Why can't women multi-task?

OK, so I’m being inflammatory. But all this damn Christmas shopping has me pissed off.

I get in line with my purchases. While I’m waiting there, I get out my wallet and ready the right amount of cash or plastic. I slip my backpack off my shoulder and zip it open. I’m all set to get the hell out of this hell-hole of a store as soon as the cashier and I have done the paperwork.

THEN, the woman in front of me arrives at the cash. She waits until ALL the items have been rung through before she gets her purse off her shoulder. Only then does she unzip it and go on an archaeological dig for her wallet. Then she starts counting out the cash, before not realizing she doesn’t have enough, and deciding on plastic instead. She pays for the items, gets the receipt, and only then lifts her other shopping bag up from the floor and open it up to put the new purchases in. Meanwhile, I’m wondering whether I’m going to get out of this damn store on the same calendar day that I came in.

It happens to me all the time. I usually observe men doing the same sort of thing I do (“multi-tasking”), while the women do what my example above does (bugging the hell out of the men.)



Maybe because a lot of women like shopping, and perhaps they aren’t in any hurry.


Killed a man with no hands. . .

That’s exactly it, Cess. I love to shop and I used to do all the annoying things that labradorian described. Then I got married to the world’s most impatient human being. And after ten years of living with him and learning the way, I am now the world’s second-most impatient human being.

As a woman, I must say that I do the same thing you do, and it pisses me off when others can’t show the same courtesy. It’s not just that I’m in a hurry to get my purchases and get out of there; I understand that there are people behind me waiting for their turn. After all, who really enjoys standing in line?

A million years ago I worked at McDonalds. I saw that all the time. What you failed to mention is how people sigh when they get out their money.

MTS (as a kid): That will be $5.23
Customer: :::SIGH::: He then slowly digs wallet out, slap bills on counter, sprinkles coins on top, Grabs Big Mac, Fries, and Diet Coke, and lumbers off.
MTS: Thank you, please come again.
Customer: GRUNT

Patience is not one of my virtues and waiting in line is a drag. The sooner I’m out of a store, the better.

Some drink at the fountain of knowledge…others just gargle.

Ugh. This girl is not a shopper. I hate crowds, and pushy people. I go in, get what I need, have my money or my card in my hand before i hit the till and out the door I go, no fuss no muss. I hate going to the grocery store and getting behind someone who has to run 5 more times to pick up “just one more thing” while I wait.

I opened the door, and look who I found. Damn I’m good

Chances are the woman IS multitasking. She’s squeezing in a bit of Christmas shopping between picking the kids up from practice and dropping off her husband’s dry cleaning. Meanwhile she’s wondering if she needs to go to the grocery store or if she should just pick up dinner on the way home, because her boss wants that report first thing in the morning and she’s going to have to work on it after the family is in bed.

Small wonder she’s a bit distracted.

Go cher! You know that’s right!

<Snap, snap, snap and a booty shake>

labradorian: They’ve been promising reliable multi-tasking since Woman v1.1 but so far it’s just been task-switching. They keep saying they’ll make a patch for it but you’ll probably just have to wait for the next kernel revision.

Who cares if some of 'em can’t multitask? The overwhelming percentage seem to be multiorgasmic, which is far more important to me… I wonder if we Teeming Millions all have our priorities straight? :wink:

–Da Cap’n
“Playin’ solitaire 'til dawn
With a deck of fifty-one.”

Hmmm aren’t you generalizing a wee bit. I am a woman and I multi-task quite well… I operate two computers at a time working on several jobs at once, chat on ICQ and am still able to post to this message board. Now if I could just get my boss to bring me my morning coffee…

I really try to be good but it just isn’t in my nature!

Men live in compartments, while women live in one big room, which is why a man can can unconsciously say something totally irritating to you one minute, and be surprised that you’re upset and don’t want to hump your brains out with him the next;
different compartment, see?
BTW, knowing this keeps me out of more trouble than you’d believe!


“Hey! How 'bout that Toe Jam?”

What amazes me is why people are always so impatient.

Example: I go to the DMV and everyone is there staring at their watches and sighing. I don’t mind if I have to wait an hour, I took a book with me! I’d be reading at home anyway.

When you go to the store, and you think you’ll be waiting in line, take something to read. At the grocery store, grab Archie’s comics and marvel at the antics of Jughead.

I carry a shoulder bag with me (aka the European carry-all, or as my girlfriend likes to call it, “the purse”, because she knows it annoys me, I’m not carrying a purse!) and try to remember to put something to read in it when I’m going to the stores.

Quand les talons claquent, l’esprit se vide.
Maréchal Lyautey

After many lengthy discussions on this subject with my dad (all of which were had OUTSIDE the store, waiting for my sister and mom to hurry the hell up), we’ve decided that the reason men are “impatient” and women can’t multi-task is because men and women just think differently. I can’t think of any other viable explanation, and I’m a programmer, damnit, let the psychologists figure it out. Any psychs here on the board?

“I hear the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.” -T.S. Eliot

What do mean women can’t multitask?

Haven’t you seen us drive, apply mascara, drink coffee, talk on a cell phone, bebop to the radio, and cut you off? Sheesh… I didn’t even mention pull on pantyhose.

  • A rose by any other name would still have thorns -

Hmmm. I won’t even lower myself to the gross generalization of “women” and impatient onlookers deciding what is multi-tasking and what isn’t.

No, elaborating on Cap’n Crude’s much more cogent point, some women may slow you down in department store lines, but women generically copped multiple orgasms out of the grab bag of life.

Now, you lowly male slug, you had some point to make???


Multitasking in my hobby. The ability to listen to a TV show while smiling and nodding and looking at my wife as she rambles on in single task mode is very satisfying. Try it ! Different brain structure, I’m convinced.

“Hope is not a method”

That’s a sad generalization of women.

Me, I haven’t stepped foot inside a retail store or mall since this shopping season began. When I do go shopping I know what I want, get out my cash or credit card and get the hell out of Dodge. I hate shopping. I like “things” but hate shopping.

Not all of us women like to take our time. This is precisly (sp) why I NEVER write a check at a store except Sams Club. When I visit Sams I write my check out in the car (cept for the amount obviously) get what I need, and get out.

Understand, I am a homebody and computer geek, there are a million other things I would rather be doing than spend my time at the checkout counter.