in the Corps of Engineers books, the Tellarite second officer seemed to start off as pretty unlikable, but that was more to do with him having replaced a popular officer. And even then, he mellowed some and the rest of the characters came to like and respect him.
This is not at all true. In fact, Tev's continued inability to get along with his crewmates (with the notable exception of Bart Faulwell) is a running theme throughout the entire series from when he joined up forward. If you think he's mellowed and the rest of the characters like and respect him, you haven't been paying very close attention.
That isn't what I get out of most of the stories in Grand Designs and Aftermath (haven't read Creative Couplings yet).
I remember a number of times crewmembers noting that Tev was apparently making an effort to get along with his fellow crewmembers.