Hmm...we don't use this expression at all ("to bring somebody up short"), at least not in my region of the US (New York, northeast US). It sounds awkward to me. I would tend use "to be taken aback" in the examples you've given, i.e.:
He was walking into the office when he was taken aback by the sight of John.
I was taken aback by her rudeness. / Her rudeness took me aback.