Tish Lloyd's excellent featured post "I'm your REALTOR®, Not Your Punching Bag" reminded me of how some people believe they can say anything they want without any consequence as long as it's under the guise of "it's not personal, it's business".
I've worked for some pretty rough bosses. One of them felt that the only way he could get respect was to beat it into your head that he was the boss and his word was law! (Like I wasn't aware of that.) I worked with one person who used to cuss to high heaven when he was having a rough day or someone was stressing him out (not me). I'm not a prude and have been known to throw out a salty "bon mot" or two myself. However, this was WAY outta hand and quite annoying, especially considering the volume at which it would be delivered. When I told him that, while I understand he's frustrated, listening to his loud tirades wasn't cool, he said, "I'm not yelling AT YOU." I told him, "Yes. But you're yelling AROUND me. Just because you're upset doesn't mean it's OK for me to hear it. Especially when you express it this way." Eventually, he got it and would just take his tirades elsewhere when he felt the need.
I also had one co-worker decide to literally yell at me over the phone "Who the f$@# do you think you are?" because he thought I had done a procedure wrong. I hung up on him. He called back and tried to cuss at me again. So, I hung up on him again. I refused to answer the phone after that. It ends up that he was actually in the wrong, but you couldn't tell him that. Even if I had been wrong, is it really OK to speak to someone that way? I don't think so.
When someone comments on your work performance, especially if they are just being cruel and not constructive, it is no longer business. It IS personal. Since I am a person who takes great pride in my work ethic, an attack on it (especially when unprovoked) hits me really hard. Just because you say it loudly, doesn't make you right. I try to keep this phrase my mom has said many times in the past when dealing with a particularly cruel individual..."It seems that life hasn't turned out the way someone thought it would." It kinda helps cool my boiling blood a bit.
If you like this, take a gander at these: