It must be that it's Monday, the start of the work week, that's got me thinking about assholes. Mr. Sutton explains why he calls them assholes:
To start with authenticity, when I tangle with nasty person, I don’t think “what a jerk” or “what an abusive person.” The first thing that comes to mind is “what an asshole.” That is also the word that nearly everyone I know uses to describe these creeps, even though they may later censor it. ...
We teach our Ph.D. students at Stanford in the Center for Work, Technology and Organization who do ethnographies of the workplace that using foul language is sometimes necessary for providing accurate and realistic descriptions of what people say and how they feel. I believe that – in terms of both descriptive and emotional accuracy – other words are simply inferior for describing how persistently demeaning people act and, especially, the feelings they unleash in their victims.
In other posts, Sutton offers helpful metrics to identify assholes, and perhaps measure their degree of being assholes in order to manage them.