One of the perks I get by working for my company is that subcontractors are always "wining and dining" us trying to gain the opportunity to bid our work.
Let me preface this with the fact that I've always been a very firm believer in treating the company's money like it was your own - so if you wouldn't buy a $100 steak with your money don't do it with the company's money. The "wine and dines" I feel are slightly different, they want you to enjoy your self and the purpose of the event is to well "wine and dine you" so take advantage of the opportunity to go a little outside your norm, but don't take advantage of the situtaion. (I realize I used advantage twice, but I think you know what I mean). In fact Frugal Zeitgeist recently posted about this topic.
With that said, the reason I love these "wine and dines" is two part. The first is its usually some place or some activity that I wouldn't ordinarily go to and the second reason is I get to enjoy luxuries I don't often afford myself.
Tonight was no exception. Our sub had reserved a box at the Thrashers Hockey Game and arranged for an amazing buffet and open bar. I never would have done something like this if it weren't a work event. On my subway ride home from the game I started thinking about the cost to an individual if they wanted to have a similar experience so here it goes --- Master Card style:
Hockey Ticket: $275 tickets
"Gourmet Dinner" Hockey Style: $60
Alcoholic Beverages served in your seat: $50
An evening with your closet friends from work: Priceless
Yeah there's no way I'd normally spend almost $400 to attend a Hockey Game -- I'd much rather watch it at home a heck of a lot cheaper. But I'm very grateful to the sub that provided this opportunity as it was an amazing time (even if the home team lost).
PS - As a side note and follow up to my post yesterday "Are Salaries No Longer Taboo to Talk About?" one of the main topics of conversation at the hockey game tonight was the shock of being asked this question. No one could believe a dollar figure for salary was asked plus a ton of people are really surprised Mr. Other VP answered with an actual dollar figure. Maybe my overreaction to the question being asked was biased by the culture of the company I work for - at my company you just don't talk about those things at all.