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Old 08-09-2018, 2:33 PM
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Question Do Most Clubs Have A "Ghost Attitude" When It Comes To Guests...!...?

Let me apologize if this is in the wrong forum, but the forum heading does say "Clubs"... and after reading through a number of posts, this was the one I thought appropriate.

Where do I start? Hmmm...

A few days ago I visited my local HAM Radio Club... looking to join and re-establish myself into the Amateur Radio scene, having been out of it for over 50 plus years.

As I walked into their monthly meeting place, 20 minutes ahead of time, I noticed several tables with male and female of various ages visiting with one another. "Hey", I thought to myself... "This looks like the type of club that might be fun". As I walked around visiting the various tables, but not interrupting any of the conversations, I was perplexed as to what I call a "Ghost Attitude" given off by the members (ie: seeing someone new standing there, while club member gives off the attitude of the new person not being present). The same "ghost attitude" response was also given when I approached those standing in groups... listening to the members as they spoke to each other.

Shortly thereafter, just before the regular Monday night meeting started, I found myself seated in a chair by myself... while the rest of the members stayed seated at the various tables. The meeting lasted for about a hour plus, which consisted of your typical club meeting agenda... concluding with a gust speaker. After the meeting, various members stayed awhile to chit-chat... once again leaving me to my own devices.

It amazed me that 20 minutes before... and after the meeting, that not one member approached me to welcome me there. The club could have had one of the club members "hang out" with the "guest newcomer", not only making them feel welcome... but also asking general questions as to their HAM Radio background (if any), what brought the guest to the meeting, etc., etc... then guide them in the appropriate direction, or person.

As a side note: I belong to a Cowboy Western "Shoot'em Up" group for the past 10 plus years. I have never let a occasion go by (when a "newcomer" has joined the group), to take them by the hand and mentor and guide them up to the point that they feel comfortable "safely doing it on their own". The same goes for those guests who come to see our live show. I take the time to interact and answer all the questions they may have... including them asking to have pictures taken with us.

Once again... I was disappointed with the reaction (or in this case, the "Non-reaction") of the club members. I feel, if the club wants to expand their membership, they need to be more pro active when it comes to guests attending their meetings.

So once again I ask the question: "Do Most Clubs Have A "Ghost Attitude" When It Comes To Guests...!...?"

What Say You?

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Old 08-09-2018, 11:36 PM
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I would say no to your question and would hope your experience is one of a kind. I occasionally attend a local ham club meeting, mostly when they have their "white elephant sale" of donated radio equipment and they seem to welcome me and other non members. As I'm typing this I've checked into their weekly 2m net and am in the mix with all the other members.

I've donated some of my time to this club and they seem to look at me as their antenna guy and they call me when they need to put up new antennas or replace old ones, even though I'm not a member. I will probably join the club and become a paying member just because I cross paths with them so often these days and they are a great bunch of hamsters.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:56 AM
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Sadly this is common. One of the reasons I just do my own thing these days.
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:25 AM
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At the start of a meeting, we announce that we have a form we would like visitors to fill out so that we get to know them better. Besides the basic info, there is plenty of room that asks why they visited and or what they are interested in.

This allows immediate interaction, and typically some quick follow-up during the break or at the end of the meeting. Also, at the start of the meeting each person in turn, member or not, is called upon to say their name, callsign if they have one, and relay something about themselves or if they purchased something new or need help with something at the start of the meeting. Follow-up and pairing a mentor with those that have questions or need help is performed during the break or after the meeting.

I do not have any experience with other radio clubs and membership is not required to enjoy the club activities, other than voting.

- Yes, our membership is growing as well as having members that belong to other local radio clubs.
- We have members under 40 years of age with the majority under 60.
- Within the last five years four other local radio clubs have discontinued.
- The club is community oriented and help with various events throughout the year.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:42 PM
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Hey Blogger-
.
I don't think your experience is at all unusual. The vast majority of hams I have met are friendly- some outgoing, some reserved... but then too, there are the screwballs in that jar of mix'd nuts.... and it sounds like you found the honey pot.
.
.
" I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." - Groucho Marx
.
................ about sums me up on radio clubs.
.
.
This dates back to an experience I had as a young teenager- very similar to yours. As a young woman, I was brought up to be polite and not intrusive with adults unless I was invited. I am also from an Air Force family, and as a brand new ham I thought it would be fun to attend the air base's radio club meetings. To say I was completely ignored was an understatement.
But undeterr'd, I went back - for similar treatment , several times. I never mentioned this to my father, also a ham- but some how word got out before long that the Little Space Alien at those meetings was Colonel **************_____'s daughter --- and things changed instantly. I was invisible no more- and I rapidly became a welcomed member. But first impressions are the lasting memories - and when I left for new parts of the world, I never went to another ham club's meeting-- never, ever again.
.
.
This is not to say I haven't been part of many wonderful, informal ham groups- And I like to think I have matured; maybe even grown up some over these many years (tho there are those that might disagree)... but I remain like Mr. Marx-- " I refuse to join any club ..............."
.
.
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Old 08-10-2018, 1:30 PM
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The only club that is welcoming to one and all is the masonic lodge. Yes I am a master mason.. We welcome anyone to come and see the lodge..
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Old 08-10-2018, 1:55 PM
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This attitude seems to span a lot of different kinds of organizations these days. I've encountered it myself quite a few times. When a club or whatever is "actively seeking new members" and then they treat an interested party like a 4th-class citizen, it does make you wonder. Not being much of a party crasher I tend not to go back to such groups either. And it is sad but it tends to be self-correcting. Eventually the group/club/organization/whatever either runs out of members of "the clique" and folds up, or they figure out why their group is dying off and alter their attitude.
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:02 PM
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I have to modify my sourness some- it is reserved only for radio clubs.
.
I am a Lion in the Lions Club, card carrying member of our county's (blank) political party- among other things.... I do join and enjoy organizations-- smiles.......
.
......... not to mention all the male in my family are Masons......
.
.
Lauri
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Old 08-10-2018, 2:52 PM
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Awesome Lauri
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Old 08-10-2018, 3:30 PM
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Baofeng_Blogger - I don't like having to admit this, but it could have been one of our meetings (we meet Mondays). I just tried to send you a PM (Private Msg) here on RR but you're either too new to RR to use private messaging or you've chosen not to receive them. In either case try PM to me here first and if that doesn't work I think the email option when you view my User Profile will work. I'd like to help you try again at a meeting... and with a proper welcome.
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Old 08-10-2018, 3:46 PM
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"Hi. How are you? New here? OK, listen, go over there
sit in that chair in the corner. Continue to show up and
sit in that chair and "listen" for about 2 to 3 months. Don't
be in a hurry to chime in on any conversations, but listen.
In 2 or 3 months, we will "silently" decide if you're ready to
actually talk. When you finally do talk, we will most likely
tear you apart, critique everything you said and how you
said it, and make you feel like a bigger *** than we've already
made you feel."

This is my personal ham experience. Whether it be in person at
a meeting or on the radio. This is exactly why I do NOT have a
ticket. One difference here. At least I was acknowledged. Even
though I was only acknowledged so I could be told to go sit down
and shut up.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:01 PM
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Smile Thank You One And All...

Thank you one and all for responding to my thread. I appreciate you taking the time reading (and responding to) my above thread.

73's to y'all...

BaoFeng Blogger
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Old 08-11-2018, 5:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpugEddy View Post
"Hi. How are you? New here? OK, listen, go over there
sit in that chair in the corner. Continue to show up and
sit in that chair and "listen" for about 2 to 3 months. Don't
be in a hurry to chime in on any conversations, but listen.
In 2 or 3 months, we will "silently" decide if you're ready to
actually talk. When you finally do talk, we will most likely
tear you apart, critique everything you said and how you
said it, and make you feel like a bigger *** than we've already
made you feel."

This is my personal ham experience. Whether it be in person at
a meeting or on the radio. This is exactly why I do NOT have a
ticket. One difference here. At least I was acknowledged. Even
though I was only acknowledged so I could be told to go sit down
and shut up.
3 different times I noted the local Ham club organizing classes to get new people licensed. All 3 times I used the e-mail link on their website to request more information. All 3 times I was completely ignored. Dropped in on a meeting once and had an experience pretty identical to the OP's. I was transparent and mute.

I know I should get my ticket. In this state you need one to legally have a scanner in your vehicle. The one time I was called on it I used my VFD creds and was given a bye...but that isn't a sure thing. I can pass the online practice tests all the way through Extra easily enough. But I'd have to find a different organization to go through. I would never succeed in keeping my mouth shut about how much trouble all of those wise and learned technical geniuses must have clicking "reply" and typing a couple of lines...which would most likely get me shown the door.
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Old 08-11-2018, 8:38 AM
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The single amateur radio operator club meeting I attended after passing my General exam, made a point of having all of the first time visitors, stand and introduce themselves as one of the first agenda items.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the regulars were socializing with each other but also saying "hello" to strangers. Many wore name tags with name and callsign displayed. There was a roll of stick on name tags and a magic marker on the table by the door as you came in, so that you could roll your own if you wished.

In my opinion this club was in Ghostbusters mode.
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Old 08-11-2018, 8:43 AM
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Our meetings are perhaps a little bit unusual in that guests / newcomers / visitors approach any of the Officers (and it's clear at each meeting who they are) and ask, "May I have an application for membership?" And the President also solicits visitors / guests with, "Would you like an application for membership?"
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Old 08-11-2018, 9:22 AM
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Well, this thread made for interesting reading and as a new ham I can partially relate to it.

I got my "ticket" just a month ago but I had been doing a lot of reading here and have an acquaintance of many years who is a long-time ham. He and I are not close friends, but enough for him to encourage me to take the test AND to come to a meeting of his club. I did so and found pretty much what I expected...a group of people close to each other and only a small number who actually approached me to see why I was there.

There are probably "studies" of group dynamics like this that have actual proveable theories about why people behave as they do in this kind of group (or groups of old car enthusiasts, chess players, etc) but my feeling is this. After whatever degree of awkward moments over whatever length of time (weeks, months) the newcomers are either absorbed, ignored or make their own choice to stay or leave a given club.

The same thing applies here on the forums (and any forum). There is give and take between newbies and other newbies and newbies and old-timers. Sometimes those are polite and helpful exchanges and other times there are pointed (early on) barbs from the more entrenched (or just plain gruff) members.

I guess what I am saying in all this that it is just human nature...good and bad...for the way events unfold.

>>>>>>>>

As a final example, my guess is that more than a few people here had a negative gut reaction just to the name you are using here on the forum. Sure, I guess they have their reasons for hating Baofeng users, but not knowing who a person is or why he/she made the choice to buy what THEY call CCRs (cheap Chinese radios) is just another indicator of the prejudices people have about many things and the way that SOME of them react to a new face in the crowd.

As a retired teacher of 35 years I had many exposures to intolerance of the human condition which were far more serious than being accepted as a new participant in a specialist hobby, but many of the same lessons apply to the dynamics of the situations. We all need to be more understanding of the shoes in which the other person walks. IMHO.
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Old 08-11-2018, 9:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaoFeng_Blogger View Post
Thank you one and all for responding to my thread. I appreciate you taking the time reading (and responding to) my above thread.

73's to y'all...

BaoFeng Blogger
I have been a ham for a long time. Traveled all around the country talking on the local 2 meter repeaters. I generally don't have the time to go to the meetings the local clubs have or it's not on the night I am in town.

Being a technical person involved mostly with public safety radio systems, I do get to meet those people. However, the ham club meetings do tend to be what some people call a click. You really need to try and blend in on the radio and start up a conversation with some of the members. You can find a conversation to jump in with that you feel comfortable with. It just takes time to pick that conversation.

You will find that if your background has a talent the club may be able to use, you will be welcome with open arms. The members just need to know you have those talents. This may seem like bragging about yourself, but this does seem to work.

I have a bunch of test equipment to work on radios. I openly offer the open door attitude to anyone that may need help with any of their radio equipment. But they need to come to me for that help. My test equipment is not something that is easily moved.

I do have people coming over with out letting me know on some occasions. But I open my shop door and welcome them in. I do tell people that there is a big Great Dane that occupies space in the shop. He is friendly and loves attention. You will get the third degree sniff job from him when you do show up, but after that, the dog and visitor are friends.

I do ask people to let me know if they are coming over as I generally have multiple projects on the bench and it would give me the time to clear a space off to be able to work on what they are bringing over. Doesn't always happen that way.

At the meetings, you may have to take the first step and sort of break into an on going conversation and ask who you can talk with about joining the club. That will break the ice and get you pointed to the correct person. You don't have to join that evening, but it does get you to talk with someone. Once the rest of the group sees you talking to one of the other club members, that sort of breaks up the log jam on the river and you just might find others will come over to you after that first contact.

Don't act like a lone wolf at a meeting. If you act that way, that is the way you will be treated. If you happen to walk by a conversation that is on going and may know something about the topic, stop and listen for a short time. Then try to inject a comment that may help. But try to excuse yourself before starting in on the topic with something to the effect that you overheard their conversation and say that you might have a suggestion that could help. Be diplomatic about it and tread softly with any new group.

Jim
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim202 View Post
At the meetings, you may have to take the first step and sort of break into an on going conversation and ask who you can talk with about joining the club. That will break the ice and get you pointed to the correct person. You don't have to join that evening, but it does get you to talk with someone. Once the rest of the group sees you talking to one of the other club members, that sort of breaks up the log jam on the river and you just might find others will come over to you after that first contact.

Don't act like a lone wolf at a meeting. If you act that way, that is the way you will be treated. If you happen to walk by a conversation that is on going and may know something about the topic, stop and listen for a short time. Then try to inject a comment that may help. But try to excuse yourself before starting in on the topic with something to the effect that you overheard their conversation and say that you might have a suggestion that could help. Be diplomatic about it and tread softly with any new group.

Jim
DING DING!..... winner. If a club can't answer your "How can I join?" question there is probably a larger issue going on.... and you may want to find another club. But first, you have to ask the question.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:10 AM
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Smile Sometimes $$$$ Decides What's Purchased... and What's Not!

"MovieMan 990" said in part...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
..."My guess is that more than a few people here had a negative gut reaction just to the name you are using here on the forum. Sure, I guess they have their reasons for hating Baofeng users, but not knowing who a person is or why he/she made the choice to buy what THEY call CCRs (cheap Chinese radios)"...
I'm more than glad to explain not only my "BaoFeng Blogger" name, but the reason(s) for purchasing my "BaoFeng Blue BF-F9 V2+ (4/6/8w) Tri-power, Dual Band 136-174/400-520 MHz FM HAM Two-Way Radio Transceiver"... (that's what it said on the label attached to the box it came in). (Emoji of eyes rolling upward)

Anyways... before I purchased my unit, I visited many web sites (like this one), for information and opinions on a good low cost approach to the hobby of HAM radio. As you posted earlier... "Seeing the CCR name BaoFeng" caused many shaking heads. I noticed in many of the BaoFeng posts that most of the advice given was that of... "Stay away! Don't buy! Their nothing but Cheap Chinese junk anyways"... but then in the same breath the OP was told they were better off buying this or that model at $165 to $195.

Of course this brought comments of... "if the OP is going to spend $195, then he's better off to add a few bucks to it and get a such and such. Of course, the only problem with that is, NOW the price has risen to the mid $200's. One such poster recommended a "Big Name" brand and model that started off at $400!!

Now I ask you, as a new comer to the hobby of HAM radio (or one whose been out of the arena for many, many years)... "why would one spend $4**, $5** $6** hundred dollars or more not knowing if they're going to continue in the hobby"? That's one of the major reasons for purchasing lower cost equipment. If nothing else, that ______ (fill in the blank) unit can always be used as a backup when one advances in their license... or, give it to the club (or a new, just licensed Tech).

I'm not ashamed one bit owning a BaoFeng... or calling myself BaoFeng Blogger. I am who I am... what can I say?

BaoFeng Blogger

73's Y'all...
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:03 AM
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Smile Good reasons for buying an inexpensive radio

I agree with the reasons you gave for buying a Baofeng (or any inexpensive) Chinese radio. I own one myself. It was the first new radio I bought and subsequently I have been buying used Kenwoods, Motorolas and Yaesus just for the fun of working with them, parting them out and experimenting with them.

Now that I have had a month of that I am getting ready to buy a new "big 3" radio but even now there is the $80 allure of one of those Chinese "monsters" that SOME people call CCRs. Yes, they're "cheap" and when many hams use that word they are speaking to quality, design, engineering and in some of those factors the hams certainly know more about them than I do, BUT....when I call them ICRs (inexpensive CRs) I am looking at it from the perspective you offered here....not knowing how much long term interest I would have in this hobby, I too was loathe to spend even $200 on a radio when I could buy one INEXPENSIVELY.

As I looked at a $70 Baofeng on Amazon they popped up an offer to GIVE me one IF I agreed to switch the payments I made on Amazon FROM my own credit card to a credit card they would assign to me. THERE WERE NO FEES, or other costs associated with this offer. Basically, accept our card, pay for any future purchases with that card AND you will get this radio and programming cable...FREE OF CHARGE.

I only buy a half dozen items a year on Amazon so not a biggie to me. And like many people I pay my credit card bills in full when I receive them, so no problems on which card they would be on either.

As a person who has always had to watch my pennies (35 years of being a teacher will do that to you) it seemed like a good deal to me and I took it.

The BF-F8HP has done very well for me. See my recent thread on looking for advice on a new 2 Meter purchase for an example.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

SO, your reasoning for buying an ICR makes a lot of sense to me....and others I'm sure. I was also sure you had negative reactions by SOME existing hams to your thinking about buying one of them.

I say enjoy what you have and grow as you want with either the Chinese products or the "big 3".

73
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Last edited by Movieman990; 08-12-2018 at 11:46 AM.. Reason: corrected typos
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