“IF YOU PAY PEANUTS, YOU GET MONKEYS”
It has been said of our simian cousins from way, way back our evolution days, that they are a pack or an individual which cannot be restrained. More so, they cannot be educated or highly trained, they remain greedy, glutinous and covetous. That is their nature, an instinct which made them survived and virtually untouched notwithstanding changes in environment and human intervention.
In other words, monkeys are monkeys, even if they are at times a spit away from human biology and outlook. Monkeys are playful to the point of destroying everything it encounters in its path. While its ravenous nature may have preserved its race it is also its curse. You can easily catch a monkey using its very nature. Try to make a small hole in a raw coconut fruit enough for a monkey’s palm to squeeze through, drain the nuts of its fluid and insert several nuts. Once a monkey peeps and sees the morsel, he would slot in his hands into the fissure and grab the nut. Mind you, it would never let go of the nut even if its arm is trapped!
Although monkeys are more hygienic than their human counterparts (they abhor slime and anything with foul odor), you cannot withstand their performance if you intend to make things serious. Everything for them smacks of playfulness to the point of danger. They are even more at ease in challenging, if not irking everything around them. The only serious response from them is when, like any other animals, their territories are disturbed. But once your area has been included in theirs, that is the end of your peace.
Man acts accordingly. He can be civilized depending on his environment or could also be a monkey. That is where the idiom comes in: “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” Pay a good worker a measly consideration and in no time will that worker assume a stingy performance. Computer language has a term for that: garbage in, garbage out. Only a rare breed of human beings, at times called principled or heroics, who are never afflicted with this idiomatic theorem but on the whole, it seems like it is a truism for ordinary run of men. Treat them cheaply and everything cheap will come your way.
In the organized world where human intelligence rule, “monkeying” is never allowed to manifest. The so called “monkey business” or that which is conducted half heartedly is even frowned at and almost deemed criminal. But there are instances when environment allows the situation to bear and push its recurrence to the forefront. This is when management treat its warm bodies the way a zoo keeper treat his pets. When peanuts are thrown, naturally the taker acts accordingly. In the mechanized world, a gasoline engine will never run if fed by diesel. In culinary science, a roast beef will never taste as it is if chicken is substituted.
In the highly competitive field of business, there will be competence and loyalty, commitment and skill when materially compensated. Forget idealism, monkeys call it instinct.