“I’m really sorry about the mix-up,” God apologized.
“Yeah, yeah, sure,” the Man grumbled.
God sorted through some sheets of paper. “I mean, you can understand how this mistake could have happened. Our organization system isn’t the best here in heaven.”
“I can tell,” the Man muttered, looking impatient.
“It’s just that we have a whole lot of paperwork,” God tried to reason. “People are dying and being born all the time. We do our best to keep all of the records straight, but there are only so many angels, and we aren’t perfect.”
“How can you not be perfect?” the Man accused. “Are you not God? Aren’t you supposed to be omnibenevolent?”
God lifted a finger. “That means ‘all good’, not ‘perfect’. I’m trying my best up here.”
“You’re supposed to be omnipotent too, so doesn’t that give you the power to be perfect?”
God rubbed his chin. “Yes, but a lot of the paperwork is handled by the angels, and they’re bound to screw up every once in awhile.”
“Are you kidding me!?” the Man shouted. “I spent three months in hell because of this little ‘mix-up’! And here you are talking like it’s no big deal! I still have burn marks on my arms! Some demon almost bit my finger off! And all that you can tell me is that the paperwork is overwhelming!?”
“But the paperwork did get corrected,” God pointed out. “You would’ve been in hell for all of eternity if nobody had caught the error. That’s why we double check these things.”
The Man folded his arms. “How often do these errors happen?”
God shifted in his seat uncertainly. “What do you mean?”
“I’m not the first heaven-bound soul that accidentally got sent to hell, am I?”
“Well, no. Somebody dies every two seconds, and we aren’t going to send everyone to the right place on the first try. We mess up on a couple every year, I’d estimate.”
“Hey, you’re one of the lucky ones!” God tried. “You were only in the wrong afterlife for three months. This one poor sap, he was there for over a decade! He was furious!”
“Jesus Christ,” the Man moaned.
“Yes?” Jesus asked promptly.
“Not now, Jesus,” God waved him away. “We’re talking about something else.”
Jesus frowned. “Sorry. I thought I heard my name.”
“You did,” God acknowledged. “I’m in a meeting. Come back later.”
The Man put his hands on his hips. “You really need to find a way to improve the clerical errors that happen here. Hell is not a pleasant place!”
“We’re trying our best,” God shrugged. “There are only so many people that are Good enough to become properly employed angels up here, so there are a lot of position openings. Honestly, the population in heaven hasn’t been growing all that much these past few centuries. People sinning left and right…”
“Then stop having your angels do your paperwork for you!” the Man argued. “You’re all powerful! Do it yourself! You could do it in an instant, couldn’t you?”
“These angels like their jobs! Heaven isn’t entertaining enough for everybody. Some of these souls enjoy having busywork to do for eternity.”
“Do you even catch all of the errors?” the Man challenged. “Are there people wrongfully spending eternity in hell?”
“We double check everything,” God said curtly.
The Man groaned, “You should be triple checking! Go and get your angels to look through all of the paperwork again!”
“All of it!?” God gaped. “Do you have any idea how many people have died since the beginning of time? These angels are working for me out of the kindness of their hearts! I can’t do that to them!”
“Then do it yourself with your omnipotent powers!”
God rubbed his forehead uneasily. “Look, if the angels find out that I’m doing any of their work for them, they’ll be furious! I tried helping them out during the bubonic plague, when we had a huge influx of souls to bring in, and the angels still haven’t forgiven me!”
The Man gave up on trying to reason with Him. “Do I get any sort of… reimbursement? For the three months wrongfully spent in hell, I mean.”
“Yeah, you can have whatever you want,” God shrugged.
“But don’t people in heaven already get whatever they want? This is supposed to be a paradise, isn’t it?”
God sighed, “How can I reimburse you if I have nothing more to offer?”
“I don’t know! Think of something!” the Man barked.
“I’m sorry! There’s nothing to be done!”
The Man complained, “Is that really the best that you can do? Christ, you’re useless!”
“What?” Jesus asked from outside. “Am I allowed to come in now?”
“Fine! Fine!” God shouted. “You can come in, Jesus! This meeting is over!”
With a frown, the Man left God’s office and went on to his new afterlife.