Late one night, after everyone had left the office for home, only the CEO and the Head of Human Resources remained. They were engaged in a semi-private affair. The CEO invited her into his office where they sat together on his couch, then eventually lay together. They were making love when the CD drive on his computer opened and an otherworldly voice emerged.
WHHAAHHHHH … said the voice.
“Hello?” called the CEO. “Who’s there, please?”
“Frank Howe,” the voice said. “I want the Head of Human Resources—for myself.”
It only took a few seconds for the CEO to recall the name. It was the name of a salesman who’d recently hung himself on the sales floor with his own telephone cord for not making that month’s sales quota. “Frank Howe?” he snorted. “You were dead weight when you were alive, and now you’re a pest after death. I’m the CEO. CEO! Of all the impertinent … Just get out of here! Get lost!”
But the ghost didn’t go. He slipped from the CD drive and grabbed the bare shoulder of the CEO, and the CEO grew pale with fright. No one was around to hear his calls for help—except for the Head of Human Resources. He looked down at her and asked if she had any suggestions. She replied that her expertise wasn’t inclusive of in-human, non-human, or formerly human relations; she was at a loss.
“How do you know Frank Howe?” he asked.
“We had a thing,” she said casually.
Of all the impertinent … , thought the CEO.
But the ghost’s grip on his shoulder redoubled and the CEO’s fright grew to a pitch. He and the Head of HR jumped up, threw on their clothes, and ran out of the office building. When the CEO got home he called on Senior Legal Counsel, whom he told to assemble a crack team of lawyers to exorcise the ghost of Frank Howe from his computer. The CEO told him to offer the ghost whatever settlement he wanted in exchange for vacating the corporate offices.
“Before we offer a settlement,” the Senior Counsel counseled, “I suggest that you contact the Chief Technical Officer. His tech staff may be able to exorcise the ghost without requiring the depletion of corporate discretionary funds. If they can’t, we’ll happily sit at the table with Frank.”
Of all the impertinent …, thought the CEO.
He hung up and called the CTO and told him to assemble a team to exorcise the ghost from his computer.
“Before we flush the drive,” the CTO counseled, “I suggest that you contact the Head of Human Resources. Her expertise might not be inclusive of in-human, non-human, or formerly human relations, but—”
“Save it,” said the CEO. “You’re fired.”
A week later, a crack team of lawyers led by Senior Counsel met in the executive conference room. They brought in the CEO’s computer and opened the CD drive.
“Frank Howe, what would it take for you to leave the corporate offices for good?” asked the Senior Counsel.
After a long pause, Frank Howe replied: “I want the Head of Human Resources—for myself.”
This explains why the Head of Human Resources went on a long leave of absence. She and Frank were on their honeymoon. She married a ghost. They live in Westchester.
Some are amazed by the Head of Human Resources’ loyalty to the corporation, for marrying a ghost for the sake of the firm. Others are impressed with the CEO’s quick handling of the incident. Most astonishing, however, is that a settlement was reached without necessitating a dip into the corporation’s discretionary funds. The Senior Counsel got a sizable bonus at the end of the quarter. Good for him.