I'm curious about how old this guy is.
If he's entry level into the work force, not just the job (ie, straight out of school, or has only worked more casual jobs before) that may be some explanation. In a university setting, the most important thing is that you get the work done well by the deadline, and things like attendance and exactly when you do the work are secondary. Plus, instructors generally don't have the power to fire/demote students, or punish bad attitudes as long as the student does the work. (I would like to note that this is sometimes really annoying for the instructors.) Plus, you always get an extended holiday from slightly before Christmas until after New Years. Losing that when you enter the work force is an unhappy realization.
For casual short term jobs, on the other hand, behaviour like this wouldn't necessarily have long term repercussions.
I've seen this once or twice with recent grads, who hadn't figured out that being a junior employee in a company is very different than being a student at school, and came across as demanding little snots as a result - reacting rudely when asked/told to do normal duties that are the lot of junior employees, regarding any encroachment on lunch hours or vacations as a personal attack, not quite grasping the concept of a strict work schedule and the need for approval for vacation. They weren't necessarily horrible people underneath, but they did need to figure out that being good at their job tasks was a necessary but not sufficient condition for doing well in the workplace.