Getting Paid

Back in 2004, our team was starting up a complete rewrite of our system. This was a significant task since the system is complicated and handles a ton of data. During this rewrite the developers got squeezed to produce results based on a crazy schedule. The results was plain insanity.

Management started to realize that things were going bad. So they started a number of efforts to improve morale. One such effort was a contest based on knowledge of the system. Since I was the senior guy on the project, I won this contest. Maybe this was not a fair contest. But I was happy.

My reward for winning the contest was $50. Unfortunately the project manager was low on cash so I got an IOU. For some reason the project manager kept forgetting to pay me, or never had the cash. After a while I wrote off this IOU as bad debt. But I posted the IOU up on my cubicle wall as a badge of courage for enduring the insane rewrite. (As an aside, this rewrite was a failure).

Recently the project manager that was in charge during the rewrite came back to the project. He visited my cubicle and saw my 4 year old IOU. And at this time he actually paid me back with interest. All I had to do was sign that I had received the money. I am not sure what the moral or this story is. Maybe it is that sometimes you get paid in the end? What do you think?