I edited the ˜.my.cnf and added the following:
This changes the mysql client prompt from mysql> to 11:42:22am>. The friend started the mysql client, entered the query, and we went to lunch. We when returned, there on the prompt line was the time the command finished.
An old simple trick but it did what was needed. The documentation on the prompt string details more options. I probably would not want to use this trick for more than the crudest of benchmarks. I do use something similar to display the hostname when dealing with slaves in replication.