I talked to my department supervisors about the smelling like smoke issue with J. I have documented 3 conversations already, and in other jobs often this is officially documented. They advised that I talk to him, so I did that today at the beginning of program instead of later. I did talk to him, his response was odd. He thanked me for looking out for him. I am not looking out for him, I said that I was frustrated with him based on the previous conversations. I also asked him how he is doing this, and he is going off property across the street.

This is just stupid, No matter what the job you do not get a smoke break for a 4-5 hours shift. And he is experienced in this work. So I simply said he cannot go off property on his shift. Two sentences, no fillers or conversation since he seems to misunderstand (more likely playing me). I have been very professional in addressing things before or after program instead of calling him on it in the moment, but I have had a surge of confidence and feel more grounded in my job.

Here is the pissed off, my colleague worked with him over the summer. Apparently J would walk out of program, not tell anyone where he was going and come back reeking of smoke. My colleague and the director I took over for did not address this with him ever. They also did not address the issue of him taking more authority than he really had in his position. At least now I am getting more of the story, and I get to deal with it. And I am not letting anything go anymore, or worrying about politeness with someone who appears to be stupid or playing a game.