Have you heard?

Tragically Sally, a Quantity Surveyor, was hit and killed by a 4×4 when she crossed the road while talking on her mobile phone.

As her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter himself was on hand to greet her.

“Welcome to Heaven,” said St. Peter. “Before you get settled in, as with everyone, we’d like to give you the opportunity to experience both heaven and hell… so what we’re going to do is let you have a day in each place before you decide where you wish to spend eternity.”

“Fair enough… although I’m sure I want to be in heaven,” said Sally.

“But you’ve never been to hell, so how would you possibly know?” And with that Sally found herself on a seemingly endless escalator descending to Hell.

Eventually, sally arrived, and found herself stepping onto a beach of fine white sand, with deep blue water lapping at her feet and a bar with a gorgeous waiter serving refreshing cocktails.

Just beyond that, she could see a luxury hotel with friendly faces welcoming her, many of them people she knew from her life as an Quantity Surveyor. They sat around and reminisced, laughed, swam and then as the bright golden sun disappeared below the horizon… they all went into the hotel for an amazing meal.

She even met Satan who was also very friendly, and not at all like the evil devil she had been led to believe he was. The evening was fabulous with drinks, jokes and dancing.

Sally had a fantastic time in hell, but all to quickly her visit came to an end, and she was whisked onto the escalator to sample heaven. Everybody smiled and waved good-bye as she disappeared into the clouds.

The escalator went up for what seemed like an age, but eventually, she arrived in heaven where St Peter was once again there to greet her.

“OK, so now it’s time to spend 24 hours in Heaven,” he said and Sally took her place amongst the clouds. Everyone was sitting around chatting quietly, playing flutes and harps, and Sally joined in. People were pleasant, but it was nothing like as much fun as hell.

In fact, the 24 hours seemed interminable, but eventually. It all came to an end and St. Peter came see her. “So,” he said, “you’ve experienced heaven and hell – where would you like to spend the rest of eternity?”

 Without hesitating, Sally replied, “Hell – no question! I can’t believe I’m saying this because before I arrived, I would have stayed in heaven without even visiting hell, but now that I’ve seen it, I know that’s much more my kind of place. Heaven is fine, but I think I’m better suited to spending the rest of eternity in hell.”

St. Peter nodded and escorted her back to the escalator, which swept her back down to hell, but when she arrived, it was very different. Sally found herself standing in a hot, dry, putrid smelling wilderness. For as far as she could see, all around was detritus, organic waste, and the stench of death.

All her friends, old and new, were dressed in filthy rags and were picking up scraps of rancid food to eat. Satan came up to her again and welcomed her.

“I don’t understand,” sobbed Sally. “When I came yesterday, it was fabulous food and drink; beautiful sun-drenched sandy beaches and clear blue sea. Now all there is, is a wasteland and everyone is scratching around for food.”

The Devil looked at her and smiled, “that’s because yesterday we were recruiting you, but now you’re on the staff.”

There is a serious point to that story…

When you are looking to recruit top performers, don’t oversell the role.  The candidate will become disillusioned and will leave you. Much better to undersell and over deliver!

Until next time.