[amsat-bb] Re: Volunteered

Mark Lunday mlunday at nc.rr.com
Sat Sep 12 13:50:30 PDT 2009

Chiming in, after watching this go back and forth and feeling frustrated

The issue here is about holding volunteers accountable as if they were paid
staff.  It's about expectations as well.

Noone is questioning whether the volunteers worked their butts off.  What
we're talking about is that the AMSAT community (at least some, anyway) have
an expectation of performance equivalent to what would be provided by
full-time paid staff.  Well, as long as it's volunteers only, that
expectation is not reasonable (IMHO).  None of the volunteers can provide
that kind of support day-in and day-out.  Holding volunteers to that
standard is, in my opinion, a mistake.

Having said that, what AMSAT volunteers have accomplished is SO FAR ABOVE
what a normal volunteer organization achieves, that it BOGGLES THE MIND.  I
have been an AMSAT member for 18 months and active on satellites for about
as long.  To see what has been achieved by volunteers, spanning across
geography, is AMAZING.  The ability to ask ANY question about satellites in
general and AMSAT in particular on this BB, and get an accurate response in
a timely fashion is impressive.  The collective intellectual capital and
horsepower is deep and very valuable.

And THAT'S the issue!  We're so accustomed to outstanding performance on so
many things with AMSAT that we start *expecting* above and beyond in all
cases.  That's not always realistic.

I had a few 1:1 threads with some folks about this over the past few days,
and I think we could address some of the problems if we had a paid position
or two. I understand that this is being presented to the ARRL in the near
future (additional funding support)

Another side note: it sounds like more communication/interaction would help
clarify some of these questions and concerns.  Regular status reporting on
progress for specific projects would help the community understand:
(1) the progress
(2) the risks
(3) the level of effort provided by the volunteers
(4) opportunities for additional input for addressing problems (leveraging
some of that powerful intellectual capital and horsepower in our community).

Meanwhile, as a project manager w/ PMP cert, Electrical Engineer, and a 35
year ham with military background, I am raising my hand as a volunteer for
helping with the planning of future AMSAT projects

Mark Lunday
Hillsborough, NC - FM06kb
wd4elg at arrl.net

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