annon... because you know who you are....
the "Monkey pit" as the IT room was know back then, was situated right next to the main conference board room fish tank. (full height glass walls, and floor to ceiling outside glass overlooking the more expensive parts of london).
someone had the thinly disguised idea that taking the wall down between the conference room area and opening up the tech area to show off to visitors and clients in passing would add "wow" factor.
what it actually ment was we had to:-
1. behave like responsible grown-ups
2. stop smoking at our desks
3. networks to find somewhere else to sleep off the Thursday lunchtime to Friday morning bender.. erm... drinkypoos on Friday daytime.
we suffered this because it was very soon noticed, that we got a bead on what big brass meetings happened and when - because they were usually fully catered with platters of meat/cheese, sandwiches, muffins/pastries, pots of coffee/tea, cans of fizz. If it was a super big "do" there'd be a chef on site.
To the point that we were scheduling our lunches and resultant food shops accordingly. Some people actively forgoing both breakfast and lunch on particular days in order to "have enough room" to hobbit the arriving free food fest.
however one day, there was a particularly large and welcoming spread laid on. Some particularly massive meeting was being held. an hour went by... another hour... the smell of warm bread and olives only hinting at the copious bounty we could see through the glass.
a few snappy comments started up, a few snide remarks. an "i'm hungry too!" whine. IT was quiet. but the quiet of a ravenous pack of wild dogs about to frenzy on each other. this was before the term "hangry" had been coined, but it was oh so relevant here.
anyway, funnily enough, it soon became noted, that most of the IT team were familiar with and tended to frequent some of the more "entertaining" parts of town, and so brass would usually extend a corporate sponsored invite to the team, if visiting corporate dignitaries would need keeping amused of an evening.
To the point that *any* new director or managing director was flown to London for a week on some lame excuse to "meet our European folks", as cover for night out with the tech team to see if they had "the right stuff" for the firm - or simply to report back some random legendary drinking war stories to the US for what really goes on in the UK after hours.