I was fresh out of the military and got an electronics job. This was a small start-up company, so we didn't have corporate headquarters so much as a Business Owner. Holy Thrognar, he was an anal retentive ass with no business intelligence and a massive ego. He decided that now that he had the title of Business Owner, that made him God. What he said, went, because he said so. It didn't matter if it was a bad idea or a stupid idea; everyone was expected to obey... clients and staff alike.
More than one customer who ended up dealing with him, walked out without buying anything, looking thoroughly disbelieving and offended. And I'm not even talking about the obnoxious assholes who needed to be put in their place...
Customer: "I was told I need [X] item with [X] specs. Do you know where I could get a hold of one or whether you can order one in for me?"
Him: (in a condescending, "you're stupid; shut up and let a smarter person tell you what you really need" tone of voice) "No. Use this [other/incompatible/more expensive/not what they are looking for or need] item instead."
Easy enough work if you didn't facepalm yourself unconscious, but helping clients was a bitch due to having a semi-strict 'territory' rule. So if you were assigned DVD players and movies, you were given the side eye and then later, a bit of the third degree questioning for selling a computer chair.
After six months there, I found myself talking to a very interested customer. He wanted what basically turned into a grand tour of everything. I pushed aside the territory rule in my head and did just that. I walked him around, talked to him about his needs and requirements, and discussed various products. Since tech was basically my thing while in the military, I was able to tell him almost everything about everything that he picked up at random.
He made his purchase and went on his way. Then he came back and introduced himself as the CIO (Chief Information Officer) of a Fortune 500 company.
He was looking for a local company to purchase from. I had impressed him with my knowledge and he asked to speak with our Business Owner to meet and greet, but that he would very much like to purchase everything through me afterwards.
I ran into the back to tell the Business Owner. I didn't even get to tell him more details than, "You have an interested business client-" before I was cut off.
He asks me why I am trying to book him for a meeting (allowed) with an exec (allowed) for purchases outside my 'territory' (special cases only).
I explained the situation to him, tried to explain that this was a massive chance to put his company on the map with a big buyer, and he told me to go back on the floor, that he would 'handle' the client. I was very puzzled and more than a little concerned by this phrasing.
He came out and told the CIO that someone else (with approximately ~1 week experience) would handle all of his business with the company, and insinuated that I was was incapable of banging rocks together much less handle tech purchasing, and that I clearly needed to be retrained on company policy. All this was delivered in an "I'm God, I will tell you how you will conduct business with me" tone of voice.
I could only stare, stupefied at the scene. I mean... I couldn't even... what the... how could... DUMB! THIS WAS DUMB! At the time, I couldn't even articulate how stupid the Business Owner had just been, though I think my expression said plenty.
It's probably no surprise that the CIO took major offense to this and brought down the thunder on the Business Owner's head. In as many words, he told Business Owner that his small company had just lost out on a buyer with a HUGE BUDGET and a willingness to give us nearly exclusive business.
Business Owner went dead white, then red, then white again.
The CIO turned straight to me and asked me if I would like to have a massive upgrade in career. Not even the Joker could have laughed as hard as I did that day as I dumped my vest and name badge on the Business Owner's desk and walked out with the CIO.
The interview was pretty much a formality, but once he knew that I was handling tech for the military previously, and that I knew how to handle bullshit, red tape and paperwork, he was even happier that he found me.
As for the startup company and Business Owner? Just one of many failed enterprises.