We’ve all heard the expression, a trained monkey could do that job. But no one is really being serious when they say it.
So, I was surprised to read last month that Rogers Communication was hiring monkeys to work in some of their stores on a trial basis. I thought to myself to what lengths will those tech companies go just to save a few bucks?
A few days ago, I dropped into my local Rogers store to exchange my cable box for an upgraded unit. There was a short line in front of the counter and I took my place at the end. I looked over at the counter and realized there was a monkey sitting on a stool, serving the customers.
A woman was having a heated argument with the monkey. She had a cellphone in her hand and was waving it around. Suddenly, the monkey grabbed it out of her hand and threw it against the wall. The enraged woman ran over to pick it up and scurried out of the store.
Maybe I should leave and go to another store. But I was already here. Who knows what that woman said to upset the monkey. The next person, an older gentleman, stepped up to the counter.
“How can I help you?” I overheard the monkey ask.
“I was told by customer service over the phone to come to a store and pick up an Internet modem,” replied the man.
“I can help you with that,” said the monkey. “What is your phone number, so I can look up your account on our system.”
“I’m looking at your account right now,” said the monkey, “and your aren’t eligible for a modem. You don’t have an Internet account with us.”
“That’s ridiculous,” replied the man, glaring at the monkey. “I’m a Rogers customer.”
“Sir, do not use that tone with me,” shrieked the monkey who grabbed a stapler off the desk and hurled it at the man, hitting him on the shoulder.
The man stomped to the door, but before exiting he spun around and announced, “I am through as a Rogers customer!”
I was next in line. Reluctantly, I approached the counter.
“How can I help you?” asked the monkey.
“I’ve bought a new Ultra HD TV and would like to upgrade my cable box,” I explained, placing my old box on the counter.
The monkey smiled as he picked up the box to examine it. “I can help you with that,” he said. “What is your phone number, so I can look up your account on our system.”
“Just one moment while I wait for the system to load your information.” The monkey strummed his fingers on the countertop while he waited. “Alright, I have your account information now. Yes, I see I can exchange your old box for an Ultra box.”
I was relieved that there was none of the drama that I observed earlier. “Thanks,” I said.
“I’ll run to the back and get a box from our inventory,” said the monkey, hopping off his stool. “I’ll be right back.”
The monkey scampered out of the showroom and about two minutes later he returned with a new box under his arm. He climbed back onto his stool, placing the box on the counter. “I just need to take down the serial number of the box and add it to your account.”
“That’s great,” I said. “I’m looking forward to using the new box.”
“There’s just one more thing,” said the monkey. He jumped onto the counter and sat on the cable box. “Did you bring me a banana?”
“No, I didn’t.”
The monkey crossed his arms against his chest. “You can’t have the box without a banana.”
“I would have brought a banana,” I said, “if I’d known that a monkey was working here.”
“I don’t really care what you know or don’t know,” he replied. “I’m out here all day, slaving away. All I ask for is a couple of bananas to get me through the day.”
“How about giving me the box and later in the day, when I’m passing by, I’ll bring you a whole bunch?”
He shoved his hairy face in mine. “How stupid do I look? You’re not coming back.”
I grabbed the monkey by the neck, shaking him up and down. He shrieked, “Let me go! Let me go!”
So, I did. I tossed him across the store and he slammed into a cell phone display case. I picked up the cable box and ran for the door. As I was about to exit, he jumped on my back. His arms were wrapped around my face, blocking my vision. I ran into the closed door and we both fell to the floor. When I got back on my feet, I realized the monkey was unconscious. I gathered up my box and left the store.
The next time someone tries to tell you a trained monkey could do that job. You tell them about the Rogers monkey.