Back to September: the boss summoned me to New Jersey again in order to ... actually, I'm a little vague on that still. The big thing seems to have been that since he was out of action for a couple months due to surgery, and was now fit and ready again, he wanted to get everything he was working on fired up and fully charged and for this he called in the programmers who work partially or by telecommuting, as well as other folks.
I'm really still not clear on why he needed me there. Usually this sort of visit has resulted in multiple meetings with clients, some of them away from the main office, so that lots of people get to see me and be convinced that I actually exist. This can be a bit stressful, since I'm never sure what exactly I should be doing, and the boss doesn't always show up to these things on time, and he doesn't always give a clear agenda to anyone about what he wants to talk about.
This time around, we just had the one meeting, with a client who was literally several blocks down the street. He didn't give me or any of the other staff invited (we walked there; the boss drove, and got in about a half-hour late) any clear idea what we were doing and really we spent most of the time there sharing a birthday cake that had been going around the client's office. In the course of the meeting the client described wanting to do something which, as far as I could tell, had absolutely nothing to do with anything I had ever done before, and that I wasn't being asked to do in future. But, again, cake.
I've come to worry that the other staff might subtly dread my visits, because they imply the boss spending several consecutive full days in the office, but they don't seem to mind me, and this time around the boss just dropped in for a couple hours on Wednesday and then again Friday morning and wasn't really seen again. Or he didn't get up to the third floor where my office is, anyway.
He seems happy, at least, and I got an expenses-paid trip to New Jersey out of it.
Trivia: The Dutch government banned what would now be termed futures trading less than two years after the practice became widespread in 1608. It was also banned in laws passed in 1621, 1623, 1624, 1630, and 1636. Source: Tulipomania: The Story Of The World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused, Mike Dash.
Currently Reading: Et Tu Brute?: A Short History of Political Murder, Greg Woolf.