The office farewell is a ritual in any workplace. It is a time to celebrate someone leaving the “family” and going on to bigger and better things. Often the manager would stand up, make a speech about how so and so have contributed to the organisation and illustrate some of the embarrassing things they might have done during a company function several years ago.
Being a software contractor, and moving from one company or another, you don’t often establish the bond the permie’s have. So the best thing about it, for me, is definitely the free food and drinks.