” ‘Hey, Jones,’ Holly says. ‘This thing about what the company does, don’t let it get to you. I was the same when I first started working here. But you get used to it. The thing is, there’s plenty about Zephyr that makes no sense. Sydney got promoted to manager. One of the best parking spaces is always empty, I mean always, but we’re not allowed to use it. Last month we had to sit through a presentation on eliminating redundancy, and it was a bunch of PowerPoint slides, plus a guy reading out what was on the slides, and then he gave us all hard copies. I don’t understand these things. I don’t really understand anything about this company. It’s just how things are. Like the story, you know, with the monkeys?’

” ‘Chimps,’ Freedy says.

“Holly folds her hands on her desk. ‘These chimps, they’re in a cage, and the scientists poke in a banana on a stick. The chimps try and grab it, but as soon as they do, the scientists electrify the floor, so all the chimps get a shock. This goes on until the chimps learn that touching a banana equals electric shock. Right? Then the scientists take one chimp out and put in a new one. This chimp, when he goes to grab the banana, he gets beaten up by all the others, because they don’t want to get shocked. You see?’

” ‘That’s a terrible story,’ Jones says.

” ‘The scientists keep switching out chimps, one at a time, until none of the originals are left. Then they add one more. The new chimp, he goes for the banana and the others jump him, same as before. But, see, none of them was ever shocked. They don’t know why they’re doing it. They just know that’s the way they do things.

” ‘So I’m the new chimp.’

” ‘You’re the new chimp. Don’t try to understand the company. Just go with it.’ ” (>>)