Several years ago a member of pharmacy leadership at the hospital I was working for told a bunch of pharmacists, me included, that he could get a monkey to do our job. The statement became a running joke in the department as the pharmacists began bringing in monkey stuffed animals, monkey pencil toppers and putting up wanted posters with photos of monkeys offering a reward for information.
As funny and insulting as the statement was, there was a hint of truth to it based on what my job duties were at the time. The “monkey statement”, as it was known, led to me re-evaluating my position there and ultimately to a job change.
So what is the monkey theory? Well, it boils down to this; if you can teach someone to do something in a couple of hours without any prior experience or critical thinking involved then that task falls under the monkey theory. Everyone knows what Iâ€™m talking about and every job has monkey related tasks.
I held several manual labor jobs prior to entering pharmacy school. In fact, those jobs are what made me decide to go back to school in the first place. I worked in a lumber yard, a machine shop that built flood gates for dams, as a nobody in the military and as a night watchman. Strange, but the jobs in the lumber yard and machine shop didnâ€™t really qualify as part of the monkey theory. Both jobs required certain physical skills that many people donâ€™t have. There was also some strange gratification gained from doing hard, physical labor day in and day out.
Pardon me, I am reminiscing. Back to the monkey theory. What duties qualify under the rules of the monkey theory? Theyâ€™re easy to figure out, just give it some thought.
Now the big question, what percentage of monkey work is acceptable to a pharmacist? Good question, and most likely a personal choice. Iâ€™ve met pharmacists that like the â€œmonkey workâ€ and Iâ€™ve also met pharmacists that hate the â€œmonkey workâ€. Everything is a give and take. How much are you willing to take?
Think about it.