Working with Civil servants



Hi just been put in a office with a civil servant who was a colonel in the army about 20 years ago. He is not the nicest person i met and he expects me to call him colonel. He is not army and his pay grade is way below equivalency to that of colonel. Am i right to call him by his christian name. I do not know the ettiquette he may have held the Queens commission in the prehistoric past but am I under the army act have to call him sir. It is not a question of respect because I dont. He has a bullying attitude which not affects me but the way he harrasses junior staff is beyond reproach. It is not personal but using former rank to phase people into his submission is galling.

Can anyone shed light on the legality and ettiquette

Once again fighting for the lads that work for me!!!!! :?
Are you sure he isn't a RO?


Yep he is not a RO, just some sad civil servant living of his past.

Hope this helps, Armadillo
If calling him Bob, Jim, Gaz does not affect your own promotion then call him whatever you want. These cheeses cannot survive outside of the system. Poor, crumbling fools...
Simple, report him to his superiors for bullying, there should be pamphlets available with the right information, and he should be aware of Civil Service policy with regard to this, after having attended his compulsory training. Failing that tell the grave dodger to fcuk off and die. As regards higher echelon civil servants i had one who was T&G'd into a position which he continually failed to pass the board for, yet he was still there four and a half years later when i left. Jobs for the boys? Too fcuking right, hence the MoD's constant ability to screw up magnificently. :(
doomandgloom said:
If calling him Bob, Jim, Gaz does not affect your own promotion then call him whatever you want. These cheeses cannot survive outside of the system. Poor, crumbling fools...
Agree - have some fun with him :D


Thanks guys Rockhoppercrab hit the nail on the head job for the boys. The post was vacant and we had applicants apply from outside industry real subject matter experts. Then wham bam this idiot turned up and filled the slot apparently his last job was due to be cut and his mate the brig gave him the job without consultation. needless to say he is trying to make his mark on our budget thing is without breaking OPSEC our branch is the most expensive and consequently we are failing to deliver. Am waiting for Brig to be posted then the complaint will go in. Spoke to CAB we are now keeping a log on him and we have a independent observer who can make reccomodations. Just dont care about me getting into the brown and stinky I dont want my team going down.

thanks guys

I might be able to sleep now.
Absoloutley, wind the little fcuker up... Ask him if he would like to be addressed as Mr .... or by his first name. If he says you will call me Colonel, politely tell him that he is a civilian and you will ONLY address him as above oh by the way you may address me as (what ever you are happy with) If he persist ask him when his next detachment to Irag is... If you are sure you wont have any comeback military wise .... Tell the old CNUT to **** off and wind his pathetic little neck in, failing that beat the crap out of him. All the same defo report him for his bullying tatics
And between now and him eventually getting the hoof you could stir up some fun. Sh1t in his drawers then superglue then shut. Pour water over his carpet and drop watercress seeds. PVA glue some of his documents and publications together, the ones that are most important to him. Pour a little battery acid onto his comfy seat then a few hours later watch the arrse of his bottoms fall out. Want more?
... impregnate all the female staff in your office. Try and impregnate him. Impreganate all over his desk when he's taking an important call...... Yea, w a n k all over his tweed jacket when he's chatting with his boss on the phone. You may wish to groan 'sir, sir' on the vinegar stroke...
Here's the sad, boring, book answer.

You should, calmly and without swearing or raising your voice, tell this tube that his rank is in the past, and you will not be calling him Colonel, and that you do not appreciate his overbearing attitude. Stay calm.

If he's still behaving like a chopper (which I supsect he will) - you should have an Equality and Diversity rep within your department somewhere, see him/her (we are, after all, talking about harassment).

Let them know about the bullying of junior staff, about his refusal to be called anything else apart from Colonel and about the disruptive influence he's having on the team. The rep should (should) take this on, and sort the f*cker out themselves, although they may throw the problem back to you in the first instance.

This is assuming, of course, that the tw*t in question isn't the Equality and Diversity rep. Then, my friend, revert to the suggestions above. Good luck.
I know that this will not be the answer that you are looking for, however he is entitled to be called by his rank, albeit his bloody minded insistence on it at all costs may make you wish to add a further title under your breath as you utter the word "Colonel".

All officers of field rank and above are entitled to retain that title upon retring as any book of etiquette or military custom will tell you. For instance, 'Modern Etiquette', Moyra Bremner, Century, 1989 has this on page 247:

"After retirement, Lieutenant Commanders, Majors and RAF Squadron Leaders and above normally continue to use their rank. The letters Retd. are only written after the name on official lists."

The fact that many ceased to do so during the "Troubles" for security reasons explains why so many of the younger generation have forgotten that it is actually the norm to retain field ranks and above after retirement.


Further to Phillip-Kotler's post above, I would urge caution when dealing with this bloke. If he is an RO that means he is likely to be a C1/2/3 (MSF). However, due to his previous rank you may find that senior military members of your organisation view him as a member of the Chain-of-Command and wil protect him as such. There are lots of insecure idiots in places like the DLO/DPA who have old fashioned views. I agree that getting in the Equality and Diversity rep is a good idea, but be very cautious not to offend someone who may have surprising influence with your boss, your boss's boss or an old friend who just so happens to be a Brigadier.
CS are an odd lot. Some are frighteningly intelligent and well worth their oxygen allowance. Sadly most are deluded and inadequate. I worked with one female C1 grade who seemed to think that she had the equivalent status and rank of a Lt Col! You'll always get ex-blokes who hang onto their rank, but the worst type of CSs are the ones that assume a CS grade gives them rank. Kill them all.
Funny isn't it? Not all ROs are choppers. My boss is a retired full colonel (14 years ago) and an absolutely top bloke, I have no problem referring to him as 'Colonel' and actually quite like acknowledging his amount of previous service and experience. He too is referred to as C1 MSF, does anyone know what that actually stands for?
After all the advice so far on this thread you may wish to ignore the subject of what to call or not call him. Instead concentrate on the serious subject of his bullying.

For me, days to do. There's a lot to be said for self employment. Regardless of what 'the book' says, if anyone should come across like this chap has then I know how I will deal with them.
I feel for you buddy, sounds like you've landed yourself in a bit of a spot somehow. Invariably these idiots have friends in high places, so being forthright may not be the answer. All I would say though, no matter who you're having problems with there is ALWAYS somebody higher than them. If your grounds for bullying are genuine (and ideally there are witnesses to this) I would speak to his boss. Your other option, of course, is to request a posting or change of employment within the unit. (It's got to be said that I pissed myself laughing at the watercress seeds idea. GO FOR IT! TEN PFENNIG BET!)
skintboymike said:
If your grounds for bullying are genuine (and ideally there are witnesses to this) I would speak to his boss. Your other option, of course, is to request a posting or change of employment within the unit.quote]
Fair enough, but in the 21st century nanny state this bullying should not be going on and no one should be forced to change a job. Have you considered meeting in a 'dark alley'? But not by prior arrangement!

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