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Why I Couldnt Upgrade To General

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by K7TUX, May 29, 2010.

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  1. W5RB

    W5RB Guest

    I'm sure a team in your area could use your help. It costs nothing but your time..... :D

    Russ, W5RB
  2. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am a W5YI VE. I would be horrified if our team let something like this happpen.
  3. W5RB

    W5RB Guest

    Maybe , now that the long weekend's over , the OP will track down just what happened , and update us . While I'd hope my own team never dropped the ball on a session , let me put another perspective on this .

    Not all teams , or team members , are very experienced . Some test frequently , and have lots of volunteers , some have a hard time getting enough , every session . Here, my cellphone number and e-mail are included in every announcement , and I get calls at any hour . All our announcements say that pre-registration is preferred , for a couple of good reasons . One is so we'll have a sense of how many , and what class , to prepare for . Another is so that we can notify examinees if there's a problem with the scheduled session .

    If , on a holiday weekend , when people often are doing other things , I was faced with not having enough VEs for a session , or a last-minute word that the guy with the key to my borrowed exam location was out of town , AND I had no pre-registrants , I'd be obliged to cancel the session . While I'd like to think I'd drive by and stick a sign on the door , I wouldn't feel a lot of obligation to those who'd chosen not to register when they had the chance .

    In particular , I'd say if you call , and get no answer from the published contact info for your VE team , it's reasonable to presume something has gone south . It's a good idea to do just that , within a day or two prior to the session , just to be sure .

    Yes , a team has some responsibility for a session . They're not the only ones . OP needs to shake it off , and find another session , and move on .

    Russ , W5RB
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2010
  4. K5DE

    K5DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to speak for the OP, but with "Walk ins Welcome" indicated in the info, I wouldn't agree with your view; to me, that's a clear message saying "You don't have to call, we will be there."

    That said, I do plan to take the extra this Sunday (Jackson, MS) and did e-mail with a head's up even with the "Walk-ins Welcome" in the info. But I'm driving about 2.5 hours one way, and planning to drive down the night before and rent a hotel room. I wanted to be darn sure somebody would be there when I arrived. :)

  5. W5RB

    W5RB Guest

    Make no mistake , we have a dedicated team here , and enough volunteers that it'd likely not happen that way . My point was , and is , that we don't know what the other side of the story is in Houston , and folks are all to ready to condemn the team there without all the facts .

    While our sked normally is for Thursday nights , I'm in the process of putting together a session for Saturday the 12th here in Meridian , if you want to wait a bit and make a shorter drive .This is in response to a request from a nearby group who has just finished a prep class . Good luck either way , e-mail me at if we can be of service .

    Russ , W5RB
  6. K4RMN

    K4RMN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hmm...sounds like a similar situation I had about a month or so when I went up to NC on my first attempt at my Tech. The date had been changed, and was not updated on ARRL, nor was there a phone call given to me. This was a non-walk-in session mind you, so I had coordinated with the VE's ahead of time. Get there, waited, nothing, so drove 30-odd miles back home. Get home, emailed the VEs, found out a little while later the date had been pushed back a day.

    Ah well, just gotta find the next session and push on!!
  7. KC7DRI

    KC7DRI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am not a VE, but I know from past experience our clubs test dates are sometimes posted incorrectly on the ARRL site. Before I joined, I ended up going to a different groups test session about 30 miles away just because I could not get in touch with anyone from the local group. You should always try to get in touch with the team administering the test at least to verify date, time & location & it is a good idea to let them know you plan on attending anyway. If you can't get confirmation, you may choose not to go or just test elsewhere.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Back in the days before the VE system, when we had to test at FCC offices (which were few and far between), this kind of stuff actually still happened occasionally -- you know how "government offices" are.

    The FCC office in NYC where I tested for everything was only about 20 miles from my home but as a kid I had to walk a mile to a bus stop, then take a bus, then take a subway/train, and then walk the street in Manhattan to get there; so the "20 mile commute" really took about two hours, all told, each way.

    One time when I was going for one test or another (I forgot which, I took both amateur and commercial exams there and visited five times), it was on a cold, snowy winter Friday. But their hours were 9 AM to 5 PM, and it was a Federal Building, and I figured Federal employees must be there. It wasn't a holiday, and there was no reason for them to be closed.

    So the normal "2 hour" trip took more like 2-1/2 hours because of crappy weather, but I, along with several other people, showed up. We were waiting at the doorstep to 641 Washington Street in NYC at 9 AM. Door still locked. We waited outside until about 10 AM. Door still locked. Nobody had cell phones back then and there was likely a phone booth somewhere around, but I didn't know where -- and calling them seemed silly, since we were already there, anyway.

    We all just left. Found out the following week they had a "snow day" and simply "closed.":(


    I'd have much preferred to drive 40 miles, and turn around and drive back 40 miles -- it would have been easier!:p
  9. K5DE

    K5DE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fair point.

    Thanks for the offer, Russ. I'll probably go on down to Jackson this Sunday as my wife has decided to make the trip and hang out with me, just as a chance to get away. But if something should go awry, I'll likely send you an e-mail. I appreciate the offer.

  10. K7TUX

    K7TUX Ham Member QRZ Page


    I just got a call from the VE in charge of the session. He had been out of town for a week and just got back. He was very pleasant and explained that it came down to a clerical error at ARRL. He had sent in a date change to the ARRL on May 15th, but they had not gotten the posting changed for some reason.

    That being said, maybe I shouldn't have been so fast to point the finger. However, the point remains that the ball was dropped, and that people are relying on information that is posted on what we believe to be a reputable site. It wasn't the VE's fault.

    For those who keep saying I shouldn't have gone if i didn't get a phone call back, well, that is your opinion. The fact of the matter is that I got the information from a supposedly reputable source, and walk-ins are welcome. When that is stated, the VE's have made the commitment to be there barring any natural or physical disaster (or in this case a clerical error). I had every reason to expect them to be there.

    I appreciate the fact that the VE made a difficult call by calling me back and taking the time to explain the situation. It helps to clear the air and alleviated any hard feelings.

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