Back in 2006 I worked for AOL in Mountain View, CA. In one sense I felt like I was at the top of my game professionally, but the experience of working there made me feel like I had hit bottom. The work I was doing was good, I got to redesign a mission critical product, mail.aol.com. But all the external factors to work were horrible. Quite simply, I landed a bait & switch job. First I was hired to work on one project, a music player, that project got killed. I was also told I got to work from home twice a week (my commute was horrible), this "deal" also got thrown out with no explanation. OK so perhaps these are petty reasons to quit a company. Both my managers were experts at taking free vacation time as much as they could. It was really hard to get the product team at AOL to weigh-in on my design work, they wanted my boss' input on my work... but Mike & Bill were always MIA. I have never seen so much cronyism as I have at AOL. It was a very strange place to work as a female too. The favoritism, friends of the boss getting whatever they wanted, a true legal liability. The BEST part of this set-up was that it was a set-up... My boss Mike was setting me up to look bad, I guess because it probably made him feel better about himself. I actually considered a lawsuit. But I'm not a lawsuit person so I quit instead.
Today I very happily work for myself.