in which I am taught about fish and monkeys

A Meeting at MIT

a sarcastic conversation in one-act by Mackenzi Lee

Assistant Boss: …and one of the other offices wants us to hire them a photographer.
Boss: (looks at me) Alright, I’m about to teach you a life lesson, intern.
Me: I love a good life lesson.
Boss: Ready?
Me: I was born ready.
Boss: We made up a saying here, so you’ve probably never heard it before.
Me: Okay.
Boss: It’s about fish. (pause) Write that down.
Me: (writes down “fish”) Okay.
Boss: Around here, we say that you can give someone a fish, and they will not be hungry for a day.
Me: Okay.
Boss: But you can teach them to fish, and they will never be hungry again…because they will know how to fish.
Me: I’m right there with ya.
Boss: Have you ever heard that expression before?
Me: It’s vaguely familiar.
Boss: But then sometimes when you teach someone to fish, then they get a monkey on their back. And then their monkey gets passed to you.
Me: I thought we were talking about fish.
Boss: Monkeys now, try to keep up. Now intern, when someone has a problem, it’s like they’re carrying a monkey around on their back, and then when you get involved in their problem, it’s like they have passed you the monkey.
Me: I don’t see the problem with carrying a monkey.
Boss: It’s a heavy monkey.
Me: Oh.
Boss: Write that down.
Me: (Writes down “heavy monkey”) Okay.
Boss: So when people try to hand you a monkey, you gotta learn to monkey block them.
Me: Okay.
Boss: And you have to do the hand gesture. (Holds arms in a cross-shape in front of his chest)
Me: Okay.
Me: I’m learning so many life lessons today. About both office dynamics and wildlife.
Boss: We’re basically Animal Planet around here.

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