Thank you for taking the time to fill out your annual performance review form. Please follow the prompts below and answer each to the best of your availability.

FIRST NAME: Sisyphus


DEPARTMENT: Underworld; Futile Labor/Endless Toil and Frustration

POSITION: Boulder Administrator/Rock Coordinator


IF YOU SELECTED “OTHER,” PLEASE SPECIFY THE TIME AT YOUR POSITION HERE: I’ve lost count. Infinity is funny like that. Not trying to be flippant, but I think this is a flawed question.

In the next section, please rate your individual performance in the following criteria on a scale from 1 to 5. The rating system is explained here. Use the space below each rating entry for further comments if they are needed.

1= Poor, Further Review Needed
2= Fair, Improvement Needed
3 = Good, Meets Expectations
4 = Very Good, Frequently Meets and Often Exceeds Expectations
5 = Excellent, Consistently Exceeds Expectations and Merits Upward Mobility

My entire day quite literally revolves around a rock. It’s hard to be late for something that you can’t separate yourself from. Also, what is time in a realm where it no longer exists, even as a concept? Again, not trying to be curt, but please see my earlier note regarding the phrasing of these questions.

I’ll admit there’s room for improvement. I was fairly deceitful during my time as king of Ephyra. Luring visitors to my domain for the purpose of killing and robbing them? Yeah, I’ll admit that was unprofessional. Then there was the plot to kill my brother Salmoneus and consulting the Oracle of Delphi to figure out a way to do it free of consequence. Impregnating my niece to raise my children in an attempt to overthrow him was certainly a misstep. Then of course I managed to cheat my way out of dying not once, but twice. That first time I even had the temerity to chain up Death himself so that no one else on Earth could die.

Again, I’m sorry for all the logistical headaches that must have caused. The next time you see Zeus, please pass my apology along to him as well. I can only imagine the hassle of getting all the way down here from Mount Olympus to set everything right. He was probably right in the middle of abducting a water nymph, or another in a long series of sexual assaults. [NOTE: Delete that part before hitting save and submit].

I’ll also concede that I should have had more respect for the tradition of xenia. When the word “xenophobia” is as much a part of your legacy as endless, fruitless labor, it makes you wonder just where you went wrong. I know I can do better.

I fully comprehend the intricacies and nuances of my position. Not that difficult, really—and I never complain about the endless monotony. I get the job done—or at least as close to “done” as someone in this position can be.

I’ll rate this one down the middle. I don’t really communicate with anyone, per se. Even so, I’ve heard rumblings from the Earth realm that a guy named Albert Camus wrote a rather influential essay based on my position. If my work is having a positive effect on one of the most prominent minds of twentieth-century existentialism, I must be doing some right.

Please use the space below to share your thoughts on the coming year, and some of your goals.

I didn’t know employee reviews were a thing down here. I didn’t even know I was considered an employee, or that the Underworld had an HR department. I know that nothing I say is going to change anything. Odds are you’ll probably just add this to the junk mail folder, along with the performance reviews of the other countless tormented souls that populate this realm.

In hindsight, I deserve this. I killed people, many people. I impregnated a member of my extended family. I cheated death twice. I even had the audacity to chide my wife for not paying me proper tribute after I died a second time. There’s a fair amount of #MeToo fodder here. Even so, it could be worse. Knowing that what I’m doing here is providing inspiration to at least one human being makes it worth it. So, in summary—yeah, I imagine I’m happy.

If you see Albert Camus around, please along my thanks.