The first job I had after college was for a major chemical company in the Northeast US. At one point my boss asked three of us to pitch in and help out another developer on our team who had dithered around with the specs too long. In addition to our own responsibilities, we worked on this system most evenings until at least 9 pm and most weekends for more than six weeks. Our boss gave us carte blanche on expensing meals, saying any time we were there after 5 pm or on a weekend we could charge whatever we wanted to eat, to support us while we wrote this system. The total bill for all our meals was probably less than $1000 but was a major factor in our willingness to work long hours -- not because we were willing to work for food, but because we felt that the company took our sacrifice seriously. Afterward, we all received a spot award of a month's pay. I would have done anything for that boss -- that kind of pound-wise thinking is what separates the men from the boys in this area.
Some months later, that boss ran afoul of some internal politics and was shunted aside in favor of a man who could have been the prototype pointy-haired-boss. Not long after that our department was decimated by employee departures for greener pastures, myself included.
No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde
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