GUEST POST: N6JSX on “How to Kill a Ham”

Guest Post by Dale N6JSX on observations of what kills a club & an a ham’s enthusiasm with advice on what seems to work to keep thing healthy:

How to Kill a HAM
by N6JSX

I’ve seen HAMs come and go.

The cause of their silence is NOT due to becoming a “Silent Key” but that their HAM spirit was killed by other HAMs.

Occasionally, the reason for a HAM’s silence is discovered.

The common causes are:

  • “I’m tired of listening to the b_ llsh _ t!”
  • “I’ve been black-ball by the repeater’s ‘click’!”
  • “I’m tired of hearing false innuendo’s about me or others!”
  • “I did a project and then got trashed by the ‘click’!”

Additional causes of a broken spirit: burned out and frustrated Club officer, discriminated by manipulated elections, NO recognition of efforts given, being the subject of off-air character assassinations, asked to do a project to get NO officer support, not allowed to participate in technical projects when you’re one of the most knowledgeable, giving your time/effort to obtain requested training to never get activated, watching do-nothing suck-ups getting rewarded for none efforts!

When a HAM decides that Amateur Radio is NOT worth the personal aggravation they usual just turn off their radio and fade away into in-activity pursuing non-related HAM adventures.

The quickest way to get, totally, BURNED out on HAM radio is to become a REPEATER Club officer or a member volunteering to work Org/club projects.

Some HAM’s see becoming an Officer fulfills a personal ego ambition in giving them their first taste of perceived ‘power’ – often becoming tyrants and fracturing the Club.

However, most HAM’s become Club officer to make a “positive” difference and to improve the club.

But an officer with integrity, practices equality, and willing to run the Club as a democracy, will surely rock-the-boat making you a target for political character assassination by the inside “click.”

As an ethical officer, nothing you do will be good enough – NO matter how reasonable or how logical your actions – YOU DID NOT DO IT RIGHT per some member!

An ethical officer may survive a term in office but do NOT expect to receive the appropriate ‘thank you’ for your services.

However, if you are a gutless follower, that allows the “click” to control your actions, you can be an officer for years – receiving HIGH praise for your lethargic non-efforts!

Another way to reach burn-out is to become a volunteer for a National HAM organization, like ARRL, ARES, Red Cross, SkyWarn, HLS-EMA, RACES, etc.

Then you can be used, abused, and discarded, merely, for trying to improve their SYSTEM or (heaven forbid) you question the logic of their illogical methods.

Involvement in these organizations can give you great insight on how much false recognition goes to politically positioned “do-nothing suck-up HAMs.”

In time you may discover that you were merely used to further the organization’s financial goals or management’s salaried gains.

Remember, NO National organization stays in business without money!

If you want to make HAM radio a life long hobby then ONLY accept a HAM leadership position or project with your eyes wide open.

HAM radio has much to offer and many various modes of communication.

Take your time to learn, keep your ears open, and get your feet wet in HAMdom BEFORE you decide to get involved in Org/Club politics/projects!

Then ONLY get involved with guarded expectations.

Being an ethical officer requires you to put on a helmet, flack jacket, and toughen up your emotions.

NEVER expect the recognition you deserve.

Be prepared to see political insiders take credit for your work and berate your efforts.

Remember, for some HAMs it is easier to hurl negative slurs than to give “positive” complements!

To ALL ethical HAM’s and Club OFFICERS – GOOD LUCK!

All good thing to think about!



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6 thoughts on “GUEST POST: N6JSX on “How to Kill a Ham”

  1. Mark ~ KJ6EUO says:

    Such sad words…

  2. Mark Morgan KB9RQZ says:

    sad words true and sadly true I’d say too

  3. Lynn N7CFO says:

    I assume you mean “clique”….

  4. Bob K0NR says:

    How to keep ham radio fun:
    – don’t hang out in disfunctional clubs
    – lead, follow or get out of the way
    – don’t let other people’s actions control your attitude
    – do something YOU find interesting and try to infect others with your enthusiasm

    73, Bob K0NR

  5. Bob says:

    True enough. I haven’t keyed up in years. Now, the hearing is not so good, I don’t even use cell phones anymore.

    There were some good times.


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