.. in a land far, far away, someone referred to their children as “good little monkeys” when they’d been good and fair and helpful. While I can’t remember who it was that originally used the term of endearment, the term itself stuck with me and as such things are wont to do, worked itself into my vocabulary.
One day at work, when asked by a friend and colleague how a meeting run by a usually trying colleague earlier that day had been, I responded that it had been fine and that the usually trying colleague had been a good little monkey. This ellicited, as I’m sure will surprise no one, a look of confusion, prompting me to have to scour the depths of my subconscious to try to determine where I’d picked up the phrase. Later that afternoon, I relayed the story about the phrase of unknown origin to a couple other colleagues and then pretty much forgot about it.
appeared, along with two like him on my other two ABC print frames. I have no idea when exactly they arrived, and none of those that I remember relaying the story to will cop to putting them there, so they remain a mystery. But it got me thinking about tokens and thank yous and ways to let people know that they’re appreciated and in the back of my mind, this idea percolated away until I by chance stumbled upon a game that had pieces very similar to my little monkeys and then it was decided.
I needed to start leaving little monkeys for people who’d done good things.
However, given the sometimes negative connotation associated with monkeys, I decided I needed a way to make sure that the recipients knew they were getting the little monkey because they’d done something good.
Somewhere in there, we hit Thanksgiving and my sister mentioned that she’d been to a craft show with some friends to try to sell some of the cards she makes. We started talking about her making some nice thank you cards* that I could use for work because store bought thank you cards just never seem right to me.
(I got the little insignia stickers from our campus store, but the rest my sister did.) While we were talking, it occured to me that she could also make some little cards that I could use to leave with the monkeys to give some sort of explanation as to why the monkey was being given. I wanted to keep this as anonymous as possible, and to figure out a way to sneak the little monkeys into people’s offices and leave them with a little calling card for them to find when they would. Ideally, people would keep the monkeys moving forward – you get one, you notice someone else doing something neat, so you pass it along, etc. The plan was becoming more solid.. I just needed to find out what to put on the cards that would be an explanation without giving away who the monkey was from.
Enter a random blog comment thread, and I knew I’d struck on a way to indicate to folks that they’d done something neat, but since I didn’t have $1,000,000, they were getting a monkey instead. So I emailed my sister, who was confused, but humored me anyway:
I’m not sure how often I’ll manage to get the little monkeys out there, or how long it will remain more or less anonymous, but I like the idea and the little cards and monkeys are cute and make me happy.
* My sister also made me some really beautiful personal thank you cards, but I don’t have a picture of those yet because they’re at home. She does really good work and while her cards are more expensive than if I just bought some from the store, I really would much prefer to give a nice thank you when it’s deserved. She made me 24 of the work ones and I think 20 of the personal ones (which are blue and silver).