A few of us from the office headed out to an acclaimed BBQ joint during the holiday lull between Christmas and New Years. I expected the last workday of the year to be slow with a bunch of the workforce out on vacation. Boy was I wrong.

When we arrived, the line snaked from the cash register, around all of the picnic tables and looped back upon itself once without making anyone wait in the cold. I told my lunch companions that our wait would be at least forty-five minutes. They were cool with that, but they didn’t have two hours to lollygag at lunch. I took note of the time. Sixty minutes later we had our food and were shuffling through gaps in the line - which still filled the dining hall - to find some seats.

While we were shuffling our way toward meat nirvana the conversation was casual and covered a wide variety of topics. We talked shop, BBQ, and beer. When we got near the cutter station we gazed at the photo gallery and gabbed about who we did and didn’t recognize.

At the table, meat plates in hand, there was no conversation. Much grunting, chewing, and busy fork hands, but no talking.

When we returned to the office conversation went like this:

Them: “How was the BBQ?”

Us: “Great”.

Them: “How long was the wait?”.

Us: “Just over an hour.”

Them: “Jeez, was it worth it?”

This is where things get complex. BBQ can be obtained at joints where there is no wait. There is no buzz. There is no conversation. This excursion was about getting away, strengthening relationships, and having some good grub for lunch. For those looking in from outside, it may not seem worth the time and effort. Usually, those who are participating feel that their time was well spent.

The next time someone asks you “was it worth it?” give it some thought from a few different angles and then answer - “was it worth it?”