sounds like maybe he was vfr-on-top, but how did he get there without a clearance? Did he fly thru some weather to get there? I think that's what ATC was buggin about.
That's the impression I got. I think the aircraft in question popped up in class Bravo airspace after flying through some pretty nasty weather and what I assume were reported IFR conditions.
Well, if he was flying VFR over a cloud deck then he was "VFR-over-the-top" not "VFR-on-top." It's not against the rules to fly VFR-over-the-top unless you're a student pilot. The controller is really out of line here. An instrument rated pilot requests to go IFR for deteriorating weather conditions and the controller gives him a bunch of unnecessary grief for it. The controller should shut up and do his job and not second guess how a pilot maintained cloud clearance.
I've had situations where aircraft popped up VFR in the middle of all sorts of weather they really had no business flying in. Then when I advise them about the weather they usually make a good decision and stay clear of it or land. It really has nothing to do with if an aircraft is IFR equipped and capable or not. The controllers know how aircraft are getting through the weather and if some yahoo pops up VFR in the middle of it, an IFR clearance isn't gonna keep the guy's airplane from coming apart.
As for the controller "shutting up and doing his job," who are you to say that he didn't? Obviously we don't have the full recording, there are many fragments and clipped transmissions. For all you know the pilot said he didn't want the IFR clearance. If you were paying attention you may have heard the controller advising the pilot that a turn to the north would put him back in the weather so as far as I can tell the controller was
doing his job.