When we usually hear evidence of irony, it’s connected to a negative example. That just seems to be the way things work. However, once in a great while, we come across an example that brings a smile of content and satisfaction to our lips and tremendous delight to our heart. The motives may vary but the results remain the same. This is one of those wonderful stories.
A highly successful Human Resources Manager was tragically stricken by a bus and killed instantly. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St. Peter welcomed her by explaining: “Before you get settled in, we have a little problem … you see, we’ve never had a Human Resources Manager make it this far before and we’re not really certain sure what to do with you.”
“Oh, I see,” said the woman. “Can’t you just let me in?”
“Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter, “but I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day in hell and a day in heaven, and then you are to choose where you’d like to go for all eternity.”
“Actually, I think I’d prefer heaven,” said the woman.
“Sorry, we have rules …” at which St. Peter put the HR Manager into the downward bound elevator.
As the doors opened in hell, she stepped out onto a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club; around her were many friends — past fellow executives, all smartly dressed, happy, and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old times. They played a perfect round of golf and afterwards went to the country club where she enjoyed a superb steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil, who was actually rather nice, and she had a wonderful night telling jokes and dancing. Before she knew it, it was time to leave; everyone shook her hand and waved goodbye as she stepped into the elevator. The elevator went back up to heaven where St. Peter was waiting for her.
“Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said.
So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing, which was almost as enjoyable as her day in hell. At the day’s end St Peter returned.
“So,” he said, “you’ve spent a day in hell and you’ve spent a day in heaven. You must choose between the two.”
The woman thought for a second and replied, “Well, heaven is certainly lovely, but I actually had a better time in hell. I choose hell.”
Accordingly, St. Peter took her to the elevator again, and she went back down to hell.
When the doors of the elevator opened, she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends dressed in rags, picking up rubbish and putting it in old sacks. The Devil approached and put his arm around her.
“I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR Manager, “Yesterday I was here, and there was a golf course, and a country club, and we ate lobster, and we danced and had a wonderful happy time. Now all there’s just a dirty wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”
The Devil looked at her and smiled. “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff.”
About Harry K. Jones
Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.
I’m not really sure exactly what it is that your company does. But I have to tell you that your blog has done a lot for my Business Process Cell and its team members at work and my family at home too. Several months ago one of our team members downloaded one of your Generation Gems and brought it into work to share with all of us. It was the one about the aircraft carrier and the lighthouse and we laughed a lot but could really connect the moral of the story to a communication problem we were having at work. I went home that night and checked out your blog. As a Supervisor with a good number of years under my belt I recognized many of your Generational Gems and it was interesting to hear them again. I was also kind of surprised to find many I have never heard before. Our entire cell now visits your blog. In fact, your Gem titled “If The Horse Is Dead, Dismount” recently convinced us to make a critical decision we’ve been putting off.My wife was recently sharing a Gem with her sister on the phone. It was about the ham not fitting in the pan. They both enjoyed it because it reminded them of their Mother. My oldest daughter heard them laughing and asked why. My wife directed her to your blog after explaining the story and now all three of my children visit regularly. My daughter is the Editor of her high school newspaper and has since reprinted several of your Generation Gems in her paper.The response from her advisor and readers has been very positive. Based on the responses I’ve heard, I think you should find a way to share your Generational Gems with every high school, college, and business in the country. Everyone learns better from a good story and these great stories on your blog apparently entertain all generations. They’ve been around for so long because they’re so powerful. Thanks for keeping them alive for us. Please keep them coming our way. Good job.
On behalf of the entire staff, I’d like to thank you for the kind words you shared in your recent comment. In fact, I’ve been trying to figure out how to transfer your comments to billboards to be placed all over the country. It’s so nice to hear that you, your wife, your children and your co-workers have all found something of value within our blog content. From your mouth to the nation’s ears!
In answer to your question as to what we do, please allow me to briefly summarize an answer for you. The AchieveMax team specializes in providing high quality, consultants, facilitators, and speakers to organizations on an as-needed, as-required basis. We present customized seminars and keynotes on change, creativity, customer service, leadership, project management, stress management, time management, teams, and many more topics. We have served small organizations, large corporate clients, non-profits, high school and universities all over North America. We’ve worked with a very wide variety of industries over the years. For more information, go to our web site and browse Training and Seminars, Keynote Presentations, and Clients for more details.
I hope you, your wife and children and business associates continue to find our blog educational, entertaining, and of continuous value to you in the future. If we can be of service to you in any way, don’t hesitate to call on us. And thanks again for sharing your views.