As some of you may have been reading, the project I am currently working in has had periods of demanding rather... shall we say... extended commitment and working hours.
This is one of them.
Last week, as an example, we were asked to work throughout the weekend. Again. Many things had to happen for this to be made so, but this story is not about the intricacies of convincing a generally Catholic population to work on a Sunday.
For my work, I tend to travel a bit. And on these assignments requiring travel, I tend to stay in hotels, work somewhat longer days (as I don't exactly have anything to "go home" to, at such times) and have dinner with colleagues in local restaurants.
This is all well and good, but restaurants tend to serve slightly richer-than-average dishes. And from working on systems engineering assignments for several months the brain might get plenty of exercise, the body doesn't fare quite so well. So, after a couple of months of this, you tend to put on a little weight and grow tired of (or at least VERY well-acquainted with) the menu's of said local restaurants. And, as stresses increase and time-to-deadline shrinks, even dinner becomes something of a physical necessity and not an exceptional occasion, what dining out for many people would be.
Let's zip back to last weekend.
These non-stop all-weekend activities place some above-and-beyond type of demands on our people. You don't get rest, the concept is stressful, and it's not exactly "what you signed up for" in your contract. So, sometimes, when you have an enlightened big-shot pulling all these strings, they realise something might be in order to boost, or at least maintain, morale a bit.
Our big-shot obviously had attended the mandatory people-skills courses, as he decided that our intrepid weekend crew might be entitled to such a morale booster.
After two weeks of non-stop work we were delighted and surprised by the extraordinary graciousness of being invited to...
go out for dinner, at his expense, at a local restaurant...
He even recommended one.