This isn't rocket science

It isn’t hard to pick a techie from a crowd. A gentle reminder how to never judge a book by its cover.

An elderly lady approached me while I was waiting for my bus. We had a brief conversation about the cold weather and her reason for getting down to the station; she was there to get some information about a trip she had planned for tomorrow.

I let here get into the bus when it arrived and she sat in the single seat near the front of the bus, next to the driver. Before I sat down she turned around and told me I should sit at the opposite side of the aisle if I wanted to sit near the heater. “Well, thanks for the reminder”, I thought.


While the bus driver pulled away she brought up the subject of keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Word. She discussed using Ctrl + U to underline text, Crtl + I to set the text in italics, etcetera. At this point my interest piqued. The bus driver admitted to never using these shortcuts, but promised her he would look into this some day; this was clearly a productivity booster.

At this point I was thinking she must have really enjoyed the computer course at the community center.

She continued the conversation by talking about Photoshop. Whether he had used Photoshop before? He had, but only occasionally. She collaborated about cropping photos, adding curves and whatnot. Again, the bus driver promised her he should look into this stuff a bit more.

After she concluded her explanation about Photoshop she continued with Microsoft Access and finally she started talking about how she used to program in Lotus Notes and how it always messed up her projects because of some weird space bug.

At this point the bus reached my stop. Before I got off I walked over and asked whether she used to be a computer programmer or something. “No, not really… but I used to work at NASA”.

Don’t be fooled, some things are not what they appear to be.