Being in Asia, there is little in the weather which tells you that we are once again in the month of January. The festive holiday season is now behind us and you may have thought of your own personal calendar New Year or Chinese New Year resolutions. It’s the time for reflecting on the changes we all want in the coming year.

Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? What about one of these resolutions?:

  • Start exercising to lose weight?
  • Quit smoking for better health?
  • Reduce stress and be less grumpy?
  • Improve your career, get a better job?

A study from the University of Bristol showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. It was Albert Einstein who once said:

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough”.

Mr. Einstein was a theoretical physicist and humanist widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. He is most famous for his General Theories of Relativity and won a Nobel Prize in physics. He is also credited with this nice comment:

“Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

I meet many candidates who I thought wanted a career. Turns out they just wanted pay checks. Improving your compensation is obviously one of the motivations to make a move. But honestly, the warm fuzzy feeling is usually only felt when you stand in front of the ATM machine and see the amount that pops up on your bank statement. Turn around, walk away, return to the office and the salary is but a distant memory.

Back in the real life, it’s all about the job, your boss, your colleagues. How much fun do you have? Let me share a little story that I have seen making rounds on the internet with a wonderful twist and a surprise ending.

My best wishes to all readers for a peaceful year ahead. With or without New Year resolutions. Enjoy the story.

Highly successful HR Manager knocked down by a bus

“A highly successful Human Resources Manager was tragically knocked down by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St. Peter welcomed her.

“Before you get settled in,” St. Peter said, “We have a little problem. We’ve never had a Human Resources Manager make it this far before. We are not really sure what to do with you.”

“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.”

“I prefer heaven to hell” – hiring manager

“Actually, I think I’d prefer heaven”, said the woman. “Sorry, we have rules,” at which point 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. She saw 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. She 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. She stepped into the elevator and went back up to heaven where St Peter was waiting for her.

HR Manager spending a day in heaven

“Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said.

So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing, which was almost as enjoyable as her day in hell. At the day’s end St Peter returned.

He said, “You’ve spent a day in hell and you’ve spent a day in heaven. You must now choose between the two.”

The woman thought for a second, “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.

The unexpected twist and surprise

“I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR Manager, “Yesterday I was here, and there was a golf course and a country club. We ate steak and lobster, and we danced and had a wonderful happy time. Now all there is just a dirty wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”

The Devil simply looked at her and smiled. “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff.”

Author: Tom Sorensen is a Partner at Boyden Thailand, a global Top 10 executive search firm. Contact:  [email protected] and learn more on

Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton is Executive Director of Dataconsult Ltd, [email protected]. Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.

News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.