The engineering mindset

On Saturday Barb and I were going out for the evening. She was trying to decide what to wear and:

Barb: I don’t like anything I put on.

Joe: That’s an easy problem to solve.

Barb: ??

Joe: Take everything off.

For some reason Barb didn’t see this suggestion nearly as helpful as I did.

I think the issue is with her problem statement. I should work with her on that so that in the future we won’t have these sort of misunderstandings.


10 thoughts on “The engineering mindset

  1. My general experience has been that people in general, and women in particular, very much do not like “help” with their problem statement. A shame really as many “problems” disappear when you have the _right_ problem statement and many others turn out to be easily solved. An even bigger shame: the “wrong” problem statement often leads to additional problems and doesn’t solve the original problem (governments everywhere seem to excel at this).

  2. What bob r said.
    And, while I’m not an engineer, I could play one on tv; my initial solution set was the same, followed immediately by “shut up, don’t say anything too late yer doomed”.

  3. “I don’t like anything I put on.”

    “Excellent. You may be starting to realize that one set of garments serves much the same function as any other, that nitpicking over the details of such is nothing more than an irrational obsession. You have thus embarked on the path toward freedom from any concern or unhappiness, or elation or happiness, regarding your attire. Once you realize that it does not matter, you are free, and you can move on to the things that do matter.”

    I say stuff like that to my wife and one of two reactions ensue;
    1. Her eyes glaze over and she forgets my words in real time.
    2. She takes it as I’m “yelling” at her, and assumes the injured dove identity.

    Still, objectivity must be presented, just in case she happens to be in a receptive state.

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