Software developer pilot fish gets a call from his dad: "We're having a big family reunion at my house! Uncle Fred, his kids, everybody is going to be there! Can you make it?"

Sure, fish agrees -- and he can use the break. "I was working as an hourly contractor on a high-profile project for one of our biggest customers," says fish. "This was a database-driven forecasting web application to replace an extremely complex spreadsheet.

"We were working long hours, nights and weekends, to meet the deadline."

But the next day, when fish tells the project manager he can't work the coming weekend because of a family commitment, the PM goes into a panic. "If we don't get this project done by Monday, I could lose my job!" he tells fish.

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