Last night was a momentous occasion: the first (hopefully) annual outdoor movie night at Europe Through the Back Door. Held in the back parking lot, employees and their families spent the evening together, most of the young kids on the large carpet square laid out on the ground, while the adults sat around in a mishmash of company meeting room chairs and canvas camping chairs brought from home.
Topics of conversation ranged from junior high sleepovers to whether or not you ever want to have kids, to the upcoming MS bike ride next week, for which our company team has been successfully raising funds for the better part of the year. Pizza was the featured menu item, supplemented by the traditional movie concessions of popcorn, Raisinets, Junior Mints, and Red Vines. Of course, beer, wine, and soda were on hand, although the real treat was the hot chocolate served about midway through the movie, accompanied by homemade marshmallows, and (for the adults) Baileys or peppermint schnapps.
The featured presentation was the original 1960's Pink Panther. Everyone clapped as the movie ended, and in what seemed a matter of only minutes the parking lot had been cleared of chairs, tables, empty wrappers, and plastic cups. I noticed on the drive home that it wasn't even yet 10:00, yet it was of the most enjoyable Friday nights I'd spent in awhile. Perhaps that's a sign of one of the best work benefits you can hope for - to work some place where the people actually want to spend time together, and a company social event, rather than being a cause for groans and questions of, "how can I get out of this?" is something to look forward to. Thanks, ETBD!