When John returned to work two weeks ago, the office rumor mill said he had asked for additional leave time but his request was denied.
I wonder how much this was the crux of the matter. John's not fully healed/better and he's in pain and upset that he has no option but to be back at work.....but this is no excuse to take it out on coworkers.
I have to admit that I am biased right now. I got an infection from hell in Dec. 2011 and am just now starting to reach the point where I can start considering work. For the first 6 months of my illness, I was hoping that I would have been able to go back to work but when my second hip became infected too, I had to start treatment all over again and just reset my clock.
For those who don't know, there is a period between around 3 months and up to a year where you fall into a netherland of employment (depending upon employer). Had my second hip also not gotten infected right after my FMLA ended, it would have been really rough for me to get back to work at 6 months (which I could get because of my circumstances). At the 6 month point, I had to either return to work or resign my position and apply for LTD. Since I was still in a wheelchair giving myself IV infusions of antibiotics, returning to work was impossible.
Be professional and polite to him.....really, that's all you can do. If his rudeness becomes a problem, then he won't be around much longer.