From the observation deck, I have a clear view of the monkeys.
Watching them in their natural habitat, hidden in plain sight behind the glass partition, allowed me to learn a lot of interesting things about them. The first of them being that monkeys only see me through the glass when they think they can get something from me.
Hey, I’m not complaining. I don’t like being disturbed with monkey requests anyways. I like conducting my research uninterrupted. Plus I feel like me interacting with the monkeys makes them act a lot less like, well, monkeys. I know this will sound a little crazy, but in some cases, I swear I could see a glimpse of humanity in their eyes. I just chalk that up to wishful thinking and quickly move on.
In all my years of observing and documenting my stay with the monkeys, I noted a definite lack of comprehension towards machines with complex movable / moving parts. When faced with an abnormality of the machine, and often just for fun it seems, the monkeys will hit it repeatedly, sometimes gathering the rest of the tribe in the process, and then they’ll all take turns hitting the machine. When they finally realize that the hitting does not solve the problem, they will sometimes use tools… to bang the machine harder. But still using tools is a good thing right? It’s a sign of evolution.
I admit that when the constant banging is driving me mad, I’ll cave in and go stand with the monkeys, pointing the solution to the problem, or even fixing it for them. This might compromise my data, but I implore you to put yourself in my shoes before you judge me. I’m just a simple researcher.
Observing the monkeys made me learn a lot about them, but stepping to the other side of that glass partition made me learn about myself. I’ll help the monkeys even when they don’t ask for my help. I might note that the monkeys are not that evolved, but that’s mostly because my task is to observe. Despite all I say, I really do care about the monkeys.
I just hope that my coworkers would learn to read the error messages on the photocopier instead of trying to open and slam shut all the doors and the lid, hoping to fix the problem.
I can dream, can I?