Looking for some advice.

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B00B
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Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:50 pm

I'm looking for some advice on how to approach one of our everyday users of the repeater. I have a tendency to come off rough at times when I get annoyed. This user listens to the repeater every day (not the issue) he likes to take part in conversations on the repeater (not the issue). The issue is when he can't relate, or add to the conversation he will change the subject. This gets pretty annoying after awhile. This is an older person, who has been a ham for 40 plus years, he lives alone, and the radio is the only social life he has, other then going to church. This person I would say is on the spectrum as being autistic or has Asperger Syndrome. I feel for him, so I don't want to exclude him. When he does this, it annoys myself, and other users on the repeater. We on many occasions have switched to other repeaters, but we are found, and the same thing happens. How do I approach him without coming across as a dick? He's a very sensitive person, and he is pretty smart and knows when he is bothering people, and starts feeling bad and apologizes over and over.
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Notarola
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by Notarola » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:20 pm

looks like a job for HR :)

I would wait until he logs in next time. When he does say hello "hi John how are you today". once the prelinaries are out of the way and he feels like he is participating continue on with the conversation that was in progress. If "John" wanders off topic when he unkeys remind him we are taking about XXXX and his comments about YYYY dont apply. Mayube he will get the message to stay on topic.

If he has relevent things to talk about maybe one day every now and than You can ask him what would he like to talk about today?
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B00B
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:03 pm

Notarola wrote:looks like a job for HR :)

I would wait until he logs in next time. When he does say hello "hi John how are you today". once the prelinaries are out of the way and he feels like he is participating continue on with the conversation that was in progress. If "John" wanders off topic when he unkeys remind him we are taking about XXXX and his comments about YYYY dont apply. Mayube he will get the message to stay on topic.

If he has relevent things to talk about maybe one day every now and than You can ask him what would he like to talk about today?
Usually what I do, if he starts wandering off topic, I'll usually bring it back on topic. Usually when he wanders off topic its far out there. The other day another station and I were talking about having windshields replaced. He gave his call, we acknowledge him, and he started talking about pipe organs.

I'm going over to his place next week to give him a hand getting his pre paid phone set up, I'll casually bring it up.
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Notarola
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by Notarola » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:31 pm

Good idea. Hopefully he will get the message.

He probably does not realize he is doing it. He thinks he is replying to what ever is being talked about and for some reason 'pipe organs' is linked to windshields in his mind. It may eventually be that you or someone is going to have to be firm and tell him that if he cannot pay attention or stay close to the topic of the day then he wont be welcome to participate.

You could change/add a input PL to the repeater and use some type of signaling to enable it. That way he can listen but not access the repeater.
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B00B
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:33 pm

This is a club repeater, and he's a long time club member. It wouldn't be fair to do that, even though its annoying, he's not breaking any rules. He's really not being malicious, just wants to feel included. His feelings get hurt very easily so I'm trying to get some input on how to approach him softly without him getting too upset.

Yesterday he was pretty good, he waited until I was finished then called me and brought up the subject about his phone.
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by NavyBOFH » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:30 pm

Sounds WAY too common around here. People will either steer an existing conversation all over the place, or "squirrel out" way too fast for me to want to partake in the conversation. The times they DO stick on subject is them discussing their colostomy bags or how many coupons they've clipped for stool softener.

I maintain a HUGE ham repeater system only because its ARES/Emergency Management related and therefore part of my job description. Getting my General Class was a requirement for the job. Otherwise I am pretty sure at this point I wouldn't be on the radio much anymore.

P25NX is my next step - but not enough interested people out here. The ONE repeater that's interested is a possibility, but too far from my house. The VHF repeater due for replacement with a Quantar doesn't want to be part of it - even though I offered the stubborn person a FREE P25 radio just so he would be included.

With that going on, I think I am going to play with HF a bit before giving up.
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Notarola
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by Notarola » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:08 pm

Maybe its time to dust of the old CB radio, no one seems to be using them any more.

Seriously though, with the aging ham community this type of issue will be more and more common. All we can realy do is try and be polite and understanding and hope for the best.
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by wanderingman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:25 pm

I'm gonna throw this out, perhaps from left field, but ...

I'm gonna guess he's an older gentleman and perhaps his hearing has been going down, so he has trouble following all the nuances of conversation. Which, over a radio, are few to begin with. No facial expressions, no lip reading. You suggest conditions indicating autism or Aspergers, but I think the behavior is also like those who are experiencing hearing problems. Add old, single, living alone, small social life except for church... and ham radio & the local repeater are his 'lifeline' so to speak.

FWIW, lots and lots (and I mean a whole bunch) of older people end up withdrawing from activities, like church, because their hearing is impaired; they have trouble hearing the sermon, difficulty conversing afterwards in noisy environments (poor auditory discrimination), etc. Too few churches invest in hearing assistance systems for their older hearing impaired members. But it's a real problem.

I think (IMNTBHO) that it's time people reach out to him, actively engage him, make sure his home is in good condition, hellp him find any assitance he needs. Hint: If his home is not up to par, he's probably depressed about it, which only leads to more depression.

This is a human issue, not a technical. Be a mensch.
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wanderingman
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by wanderingman » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:48 pm

Just adding a little bit, and I can't seem to edit a post, :

I think the idea of this operator being autistic/Aspergers does not jibe with him being a 'sensitive person.' But I still guess that he's rather lonely. He needs and wants friends. Be a friend, face to face, one on one.

The fact that you're concerned is wonderful. You're already concerned for him, and you don't want to hurt his feelings. B00B, I take back my command to 'be a mensch'. You already are a mensch. :-)
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B00B
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:04 am

wanderingman wrote:Just adding a little bit, and I can't seem to edit a post, :

I think the idea of this operator being autistic/Aspergers does not jibe with him being a 'sensitive person.' But I still guess that he's rather lonely. He needs and wants friends. Be a friend, face to face, one on one.

The fact that you're concerned is wonderful. You're already concerned for him, and you don't want to hurt his feelings. B00B, I take back my command to 'be a mensch'. You already are a mensch. :-)
Being lonely has a lot to do with it. He used to live with his mother until her passing a few years ago, and his mother pretty much took care of him. His living conditions are pretty good, I've been to his apartment before, it's clean, the building is kept nice, and management are always making improvements to the building. Church, and the radio are the only social life he has.

I can be an asshole, but I'm probably one of the nicest assholes you'd come across! LOL
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B00B
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:24 pm

A little update to this situation. The other day I was on the local repeater talking to another station about a public service event that is coming up that I'm the coordinator of. The other station who likes to take over comes on as well, the other station I was talking to acknowledge him and informed him that there was a QSO going on and asked him what was up. He was on topic at first mentioning that he has been has been making announcements for me during one of the local nets when I wasn't checked into the net. I acknowledge him, and thank him. Then he changes the subject to better suit him. When he unkeyed there was an awkward silence, he then keyed back up in a depressing voice and said "I know when I'm not wanted, I'll just clear". I then key up and tell him that is not the case, you have a tendency to change the topic and take over the repeater, and it makes other stations reluctant to using the repeater. He replied saying he knows he has a habit of doing that and that he thought he was adding to the conversation(in a depressing voice). I told him in the beginning he did add to the conversation and then he derailed the topic. The tone of his voice the whole time had be feeling like I was a dick.
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Notarola
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by Notarola » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:28 pm

are you sure hes not playing the "poor me" card in order to get his way?
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B00B
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Re: Looking for some advice.

Post by B00B » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:05 am

Notarola wrote:are you sure hes not playing the "poor me" card in order to get his way?
It wouldn't surprise me.
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