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Yet Another Perspective

I have been subscribed to this bulletin board for around two years now, and 
just a few days ago sent a check to Martha to finally become a member of 
AMSAT.  I'd have done it sooner, but I am recovering from six months of 
unemployment followed by a period of underemployment that has been going on 
for 17 months now.

While money remains tight, I felt the need to send a check in and join 
AMSAT at this time, in response to some who have posted here.  They don't 
like the way that things are going, so they choose to "take their ball and 
play elsewhere".  In my experience, this is rarely a productive approach.

I am as disappointed as anyone regarding the current state of AO-40.  One 
of the biggest thrills I have ever gotten from ham radio was to hear my own 
signal on AO-40's downlink.  This thrill was surpassed only by the pleasure 
of making contacts via the bird, on the past two Field Days (operating as 
W4MOE) and on a trip to a nearby suitable operating location (couldn't do 
it from home then).  Having said this, I suspect that my own disappointment 
pales in comparison to that of the members of the command team and also the 
designers and builders, for whom the experience must approach that of 
losing a child.

I think that W4SM and the rest of the command team have done a wonderful 
job of turning a near disaster into an enjoyable resource for the ham radio 
community.  I'm pretty sure that Stacy has a day job, and nonetheless he 
found time to respond to emails from me, despite my not being an AMSAT 
member.  Was the performance of the command team perfect?  Perhaps not.  Is 
it reasonable to expect perfection from human beings?  Certainly not.

In a situation such as this, it is quite natural for all of us to wonder 
what went wrong, and to wonder how things might have been done differently 
to perhaps produce a more favorable outcome.  I am appalled, however, at 
the tone of some of the messages I have seen on this board since the recent 
problems with AO-40.  Some people need to think a bit more before hitting 
the "send" button, and perhaps take a moment to try to stand in the shoes 
of the folks they are criticizing.  This is after all  a hobby, we're 
supposed to be doing this for fun, right?  Furthermore, we are members of 
an organization that is part of an effort where most of us benefit from the 
volunteer labor of a few among us.  To those of you who are quick to offer 
harsh criticism I ask "Are you prepared to volunteer to do a better job"?

Let's try to remember that we're all on the same team.  If we don't have 
the feeling of all being on the same team, then that too is an issue to be 
addressed.  As someone (was if Ben Franklin?) once said: "We must all hang 
together, or surely we will hang separately".

Paul Yeager W4SKI
Waynesville, NC

Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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