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.”