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Advice for your performance review: In five years...

Job seekers speak with perspective employers at the New York Career Fair held at a midtown Holiday Inn on October 24, 2011 in New York City.

Ready for your performance review? Writer James Drummond knows the drill, and says he's tired of one question in particular:

Performance Review Question 4: 
Where do you see yourself in five years?

Since no one can see the future, I will answer by presenting twenty possible scenarios, which, admittedly, vary in their likelihood. Nevertheless, I feel it is best to try to be thorough so that at least one of the scenarios may prove true in five years. Most of the scenarios are positive, but a few negative scenarios are included for balance. Please note that during previous performance reviews I have been repeatedly told that I need to “think outside the box.”

Scenario 1: In five years I will have received a promotion.

Scenario 2: In five years, the company will have realized what a hard-working, intelligent and loyal employee I have been and will reward me for my long and dedicated service with a generous raise and a bonus. My performance rating will go from the unwarranted “needs improvement” to “exceeds expectations”

Scenario 3: In five years I will have risen to the position of Vice President.

Scenario 4: In five years I will have risen to the position of President.

Scenario 5: In five years I will own the entire company.

Scenario 6: In five years I will own the entire company and will have replaced all the managers with pieces of fake, rubber poop embedded with voice chips that randomly say things like “Work smarter, not harder,” or, “I need your time sheet,” or, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Scenario 7: In five years I will have given up trying to understand the phrase “think outside the box.”

Scenario 8: In five years I will be living outside in a box.

Scenario 9: In five years my worst childhood fears will have been realized when I am attacked by a swarm of killer bees just moments before I undergo spontaneous human combustion.

Scenario 10: In five years there is global-thermonuclear war. Adding insult to injury, the war happens on a Friday, ruining absolutely everyone’s weekend. The only other person in the building besides me to survive the initial attack is a marketing consultant. His first words to me are “You’re going to want to think about rebranding.” I tear a hole in his radiation suit.

Scenario 11: In five years I will have been elected to public office on the basis of my controversial, yet ultimately reasonable and popular platform of giving the death penalty to anyone caught using a leaf blower. Less popular is my proposed legislation, which only allows hockey to be played where ice forms naturally.

Scenario 12: In five years I will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of my invention of the time machine, which I will observe by attending the original Woodstock concert, again.

Scenario 13: In five years I will have stunned the medical and sporting worlds by undergoing a metamorphosis wherein I reverse in age 25 years, grow six inches in height and become the starting goalkeeper for Liverpool FC, leading them to the Premiership title, the FA Cup championship and the European Football Associations championship. Note: If this scenario proves true, then in a further five years I see myself leading Canada to its first World Cup title.

Scenario 14: In five years I will have switched fields and become a respected and in-demand speaker, getting $25,000 per appearance to lecture on “being in the moment.” I use the money to fund my work on the time machine.

Scenario 15: In five years I will be fronting the re-formed Led Zeppelin, after Jimmy Page happens to see my YouTube cover of “Black Dog” and is moved to tears by my uncanny physical and vocal resemblance to Robert Plant, who can’t participate because he is too busy making hillbilly music.

Scenario 16: Same as the above except substitute Doors for Led Zeppelin, Robby Krieger for Jimmy Page, “Touch Me” for “Black Dog,” Jim Morrison for Robert Plant and dead for too busy making hillbilly music.

Scenario 17: Using my time machine, I have gone back and prevented the meeting of the man and woman, who, without my intervention, would have eventually given birth to the HR person who came up with the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Scenario 18: In five years I will have invented an alternative form of clean, renewable and safe energy, eliminating the need for fossil fuels and creating an immediate reversal of the negative effects of climate change. Because of the patent waiver I signed when I was hired, the company owns the invention and makes trillions. My performance rating goes from “needs improvement” to “meets expectations.” I start working on a time machine in my garage at night.

Scenario 19: In five years I will be doing “more with less.”

Scenario 20: In five years I will be filling out this ----ing form again.

(courtesy of McSweeney's/James Drummond)

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