Bellowing abuse at your staff can backfire horribly, particularly when it turns out they're not your staff.
Here's a beautiful, but sadly unconfirmed, story from the pages of Private Eye. Richard Desmond, porn baron and newspaper owner, is not known for his friendly demeanor. Boasting a personal fortune of some £950 million, Desmond can afford his reputation for unpleasant, often verbally abusive outbursts.
One such outburst took place in the offices of Channel 5, a British TV channel Desmond owns. The notorious smut-purveyor entered the office to find a young lad sitting at a desk eating a packet of crisps. Seemingly enraged by this display of gluttony, he ripped the packet from the boy's hands and promptly set about motivating him.
"You're here to work hard," he yelled, "not stuff your face, you fat cunt."
Rather than imbue the young lad with boundless enthusiasm for hard work, the name-calling just made him flee from the room in tears. The funny part, however, is that the young man in question wasn't actually one of Desmond's employees. He was actually in the office doing work experience ( a less formal version of an internship for those of you outside the UK). Even better, he was given the position by manager, Stan Myerson, as a favor to the boy's father, who just so happens to be the chief exec of a top advertising agency.
Following the incident, all advertisements for Asda, the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, were pulled from Desmond's papers, the Daily Star and the Daily Express. It seems the "fat cunt" got the last laugh on this occasion.
Source: Private Eye No. 1324