Had an interesting conversation with two fellow office workers (both women) the other day. All was going fine until things took a, well, ugly turn. What follows is a partial transcript of the conversation...
Person #1: There was a recent study where men and women were put in a controlled environment and given up to seven tasks to do simultaneously. Women, they found, were far better at multi-tasking then men.
NOTE: Personally, I’ve found this to be true as well. Mrs. MZM is ‘waaay better at accomplishing multiple things at once than I am. I prefer to do things in a more linear fashion. (And just for the record, ‘linear’ does not mean ‘lying down’.)
Person #2: Well, that’s no news. I’ve always been pretty good at handling lots of stuff.
Person #1: I think I might have a problem with seven, though.
Me: Sounds true to me; I’ve always told (Mrs. MZM) she would make a great project manager – multitasking pretty much describes the job.
Person #1 & #2: You’re probably right there!
Person #1: Also, in this same study, they put headphones on the men and women and played two different sets of instructions at the same time; one set in one ear, and one in the other. It turned out men were far better than women at blocking out one set and following the other.
Me: That’s true; men are much better at blocking out extraneous stuff and concentrating on one thing at a time.
Person #1 & #2: (nodding enthusiastically) You got that right! Selective hearing, for sure.
NOTE: Right about now I probably should have noticed the subtle warning signs. Alas, instead I blithely continued on...
Me: (protesting) Hey, it’s how our minds are built!
Person #2: Yeah, the problem is in getting your attention.
Me: (trying to lighten the mood a bit) Well, I suppose we could issue our wives Nerf guns...
NOTE: And here’s where the conversation took a decidedly bad turn –
Person #1: (laughing) A Nerf gun? Hey, you should just be glad it’s not a cattle prod!
Person #1 & #2: (both laughing uproariously)
NOTE: At this point I decided the most prudent course of action was to beat a strategic retreat...