Sent to me by my old advisor, I got a kick out of this… Happy job market!
One day while walking downtown, a well-known sociologist was hit by a bus and was tragically killed. Her soul arrived up in heaven where she was met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter (a social construction) himself.
“Welcome to Heaven,” said St. Peter. “Before you get settled in, though, it seems we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we’ve never once had a sociologist make it this far and we’re not really sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in,” said the woman.
“Well, I’d like to, but I have higher orders. What we’re going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose where you want to spend eternity,” the Saint replied.
“Actually, I think I’ve made up my mind. . . . I prefer to stay in Heaven, even though Hell should be more exciting for research.”
“Sorry, we have rules. . . .” And with that, St. Peter put the scholar in an elevator and it went down-down-down to Hell. The doors opened and the sociologist found herself stepping out into a beautiful seminar room. Down the hall was a lavishly appointed lounge, complete with a small but useful reference library. Standing in front of her were all her former colleagues, a veritable Who’s Who of the sociological world, all cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks and they talked about old functionalist times. They had an exciting theoretical discussion trashing postmodernism and anthropology, and then retired to the faculty club for an excellent steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil, who was actually a really nice guy, resembling Max Weber. And although he was a political economist, he showed a real interest in her work.
They talked and joked into the wee hours of the morning. The sociologist was having such a good time that before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook her hand and waved good-bye as she got on the elevator. The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the Pearly Gates where St. Peter was waiting for her.
“Now it’s time to spend a day in Heaven,” he said. So the sociologist spent the next 24 hours lounging around on the clouds and playing the harp and singing. She had a great time and before she knew it, the 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got her. “So, you’ve spent a day in Hell and you’ve spent a day in Heaven. Now you must choose your eternity,” he said. The sociologist paused for a second and then replied, “Well, I never thought I’d say this. I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think professionally I had a better time in Hell.”
So, St. Peter escorted her to the elevator and again the scholar went down-down-down back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw that her colleagues were dressed in rags and were picking up garbage and putting it in sacks for the evening meal. They barely paused in their work long enough to grumble and tell her that they thought her research was second-rate.
Max himself came up to her and put his arm around her and laughed at her.
“I don’t understand,” stammered the sociologist. “Yesterday I was here and there was a library and a faculty club and we ate lobster and we talked about my research and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland of garbage and all my colleagues looks miserable to me.”
Max looked at her and said: “That’s because yesterday we were interviewing you, but today you’re faculty.”