After work I parked across the street and walked into a restaurant called "J. Alexander's." If not for a helpful e-mail sent out this morning I would have forgotten that tonight was the night we were asked to gather there to send off a five-year employee (Well, he's a consultant, but he was very much part of our workforce and many of us in the IT department considered him a peer) who has had his contract terminated by my employer. I'm going to miss TMcG a great deal, he was one of the good guys on our team. It was refreshing and gratifying to see the number of people who turned out tonight to wish him good luck on his future endeavors... we even had some upper management appear, like RL (the IT Director who never ceases to impress me) and a couple of our company's vice-presidents (VPs in public... who would have thought it?). The gathering started at 4pm and really got a boost in the arm around 5:30 when our numbers swelled to roughly 25 or 30 people. Things were winding down when I took my leave at 9:10pm, there were only six or seven people left in our corner of the bar. During the evening we all had a few rounds, shook hands, toasted TMcG, snacked on appetizers to absorb the alcohol and talked. There was, to me, a surprising amount of emotion in the air. To be truthful I'm amazed at just how human the moment was, and I'm left with a lot of different thoughts on the matter. I guess many of the folks who work around me just bottle up their emotions or pull on masks when they enter the office, transforming into the soulless corporate drones that I deal with on a regular basis. Once they were removed from the office environment a lot of that indifference was shed and people seemed more... I don't know, real. They talked, they raised their voices, they gesticulated wildly in some cases. In a way watching the folks around me was almost unbelievably weird.
For those of you playing along at home, I hope you make your bets wisely, because now is the chance to double down your score or lose everything. The Super-Fun Bonus Time Round has come once again, and the question is a simple one, but the answer must be absolutely correct. The question is: Did Feren get his review today?
If you said "No, it was delayed again," then you're a winner! Tune in next entry to see if Feren gets a revised date or if he's banished to a life in limbo with no training plan and no cost of living increase.
No questions asked, there's not much more to say