The following is the opinion of Doug Williams KS4TI. I’m open to comments via email or comment below.
I’ve been an Advanced Class ham for a couple of decades and during that time I’ve seen my share of behavior issues. During a 3 year period as the JARS Club President I had to help deal with a lot of those issues. I think there is now an issue that will take the participation of many to accomplish a change. The vast majority of my 2 meter repeater time is spent on either JARS 147.27 or South Wake 145.210 and this issue is present on both. We have a ham who breaks in to lively QSO’s to announce weather statistics or one of 3 other subjects with long keyups and monopolizes the repeater time without regard to the recent subject or number of folks who were participating. I’m sure that the reader is aware by now of the identity of this ham.
A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THIS SITUATION IS BADLY NEEDED and not just by one individual.
I believe none of this persons behavior is mean spirited, simply socially awkward due to his multiple challenges and the 3 subjects he constantly talks about are due to his limited life experience.
There is a push by some to get this ham retested for his license in the hope that he will fail and be gone. I do not think this is the answer for the following reasons:
1. This persons entire world is extremely limited by physical, mental and visual challenges. I would never want to be part of a push to further ‘shrink’ his world by removing ham radio and I don’t think other hams or clubs would want their names associated with this campaign. It would be like painting over some of the windows in a homebound persons room.
2. Counting on him failing may backfire on you. If the push for retesting is successful, the individual may pass again, the problem continues and your name and call sign are now remembered by other local hams, clubs and the ARRL as being associated with this failed action against an impaired person.
Several folks simply clear out when this individual ID’s and he bulldozes on in, derailing whats left of the conversation. I believe this makes the situation worse. I believe a better solution was demonstrated after the PrepNet on 10/7/14. When recognized after he ID’d he began about the weather. When he unkeyed someone steered the conversation back on track. He tried one more keyup and when conversation continued on the original subject he didn’t key up anymore. It may take more effort but hang around, hold the previous QSO together and continue. Quitting your QSO isn’t the answer.
On another occasion he butted in with very long keyups during drive time with 5 or 6 actively talking. When I reminded him that keyups should be kept short during that time of day he cleared out.
Bottom Line here, in my opinion, is CONTINUOUS, ON THE SPOT, FIRM CORRECTION is required for behavior that needs adjusting. That comes from a personal friend with a similarly affected family member. Sarcasm is useless and somewhat mean in this case. Simple statements like “you are keying down too long, others need to get in” or when he id’s try “Good morning, we are talking about antennas. If you would like to talk about antennas please come on in” etc.
It will take some effort by all but I believe in the end, simply correcting this person when needed and helping him fit in is no different than helping a person on crutches by holding a door for them although this will be more of an ongoing effort. Don’t hesitate to key up and help him.
I welcome comments to my email on QRZ.
73 de KS4TI