Back in my nursing days I used to work with a particular anaesthesiologist who was, at best, an interesting personality. He would intentionally go out of his way, in small ways and large, to get somebody to get upset with him, presumably so he could have a fight with them.
I watched him one day, with a new nurse. She was supernumary because she was learning, but she was helping out with the general OR work. He kept glaring at her (and he has a particularly penetrating glare!) over his mask, constantly, regardless of what she did. I could see her dander rising fast, and cautioned her 'he's just after a bite - don't give it!' She tried to ignore him, but he kept up, she got progressively more upset, until she eventually did bite, sort of a 'what's your problem?' comment. Well, it was on...
One day years earlier he was gassing in my OR. I was setting up for a minor case (BG - we had two set up trollies and a bowl stand to open sterile bundles on, for a minor case I didn't need the smaller trolley) so he he appropriated the small trolley for his (woo! new at the time, yippee!!!) laptop. I made no comment, despite him repeatedly looking over at me as if expecting a bite. No, mate, I know better. Next case was a bigger case, but I could make do with one trolley, so I again made no comment, left him with the smaller trolley and kept on going. So he made a big production about coming over (after most of the set up was done, of course) and saying 'Sorry, Sister [for that was how we were addressed back then], do you need your trolley back?' I replied cheerully, no thanks, I can manage. Well, he was so disappointed that I didn't a) ask for it back before we started, so he could argue with me, or b) demand it back right then and there or c) tell him off for borrowing it in the first place. Nope, I'm not going to play your games, sunshine, so you keep the trolley. It was very amusing watching him deflate in frustration!
Another day, on a weekend, he came in to do a few cases as an extra. We were very busy, so the cases were delayed a little, and at the time I was in the stock room putting instruments away. He came in to rant at me (colour me surprised, I wouldn't have thought he knew where the nurses' stock room even was!) about the late start.
A: 'It's so frustrating to have to start late when I give up my Saturday like this!'
J: 'Yup, I know...'
A:'This happens every time!!'
J: 'Yup, I know...'
A: 'It's particularly hard because I'm trying to lose weight...'
J: 'I know, and you come in here, without having had lunch, then you get too hungry, then you eat the wrong thing, then you eat too much, and the weight never comes off...'
A: 'Yeah...' wanders off, deflated.
Seriously it was like watching somebody letting the air out of a balloon!
I could tell many, many tales of this guy - I worked with him for around 20 years, and we ended up quite friendly, but oh lordy he was a master manipulator.