You and Volunteering

I am not much into Emcomm, storm chasing or some of the other areas that amateur radio has to offer. There has been quite a stir around FCC Part 97.111 as it relates to employees using amateur radio on behalf of their employer in emergency preparation drills. Out of curiosity I went searching through our company web site and safety materials and found that our EOC uses “ham radios” to what extent, I don’t know and the question has not been answered for me. I did send an inquiry to the local utilities district about the Mosley PRO-96 used by their club station for radio activities including participation in the California State HF Emergency Net.

Amateurs need no prodding when it comes to voicing their opinions on certain topics, such as licensing, CW and Emcomm just to name a few. There was a good article written on eHam titled, “Practical Reasons for Ham Radio Volunteering and Management. It’s a rather long read, but the author is spot on when it comes to managing and volunteering. Of course it doesn’t take long for some outspoken individual to chime with irrelevant information.

Advice to Hams: If you are married, employed and have children you have no business in Ham radio beyond the most occasional use.Show me an “active” Ham who is employed, married and has kids and I’ll show you:
  1. A non-professional
  2. An unhappy spouse.
  3. A neglectful parent.
  4. A meaningless sex life between said husband and spouse.

[Generalizations you say? Yes. But with a very few exceptions, I’m comfortable with the accuracy of the assertion]

Now if this piece was written for the many retired hams who have little of substance in their lives as they are waiting to die, then drive on.

For sake of anonymity, I won’t mention the amateur’s call sign, but what the hell kind of reply is this? Let me run down his list. First, I am a professional with a 40-hour a week job, which I have been at for 4 years and I am paid very well for my work. My spouse is not unhappy, she might not like my current shift at work, but my salary allows us some comforts and we are not struggling to make ends meet. My 4 year old son means the world to my wife and I. He loves us both and a day does not go by my wife does not say, “He idolizes you.” I spend time with my son doing all sorts of activities, a far cry from being “neglectful.” Finally a meaningless sex life? Huh? How do you incorporate sex into amateur radio? I dunno, but this…is a stretch and none of his damn business

Now I am quite active on the HF bands, participating in contests, operating on the bands when I have free time during my days off. I am able to balance my hobby with my personal and professional life. Volunteering is not for me. I am quite happy to be a loving husband and a great father to a wonderful kid. Thankfully he has taken an interest in my hobby and my wife does not mind my operating habits.

It could be this individual is speaking from experience, a bad one at that and feels that not all active, family oriented amateurs can balance so many activities and make ends meet. I still feel comments like these are ill advised and whats wrong with our hobby at times.