You treat a difficult person kindly and you may be surprised at the positive response from this person in the future. This is not a person that is always rude, just a person that may not be thoughtful. You know where you stand with this person and always get an honest answer. Before much time passes, you may have a new friend. Lean and mean is a structured environment you may be looking forward to when it comes to business, yours or that of the business for which you work. Kind is good but honest is better. Now it is time to introduce a gentle kindness along with an organized work environment. This is the beginning of new goals for you in this workplace, perhaps your own secret goals for success. Happy birthday!