Most engineers work in large companies. This is GOOD! Those companies have people skilled in the art of motivating engineers, and not ALL of those people are like CatBert. Some of them actually want to help your engineer.
And what would be the best way to HELP an engineer get the most out of his working time (and his company to get the most out of him)?
There are 2 key requirements. First, put him in an environment where he feels comfortable – one that reminds him of places where he has previously been successful. Second (and more importantly), limit the distractions which will so easily transport his mind from the task at hand.
So where has your engineer been most successful? In a classroom! Duh!?! But, the classroom allowed for too much opportunity to mentally interact with others. lmagination, after all, was the only form of interaction with females in the adolescent pre-engineer’s life!
Now, as a fully grown engineer (at least in the physical sense), he still has significant fantasies. He’s simply dying for an opportunity to show some gorgeous female how effective he can be at making things work better. Computer issues, the window blinds not opening or closing, the office air conditioner mysteriously going full on and reducing the temperature to a numbing 60 degrees, even a ridge in the carpet causing people to trip – it makes no difference what the problem is, just so long as your engineer gets to be the white knight on his steed, coming to the rescue of less capable people!
Yep! That’s his REAL most common fantasy. Not just sex, like other males, but the overwhelming appreciation of some poor distraught female who is absolutely amazed at how talented one male can be – and therefore madly in love with said talented male! Since we have an honesty policy here at Living With Your Engineer, we will allow that sex is an integral part of the fantasy with the aforementioned distraught female – we are talking about a male engineer after all! It’s just that the sex naturally follows from recognition of the superior intellect contained within one mind. A bit abnormal, you might think – and you’d be right! But we’re talking about an engineer! What else does he do that’s normal?
So we need to add some privacy to the workplace – not for the women, but to ensure we get SOME productivity from the engineers!
If the world were full of nothing but accountants (God forbid!), then low rise walls around a desk would be enough. Accountants, being the bureaucratic, risk-averse individuals they are, want to get their own work done more than everything else. They can stay focused – even with the world going to pieces around them. Engineers imagine a call home at the end of the accountant’s work day, “Hi Honey! Someone blew up the plant today, but at least the books are up to date and our insurance is in force!”
As we’ve said repeatedly, engineers want nothing more than to fix a problem. Since there are no problems in his own world (at least none that the engineer can fix without a personality transplant), your engineer’s brain has become highly tuned to hearing a few magic words, like “problem”, “How does…”, “why doesn’t…”. It’s also finely tuned to the sound of a female in distress (if this is news to you, then read other posts on this site – like here and here – to find out about the magic powers you can easily wield over your engineer).
You might be thinking that high walls, made of sound absorbing material are mandatory! Does this type of setting sound familiar?
We’re about to admit something never publicly acknowledged. Engineers are the cause of Cubeville, that scourge of the modern office. We didn’t create it, but it was surely created because of us!
And about those rules in many male dominated workplaces dealing with pictures of partially clad women on the walls? Those rules weren’t made because of engineers. Engineers really do cherish women – which makes it even harder for an engineer to talk to a woman! No, the engineer’s cubicle is decorated with pictures of useless inventions from other engineers, jokes about Arts students and their degrees, and a detailed scientific dissertation on how Cadbury gets the liquid center into the Caramilk bar! All amazingly valuable stuff – at least to your engineer – and certainly not offensive to any one!
So, when your engineer comes home from work, be patient with him. He’s spent 9 (or so) hours in an environment designed to make him even less aware of events going on around him – and you thought that was impossible, now didn’t you! Don’t expect him to magically become aware of your new hair style, or the entire house being painted in fluorescent colors! It isn’t going to happen.
As always, you should be grateful for your engineer. Every one of your friends worries about what they would do if their husband lost his job. You don’t have their problem, now do you?
Finally, be thankful that you didn’t marry an accountant. No matter how bad it might be, your engineer at least has a sense of humor. Smile, and enjoy another day full of wonder.
You are welcome!