Because I can?
I'm going to be working with someone I've known as an acquaintance for a few years. We're approximately the same age and level of scientific experience. I'm generally pleased about this, but I've noticed something subtle and strange.
He has a wife who takes care of everything at home, from laundry to food to everything in between, not to mention their young child. He works hard and is always enthusiastic. He's very good at what he does, but what he does is very focused on one system, one set of techniques.
I'm the opposite in almost every way. I have no wife and my partner and I try to split all the responsibilities at home, which means that on balance I'm still doing a lot more housework than my married colleague. I'm not as enthusiastic as I used to be, and while I'm good at what I do, I'm a Jill of Many Techniques.
So here's my question of the day:
How come, when he says "That won't work" or "I can't do that" everyone seems to accept those as valid answers, but when I say those same phrases, which isn't very often, I'm regarded as negative and lazy?
It's not that we discuss science in a wildly different way. He's not more forceful or authoritative in his manner of speaking, nor more knowledgeable.
So does this have to do with him being generally more likable and respected, or is it something about expectations being placed on me?
I guess what I'm trying to figure out whether there is something, in addition to science, that I can learn from his example, or if this is something perhaps requiring a gender lens?
Or am I just being punished for not specializing myself into a safe little corner?