Yesterday, at my NASA job, my office attended the department’s annual award banquet. The theme this year was Mardi Gras. The location was all decked out in gold, green, yellow and purple table clothes, beads, masks and streamers. I received an OHC (Office of Human Capital) Achiever Award for (to quote the award) “For communicating and coordinating with customers on what Academic Affairs is and does to support the Center’s Human Capital strategy and the Agency mission.” Only one person gets this award each year. So all my helping beyond my contract boundaries, the tasks that fall under “other duties as assigned” such as helping with tours, answering the main phone line, supporting student events, running errands, and anything that they ask for volunteers has been recognized. I usually get in trouble for helping the other contractors (not on my contract) too much, but yesterday I got rewarded for it. So my years of helping out – despite being told not to – have paid off.