Give the impression that you're an expert and earn palpable respect

Our local bridge club uses a computer program to tabulate scores. The bridge director enters scores from each round as they finish, so within a few minutes after the event is over, the final scores, rankings and earned masterpoints are available, and they are published to the web soon thereafter.

One night after we finished a couple dozen bridge hands, we were hovering around the computer where the director was trying to enter the scores. The computer has 2 monitors so members can see the entry as it happens. The entry itself is fairly quick: the program has some data validation safeguards to verify accurate input. The director was having a hard time trying to enter the data. She was not sure what was happening, but apparently the computer wasn’t responding the way she expected. She attempted to phone somebody for help, to no avail. No doubt she was feeling hopeless. The crowd was getting restless.

I noticed that the NUMLOCK key was not engaged and suggested perhaps toggling that, which solved the problem.

(At this point it may be appropriate to note that my bridge partner (my brother) and I were notably the youngest players by far: a fact which was commented upon numerous times. In fact, I’m 12 years older than he, but some members thought I was younger<g>. An evening playing bridge is quite a social event: one gets to meet many other players and make small talk.)

Instantly, the dozens surrounding us had huge elevated respect for me. I don’t even remember our ranking at that event, just the oohs and aaahs and comments and whispers like: “genious”, “smart”, “he works at Microsoft: that figures” Great way to get a swelled ego!

The bridge program is almost certainly a FoxPro DOS program: I can tell by the color schemes, the message boxes, etc. It’s really interesting where these FoxPro programs pop up.

BTW, here’s a little program that displays playing cards for bridge and calculates bridge deal distributions.