Goodbye, Darren

We learned last week that, sadly, Darren is going to be leaving our company to focus on his family. He’s been a key player for the last three and a half years, serving as our QA Manager – keeping our tools and our code in check, and helping oversee our sprint/deployment process.

On Friday, we had a series of events to celebrate his last day. There was a lunch at the Berghoff… and then later in the afternoon, there was a small gathering of folks in the kitchen. Nisha had made a special (and delicious) cake for Darren, and we all had a mini-party in the kitche.

Darren, posing and contemplating how big a piece to cut.

Fast forward a bit to the post-work get-together, down the street a the B&B (Beef ‘n Brandy). A small group of us arrived right at 5:30, and Justin kicked off the evening with a round of tequila shots (Patrón, no less) . Though Darren’s not one to do shots often (the last time tequila was involved, he said he got on stage and did some impromptu singing), he was a champ and stepped up.

Later in the evening, Darren was recounting stories from his days at Microsoft. He had been there for about 15 years, and was around when Windows 3.1 was released. There was some crazy stuff that happened there, making it sound more like a frat house and less like an actual software company. Wild, wild stories – Jose and Al were captivated (as was I).

I bought a round of Jameson (what can I say, old habits are hard to break). To my surprise, they were charging $9 a shot. I had to have the bartender repeat the total for me a few times, because it simply didn’t register.

I’m used to drinks being a bit more in the city, but a $9 shot kind of took me by surprise. Luckily for us, the woman who normally serves us was nearby. I’m guessing she saw my shocked reaction, and insisted on buying us another round (on the house). I felt a little bad, but she definitely took care of us (I made sure to leave a healthy tip).

For the second round, Darren stepped up once again. I lost track of how many drinks he had, but he was downing glasses like a Microsoft employee. :)

I ended up leaving fairly early, but heard that the party went fairly late. I’m hoping Darren was able to catch his Metra train back home, and didn’t wake up in too much pain the next day.

Darren – good luck to you, sir. Best wishes, and here’s to the hope that we may see you pass through our doors, some day in the future.

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