No Monkeys!

by Jennifer Miller on September 13, 2009

in Personal Effectiveness

Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head, Toy Story 2

Mrs. and Mr. Potato Head, Pixar's Toy Story 2

One of our family’s all-time favorite movies is Toy Story 2.  The end of the movie features “out takes” showing the characters’ bloopers. My favorite out take is the one where Mrs. Potato Head is helping Mr. Potato head pack for his big adventure to go rescue Woody. She very helpfully says, “I’ve packed your angry eyes and an extra pair of shoes.” She then proceeds to continue loading items, reciting each: “cheese puffs, a golf ball, a key . . .”  All the while, Mr. Potato Head silently endures while Mrs. Potato Head shoves the ever-growing pile of items into his storage compartment.     She says, “. . . and the monkey chow. . . ”

Finally, Mr. Potato Head speaks. “Why monkey chow?” he asks. 

 “Well, for the monkeys, of course!” She replies, as a barrel of monkeys chatters towards Mr. Potato Head.

Mr. Potato Head has had enough. “That’s it!” he bellows.  “I draw the line at monkeys!”           

This has become a catch-phrase at our house.  Whenever one of us has had enough and needs to express that we’ve reached our limit, we say, “I draw the line at monkeys!”  It helps break the tension, yet clearly announce that the line of our personal boundaries has been crossed.

 Yesterday, in Big Girl Pants, I blogged about situations in which you just have to suck it up and deal with it.  “No monkeys!” is the companion to that notion.  There are times when you feel you must speak up— to draw the line in the sand and say, “I choose not to tolerate this situation.”

 What tasks or situations will make you say “I draw the line at monkeys!” (Well, OK, you probably aren’t prone to randomly shouting that exact phrase, but you get the point.)

Where’s your line in the sand?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Deirdre September 13, 2009 at 10:18 am

I draw the line at monkeys when someone is dishonest. It’s a dealbreaker for me. And it will cause me to proceed with caution for almost ever.

Thomas Waterhouse September 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

To help clients develop “psychological boundaries” against hurtful comments, I teach them to say “I disagree” to themselves until they are clear enough to set limits. Now I’ll suggest, “I draw the line at monkeys!”. Hey, I’m going to use it myself! Fun and instructive article. Thank you!

Sheetal Rajan September 13, 2009 at 10:09 pm

I draw the line where work ethics are questioned. But how I wish we could be consistent in drawing the line at work? I struggle to explain to those who practice a culture of personality than of performance – and sometimes, they are tolerated because of the great skills they possess. I guess I’m drifting away but when faced with skilled individuals failing as good “purposeful” employees – how do you manage to draw the line in adhering to work policies n processes? Love to hear your thoughts on this.
Sheetal

Jennifer September 14, 2009 at 8:39 am

Sheetal,

Please say more about wanting to “draw the line” in adhering to policies and how you perceive it relates to someone with a “personality” culture?

1. How do you define “personality culture”
2. In what ways are these people not adhering?

Thanks for keeping the conversation going!

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