Returning monkeys to their rightful owners.
Your mental health and productivity can be boosted by eradicating other the people’s monkeys that you allow to live on your back.
We look at how they get on your back and how to toss them.
How do they get there?
This one is simple. You adopt them.
So run your head through the denial, grief, anger, acceptance loop and get to “why did I do this”? Yes, you did this.
You did this for one of two reasons.
Reason one is you are a caring type.
Oh look, a poor lost monkey!!!
I mean at times, it appears just like a discarded fluffy little chimp, staring up at you with big googy eyes. Oh, there, there, yes of course I will pick up Janet’s accountability for the November report. She seems to have dropped it, and the poor wee thing looks like it’s lost. He can join my other monkeys. They do like to hang around in a troop. I’ll just scoop him up and Oh look !! He’s mine now. I’ll take care of him.
Reason two is you are a show-boater.
Oh look. Janet has dropped her November Report monkey. That would make me look so awesome, if it was up there with my other monkeys. You know I have more monkeys than anyone else in this office. I am the Monkey King.
So yup, sorry to say, you pick them up.
You will find if someone tries to sneak up behind you and just pop one on you, without you going through the adoption process, the little buggers’ just slide right off, like an egg in a teflon frypan. You are the Velcro !!!
Now, once you have adopted one, it doesn’t take too long before you start to get a bit sick of your new monkey. Like a weekend guest that is still camped on your sofa, two weeks later. Oh bugger, Janet’s monkey has really latched on and I don’t know how to get it off. I’ve got a pain in the neck from where its hanging, a headache from it screeching in my ear and it has stirred up my own monkeys as well. I am starting to get a whiff of monkey droppings about me. I think I need a plan to ditch this beasty, and fast.
Well the best plan, let’s call that plan A to be totally original, is “monkey has got to go back to Janet”. Plan B which is less noble is “monkey has to go to some other sucker”. Nothing personal in it as far as the monkey is concerned, it’s just time to go your separate ways. Monkey shotput time.
Plan A- Janet gets her monkey back.
Plan A is certainly the more difficult to pull off, as Janet no doubt, is enjoying her monkey free status and is bouncing around the office without said primate clinging to her pony tail and causing mayhem. She really isn’t likely to want it back. Monkey separation has been good for Janet.
So look deep into Janets soul and try to find out what monkey fetish Janet might have and appeal to that. Perhaps it is as simple as just drawing a beard on it, or squeezing it into some leather pants. That aside, if Janet isn’t a care bear or showboater, this reunification could be tough. You can always try to guilt Janet into taking back her primate, by pointing out her monkey is loose in the building. Everyone knows it hers because it has an “if found return to Janet collar” with a small bell.
You could always go for help and get someone big and strong (ie Janets Boss) to haul the critter off your back, and carry over and forcibly put it back on Janet. The downside to getting someone to help here is that it will take either cunning or pure embarrassment. You are not going to win friends, or look awesome here. You will probably find that Janet’s boss doesn’t actually care who has the monkey, as long as it isn’t theirs.
Plan B is that someone else gets Janet’s monkey.
Plan B is the not so nice, survivalist technique. Survey all other potential monkey hosts. Don’t be too fussy here, you are not sacrificing your first born, it’s just a monkey. If there is someone that has wronged you in the past, put them up near the top of your list of candidates. Revenge really is quite a healthy and restorative emotion, and sweet, without too many calories.
How many candidates are show boaters? For them you have to polish the monkey up and make it look attractive. Give their ego a bit of plumping up at the same time. Remind them in a roundabout way of their “Monkey King” status. Make them feel like “nailing Janets November report” would be another big jewel in that furry monkey crown. Potential stardom awaits.
How many candidates are care bears? For them, rough the monkey up to make it look ultra-needy. As a lead in, remind them of all the derelict monkeys they have saved from neglect over the years. Casually point out your suitably prepared monkey, lying in a grubby bundle of newspapers, whimpering. Take its flaccid little paw and lead it gently out in front of your targeted adopter. Let them see that it is emotionally starved, it has a limp, it really needs a good meal and a bath, but above all else, it needs someone who would really look after it. Who would have left this November report out in the cold like that? Bad Janet !! But you can save this monkey, for less than a dollar a day, you can save him. You are the monkey saviour.
And then if all else fails there is a Plan C.
You can try rebranding the monkey as an elephant. Abracadabra and ba-jing !!!.
That way you can put it anywhere you like, and no-one will want to talk about it.
But the best advice, is don’t adopt one in the first place.
You already have enough of your own.