The first person of the current mini-Exodus had his last day on the project today, so we all went out to lunch together. As going away lunches go, this one wasn't too bad -- the restaurant was so loud that I couldn't hear the person across the table, but at least that precluded any good-bye speeches.
We ended up at the Panera that just opened up near work. I'm sure it will do well -- it has nothing spicy on the menu and everything can be eaten without really chewing, so the blue hair crowd will take over. I had the bread and cheese calorie bomb. (No, that doesn't really narrow it down since everything on the menu has bread and cheese and is at least 800 calories.)
It's a far cry from the old days when we had at least ten Indian contractors working on the original project. The company that imported the labor made the visas for either one or (optionally) two years, so it seemed like there was almost always somebody leaving. Since many people didn't drive to work, we usually ended up at the one restaurant with a lunch buffet within walking distance. The sign out front said "Spring Garden" but among our circles it was known as "Good-Bye Garden". Eventually the company stopped hiring people from that intermediary and Spring Garden went out of business.
Only two more group lunches to get through in the next few weeks...