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Author Topic: BAD HAM  (Read 989 times)

Posts: 10

« on: January 27, 2003, 12:18:24 AM »

I haven't seen another forum here or elsewhere that seems a better place to post this. It needs to be said.
What do you think of a ham, president of a local amateur radio club, that would promise to help a fellow disabled amateur put his antenna up and then fail to show up, and disregard subsequent attempts at communication?
I am a member of an amateur club here in the Twin Cities of MN. At the recent hamfest I encountered the president of the club I belong to at the club booth. I'm relatively new to the club, so I asked him how I might get some help from the group to get an antenna set up at my home. I'm disabled to the point that I can't do it properly. I've had no luck asking on local nets, so wondered if perhaps I might get a request for help posted in the club newsletter.
Well, he said he'd look into it personally, and asked that I give him a little time to do that. I did. After less than 2 weeks I got a call from him, and we planned that he'd be over to work on it himself the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately something came up, so he called and asked if we could reset the plan. No problem, I said, I'm patient, especially if someone's offering to do me a kindness. Well, wasn't long after that he contacted me again and we made another plan at his convenience for the upcoming weekend. He asked if my address was correct in QRZ, it is, and of course he had my phone number, and I was listening on the club's 2m repeater at the appointed time as well. I had managed to borrow a proper ladder and had it on hand if needed, along with everything else needed to do the job, with his help. The weather was great, warmer than typical for MN that time of year. The time came and went, he never showed up or contacted me. I was listening to the HT and by the phone the entire day.
  I emailed him twice since asking why, got no reply, and two polite phone messages haven't elicited a return call.
  I've tried to think of any reason, good or otherwise, that he might have blown me off that way. He's not nor was he incapacitated, was just re-elected president of the club. I hadn't cut him or anyone off in traffic or knowingly done anything that might have warranted his failure to show up. My club dues are current. The only thing I can think of is that he might be one of those few sad elitists in our hobby that might have driven by, seen the 10/11m vertical antenna low (too low, another need for help) behind my house and decided I didn't deserve the help. I hope that's not the case, but still trying to figure out just why he blew me off as he did.

  Oh, the radio club involved is IMHO first-rate, and the failure of it's president can't change my mind about that. I'm happy to be part of the group working to keep it that way. I'm sure they could have done better for an officer, but it's unlikely the membership has seen that side of his character.

  So, what do you think? Is that sort of thing what you'd expect from the president of your club, or any fellow ham?
  Names/calls withheld by choice, for now. The individual noted knows who and what he is. I'll post name/call if/when I feel it's warranted/wanted.

Posts: 528

« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2003, 05:31:46 AM »

Well, NOMTY...I guess you don't have a callsign as yet.
I can't begin to know what or why, but I can try a
little speculation. Since you are not a licensed
Amateur Radio Operator at this time he may have felt
that assisting you with an antenna project may be a
future source of regret. It happens far too aften
that CB'ers ask for HAM help and then they set off
on a campaign to operate illegally because they
lack the dedication to become a legal HAM. Perhaps
the local club president has this in mind. He may also
not know how to explain this to you and feels that
perhaps if you pass your exams and get your license
then he can provide the help and the point will become
mute.  Elsewise, you may take the situation the wrong
way and become insulted. It is a catch 22 .
So , my advise to you and pass your exam.
And when you receive your callsign I believe that
you will see a change in attitudes. Don't blame him,
he is responding in a manner caused by years of being
used and abused by "so called " interested prospects
for future HAMS. You may feel compelled to feel
insulted, but if you become a HAM it won't be long
until you will understand first hand. It is one of
the conditions of mankind and we all have to try to
find ways to work around it.
73 and good luck on your test -  Tim

Posts: 10

« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2003, 05:52:43 AM »

Tim, according to the license on my wall N0MTY is indeed a real FCC callsign, had it since I was a novice, thru two upgrades. According to the FCC and QRZ I'm legal. Please feel free to check QRZ as well as the FCC database if you remain in doubt. Your reply was well-intended and kind, and I appreciate it, so I'm hoping that you won't feel this reply at all insulting. My intent is only to correct you as politely as possible, and to let the nezt reader also know that I'm legal and invite any concerned to investigate to their satisfaction.

Posts: 2685


« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2003, 07:28:45 AM »

Go to the next club meeting, speak up and ask for help.  Berating the president for his failure to act is only wasting your time and energy.  

Posts: 20542

« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2003, 01:26:16 PM »

Maybe something really important came up, and the fellow was called away.  Maybe he hasn't returned yet.  

This won't make you feel better, but when I was a young teen (age 13), the only way to achieve a Novice license was to have a ham who already had a General class or higher ticket administer the test, both written and code portions.  I had made a firm appointment to visit a local ham at a particular time and date in order to take the test.  I showed up, and nobody was home.  I called him on the telephone repeatedly, and nobody answered.  (E-mail didnt' exist then, and telephone answering machines were unique.)

Turns out he had passed away a couple of days before my test appointment.  I couldn't exactly hold that against him.  Found out from his widow XYL a few weeks later.

I felt horrible that I was angry with this guy for ditching me for the test.  I'll never forget that.


Posts: 10

« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2003, 03:06:15 PM »

In reply to the most recent, no, I wish it was as you suggest, but glad it's not as happened to you. That's unfortunate, but thanks for your kind reply. The individual in question was and has been active and in no manner incapacitated. I took pains to find out if that might have been the case, I certainly wouldn't have gotten to this point if there was any chance of it being excusable by incapacitance or something like that. I have been hoping he might someday call and apologize, at any time my forgiveness has been just waiting for him to ask. As my original post noted, he's been re-elected president since the time the event in question didn't happen, and he remains active in the club. In fact, I took time to explain the situation in an email to the remainder of the club board, none of whom replied. I was ashamed that any member, much less the president, would act as he did. Apparently no one on the board was concerned enough to reply, so I dropped the subject with them entirely, choosing to devote myself instead to working on making the club better, making positive energy for us all. I'd rather dance than fight.
  And to the other poster, my thanks to you as well, you're quite right. I had planned to attend the last two meetings, one of which was the election, but effects of my disability prevented me from doing so. I hope to make it to the next one at which time, if the opportunity can be made, I will indeed ask the attending members if anyone might be willing to help with a small antenna project.
  I brought this to the attention of the community here because I was astonished to find one of my fellow amateurs would act as this guy did, especially a president of a club whom I'd think is expected to set an example, and think maybe there may be others in the hobby with similar experiences to share. I don't expect that he'll see this, nor that it might affect him in some way. I hope to remind each of us to redouble our dedication to being a community that helps one another as we are able. That's what I'm about. Guys like him serve best to make the good ones in the hobby more outstanding and appreciated. This thread will henceforth be self-sustaining or it will die off. Any further questions I'll refer to previous posts, and thanks to all the past and future contributors to the thread. 73's and good fortune to all!

Posts: 2201

« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2003, 08:46:08 PM »


    Please check the facts before you accuse somebody of not having a license.  And I never saw a requirement  that only licensed operators are allowed at e-Ham.  Nor is it required that a callsign be used as the user name. That indeed would be a mistake.  I welcome anyone who doesn't cause problems.

    But back to the point, and to the post, there are some people that like to say "Hey, I'll be glad to help!" but never do.  I believe such people are what some of us call "jerks,"  at least in polite company.   (Your name may vary.)
    Regardless of license status, if somebody makes a committment to assist in a project, they should honor their word and show up to help out.  It just reflects on that person's character.  (Or lack thereof.)
     I hope N0MTY will get a reliable person to help him soon.  Joe, I hope to hear you on the air soon.  If I lived in your area I'd be glad to help, but it's kind of a long drive from California...  Good Luck!

Posts: 122

« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2003, 11:25:39 AM »

There are a lot of people out there who can't say "No" even when they mean it.  Just give up on this guy - make no further mention of the incident - and find someone else.

Mike N2MG

Posts: 768

« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2003, 08:29:36 PM »

I'm not making excuses for the guy- if he said he'd be there, then he should have at least phoned and told you why he didn't show up. Perhaps your "small antenna project" is a little more than one person can accomplish alone and the guy knows it? Weather being "good" in Minnesota in January? C'mon, you KNOW there's snow on the ground!!! (If it's not 60 degrees and sunny outdoors I'm not working on my OWN antennas much less one for somebody else! But that's just my own "rules".) One of my THREE jobs goes on a "day-by-day" schedule. (Now retired as of last week from job #1, no work coming in from job #2, and job #3 is only a few days a month.) I don't know from one day to the next where I'll be or what I'll be doing. I don't know if your friend's situation is like that or not.

You don't say how often you've attempted to make contact with him (prior to the installation). Too many phone calls = a pest most people would rather not be around. Not that this is a good excuse, but it puts some people off, me included.

I'll have to reserve my comments because I have not heard anything from the other side. Although I'm hard pressed to know what it would be, perhaps there's a reason known but to him?

-Web Williams in Myrtle Beach, SC

Posts: 3714

« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2003, 10:05:47 PM »

Like others have written, time to make other
plans to get on the air.

Check with a local college to see if there is
a club station there, many times easy to get a few
members over to help and you can always offer to
order in pizza or whatever you like to have for lunch.

You could even offer the use of your station sometime
in the future for a contest to return the favor.

73 james

Posts: 2201

« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2003, 10:23:13 PM »

I agree with N2MG.  Give up on the guy, and make other arrangements; don't pursue the fellow.  Just remember he's not a man of his word!  Nuf said.  And if he reads this, he can hang his head in shame.

Posts: 10

« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2003, 05:39:39 AM »

I had intended to let this thread sink or swim on it's own, because I'm thinking there might well be others who've had a similar experience, hopefully with another guy tho. I thought my posts had covered all questions, but apparently not. I need to set these things straight.
 First- I'm not dumb. The 'small antenna project' is not visible from the street, but I have no doubt that I had explained it adequately to him per his questions, and had no intention of misleading anyone What could I hope to accomplish by that? I could perform the entire evolution in less than 20 minutes, but my disability means those were the days. With help, it shouldn't take more than at most 30m, and I had already bought the beer. How could I mislead someone, or in some other way piss him off, then expect him to show up, and then feel wronged when he didn't? I'm an adult, and that means I didn't have unrealistic expectations, wouldn't mislead someone about the job, and damn sure wouldn't have posted it here for this sort of scrutiny if I had any doubt of that. I'm concerned with the fact that one of my fellow amateurs just let me down, and there's no good reason for that.
We talk of ourselves as a community, an organization, something more than a loose collection of individual oddballs. We demonstrate a commitment to community service and to our fello hams. That's what I joined chose and accepted when I got licensed, to be an active part of making the hobby and it's members, as well as the community I live in, better because of me. Given that, when one of us does something as crude as that one did, it doesn't show the best of us as a group, does it? I know I helped others when I could, and if I had been unable I'd have done the adult thing and called to explain, and made some other plan.
  As for the weather, I grew up on the coast of NC, often went to Myrtle Beach, where Web is from, and I can say that when I lived down there I couldn't have quite conceived how anyone could live here in MN. Now, I know that it's not only not so bad as it seems from someplace warm, there's often periods of unusual temps, and it's a pretty good place. So I understand why he doesn't know that the date in question and the one preceding had been extraordinarily warm for MN, there was no snow or any other weather factor that should have prevented a small antenna job. That afternoon was unseasonably warm, bright and sunny, and quite moderate for the time of year.. This whole thing was well before Xmas, it's not as if it occurred last week when it was ten below. We're a hardy sort, and do what we have to as long as the weather is not miserable. I've seen the folks in CA wearing gloves hats and mittens when it's 55 outside and call it winter, and people in MN driving around in ten degree weather with t-shirts and car window open, so I accept real easy that one person's concept of too cold can be hugely different from the next. I've chosen to live here for >20 years now, so I must like it <g>
The day in quesion was indeed pleasant, and in any case, the phones were working, as was the repeater and email. Also, -every- contact I had with him but one, returning his call, before he failed to keep his word was initiated by him, and I was always in every way patient polite and accommodating in every way conceivable. I'm a reasonable guy, and though nothing excuses his behavior after making a commitment, I'd have understood completely even on that fine sunny afternoon had he called and asked if we could change the plan, because the weather didn't suit him. As I noted in the original post, he had called once before when we had a plan to change it, and that was fine, when someone's willing to do me a kindness you bet I'll be extraordinarily patient. I'd also have understood if I had 'pestered' him in any way and he changed his mind, though that too doesn't remove a responsibility to at minimum call and say no. No, it's been since before Xmas, and not a word from him. I tried for a long time to think of anything that might have prompted his actions, and can't.
  And my station is cramped into the basement f my home, not the sort of thing I could invite a college club into. See my list of equipment for another reason... rinkydink!
  As for feeding the club pizza, on my disability income and the wife's we barely eat, so that's not an option, LOL for what that would cost I could hire a professional. Thanks tho, it was well-intended and a good idea. After asking on some local 2m nets and getting not one reply, I've pretty much let it go. If I'm able to make the next club meeting, I may well go and ask in person, if I get a chance to ask, that is.
 And unfortunately, without anything material or money to offer, merely a thanks,  most people aren't interested.
I stopped after a couple of emails and 2 phone calls to leave messages any effort to pursue the guy, LOL I wouldn't want his help now, and I'm not dumb enough to think he might be shamed or harangued into helping. Neither do I think he's reading this or would care. As I think I said before, and must repeat again, it was my intention to make just the initial post and set the thread loose to run. I expected there might be others out there with similar experiences. I didn't anticipate so many things that would require a reply to set straight.
 With that, I'd like once more to stop posting here, didn't expect it to become just a question-answer thing.. I think any questions have now been answered, and if any more appear please just apply the fact that I'm a reasonable intelligent grownup to that question, and it should answer itself. If not, my email address is in my profile, use that to ask if you must. Let's let this thread carry on with new posters, I still hope I'm not the only ham that another ham ever let down so rudely, but on the other hand, I guess I hope I am, maybe... oh well, I got some people thinking at least <g>

Posts: 528

« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2003, 06:35:59 AM »

Sorry for the mix up...The lack of a slash causes some
confusion .....and so much for my theory. I hope you
can resolve the issue without losing faith in us ol'
 As for WA9SVD...well..I'll handle him direct.
73 - Tim

Posts: 2201

« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2003, 01:30:08 PM »

I SHOULD have said "PLEASE don't accuse" in my post.  In my haste, I left out that word, and I didn't mean to be rude in reply to what I perceived to be a rude comment to M0NTY.
    I do feel, however, that licensed or not, we should be polite and helpful to anyone that posts here with reasonable questions.  They may be on the verge of getting their license, and I'd hate for them to be turned away from E-Ham or Amateur Radio itself.

Posts: 1

« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2003, 10:25:40 AM »

Some people just are not as good as there word these days.  As far as the weather here in MN it has been one of those winters that makes you think about global warming, other southern folks may think its downright cold here but up until the middle of January it has been unseasonably nice.  Just got some snow on the ground this last week, it's the first snowfall this year that has lasted more than a day, and i have yet to even start up the snowblower this year, as a matter of fact i haven't even used the shovel yet.

Just do your best to find someone else to help, i'm sure there has to be someone willing to help.  If i was closer i would, i'm always getting my hands into other hams antenna work here, so far this year i have helped dig a hole for a tower, put up an antenna, and yet to come is putting up a UHF repeater in the next couple weeks to come.  


Scott, KB0NLY

PS: I've been so busy helping others i better get my own antenna work done some day!!

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