A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. “Open these if you run up against a problem you don’t think you can solve,” he said.
Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wit’s end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, “Blame your predecessor.”
The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press — and Wall Street – responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.
About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, “Reorganize.” This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.
After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.
The message said, “Prepare three envelopes.”
The other would come behind him and fill the hole — fill, fill, fill. These two men worked furiously; one digging a hole, the other filling it up again.
A man was watching from the sidewalk and couldn’t believe how hard these men were working, but couldn’t understand what they were doing. Finally he had to ask them.
He said to the hole digger, “I appreciate how hard you work, but what are you doing? You dig a hole and your partner comes behind you and fills it up again!”
The hole digger replied, “Oh yeah, must look funny, but the guy who plants the trees is sick today.”
One night the 96-year-0ld draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses.
“Was I getting in the tub or out?” she yells.
The 94-year-old hollers back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up to see.”
She starts up the stairs and stops. She shouts, “Was I going up or going down?”
The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea, listening to her sisters.
She shakes her head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful”, and knocks on wood for good measure.
Then she yells, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.”
Smoke at the scene was too thick to get any good shots, so he frantically called his home office to hire a plane.
“It will be waiting for you at the airport!” he was assured by his editor.
As soon as he got to the small, rural airport, sure enough, a plane was warming up near the runway.
He jumped in with his equipment and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”
The pilot swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air.
“Fly over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make three or four low level passes.”
“Why?” asked the pilot.
“Because I’m going to take pictures! I’m a photographer, and photographers take pictures!” said the photographer with great exasperation.
After a long pause the pilot said,
“You mean you’re not the instructor?”
As she sat by him, he said, “You know what?
You have been with me all through the bad times.
When I got fired, you were there to support me.
When my business fell, you were there.
When I got shot, you were by my side.
When we lost the house, you gave me support.
When my health started failing, you were still by my side.
Well, now that I think about it, I think you bring me bad luck!