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tell (by Michael Cassels of the "National Inquirer")

Many Americans work side by side with space aliens who look human -
but you can spot these visitors byy looking for certain
tip-offs, say experts.

They listed 10 signs to watch for:

1. Odd or mismatched clothes. "Often space aliens don't fully
understand the different styles, so they wear combinations
that are in bad taste, such as checked pants with a striped
shirt or a tuxedo jacket with blue jeans or sneakers," noted
Brad Steiger, a renowned UFO investigator and author.

2. Strange diet or unusual eating habits. Space aliens might
eat French fires with a spoon or gobble down large amounts of
pills, the experts say.

3. Bizarre sense of humor. Space aliens whho don't understand
earthly humor may laugh during a serious company training film
or tell jokes that no one understands, said Steiger.

4. Takes frequent sick days. A space alien might need extra
time off to "rejuvenate its energy," said Dr. Thomas Easton,
a theoretical biologist and futurist.

5. Keeps a written or tape recorded diary. "Aliens are constantly
gathering information." said Steiger.

6. Misuses everday items. "A space alien may use correction fluid
to paint its nails," said Steiger.

7. Constant questioning about customs of co-workers. Space aliens
who are trying to learn about earth culture might ask questions that
seem stupid, Easton said.

"For example, a co-worker may ask why so many Americans picnic on
the Fourth of July," noted Steiger.

8. Secretive about personal life-style and home. "An alien won't
discuss domestic details or talk about what it does at night or
on weekends," said Steiger.

9. Frequently talks to himself. "An alien may not be used to
speaking as we do,so an alien may practice speaking," Steiger noted.

10. Displays a change of mood or physical reaction when near certain
high-tech hardware. "An alien may experience a mood change when a
microwave oven is turned on," said Steiger. The experts pointed out
that a co-worker would have to display most if not all of these
traits before you can positively identify him as a space alien.

My favorite manual was shown to me by my brother. He was
working for HP in Corvallis OR on the HP-85 and somehow
got a copy of the HP-85 operations guide that the docs
people had done as a gag. The guide had a praticularly
memorable photo that was captioned:
"Figure 1. View of ON/OFF POWER switch as seen while
leaning over from front of machine looking at back."
Above the caption was an *upside down* picture of the rear
of the HP-85, just as the caption explained.

}> But I don't have an ANY key on my keyboard!
}Yes! I've had a user complain about not having an 'ANY' key.
}So, I said to her "Pick a key .. any key you like!"
}She pressed the SHIFT key ... and (you guessed it) nothing happened.
}I had to then try and explain to her why she couldn't use the
And of course, after you reflect on it there is hardly any reason to be so
'helpful' and make the program so general, instead of simply having it read
"And then hit the space bar"
and be done with it -- no ambiguity, no confusion, no nothing...

My favorite story from my days selling PCs on the phone was the guy who
called up and wanted to order a _slot_. After some cross-examination,
he finally explained that he'd bought a bus mouse, and the box said
"requires one slot".

I worked as a computer lab monitor while I was attending college. We
had an IBM PS/2 Model 25 out front, running a "Welcome" message. Taped
to it was a sign that said "You must give your I.D. to the monitor". So, the
new users, eager to demonstrate their new-found computer knowledge, did just
that. They gave their ID to the "monitor" by putting it in the drive slot!!

The guy who kept losing his disk, so he decided he'd stick it to the fridge
with a magnet...

The guy who was running an application, and got an error message "door open",
so he got up and closed the office door....

The guy who tried to format 6 disks at once by stuffing them all in the drive..

The guy who read in the manual that he needed a 'clean disk', so he put one
in the dishwasher...

Here's a dialog, related to me by one of my co-workers, who was helping
a novice unix user, and needed to check a configuration file..
support-engr> ...ok, do a "more" on /etc/hosts.
customer> it says, "moron: command not found".

The topic on credit cards in macs, etc. reminds me of a story I heard
(on this net? probly). A support type gets a call from a customer
having problems with booting their system. They said it sure was a
pain getting the floppy out of the cardboard wrapper and why did
they package them that way? (He was trying to remove the floppy
from its case!)

*many* years ago I worked at Datapoint Corporation in San Antonio, TX. We
received a call one day (tech support) from a customer who said that he
couldn't get his system to read a particular diskette. Our rep asked the
guy to make a copy of the diskette, send it to us, and we'd see what we
could do. Well, a few days later, an envelope arrived from the customer.
When we opened it, there was a copy of the diskette --- a nice, 8-1/2 x 11
Xerox copy. THIS IS A TRUE STORY!!! Kind of scary, isn't it...