?

Well, you can, but before you do that, why don't you try out some steps and see if that really what you and Jhon needed?

Seeing the part that he is an intern, allowing the benefit of doubt, maybe he is still getting the "college-student-hangover", but he needs to know, for better, that a workplace demands more formal behavior and interactions. There is a difference between fellow college students or hostel-mates and office colleagues - the later people are not (to be seen and treated as) friends, at least in the workplace.

  • Unless he is your manager and responsible for managing you and your time, your time management is of no concern to him. He needs to know that. Next time he brings that up, make a firm statement

    "My boss is aware of that" (polite version of "Well that isn't your business")

    and if he makes the same comment again, just respond with

    "Well, what did I tell about this last time?"

  • On the sarcasm part, it's only good with people who understands it - so, better watch out for yourself, you never know how someone is going to interpret something which you told and potentially left some room for interpretation. Be straight and clear in your communications with him.

  • Working in Japan has been a real bucket of ice water over the head when it comes to sarcasm. It's just not part of the deal here, and my typical North American sarcasm has not served me well. Seems to me that it's better to understand sarcasm and not use it at all. – Malisbad Apr 9 '19 at 8:23
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    @Malisbad Yep, leave nothing to imagination, if you can. Been my policy always. – Sourav Ghosh Apr 9 '19 at 8:25

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