Here is a portion of an e-mail I recently sent. Maybe a view from this side
will be informative:
KL7Y: Consider this thought experiment: Suppose you were to handle my QSL
chores. (I would still pay for the printing costs, of course.) With all
the free time I would have I could make even more QSOS. A lot more QSOs. I
could get into contests I normally would avoid! You will receive
approximately 50 to 60 direct cards per week, although immediately after a
big contest you may receive up to that many per day. (Things slow down in
the summer). In addition, you will receive at least several hundred cards
from the bureau every month. Many of the cards you receive will have the
wrong date, or the wrong time. The latter is important at rates of 300 per
hour or more. Some will have the wrong year. On some the writing will be
barely legible and the call sign will not exactly match the call in the log.
Some will not appear in there at all. Make sure you address those envelopes
properly for those who failed to include an SAE - no writing sloppy!
Some will send you 2, 3 or more cards for the same QSO. A few guys will
work you on several bands each contest and faithfully QSL every one despite
the fact they already have 20 KL7Y QSLs on 20 meters. Some will be for QSOs
over 10 years ago and you will have to look through the 55 plus handwritten
logbooks or the shelf full of old paper contest logs which were from the
pre-computer days. Some of the envelopes will also contain cards for KL7RA
who lives over 300 miles away, some for WL7E, who now lives 1500 miles away
and some will contain cards for KL7AF, who is dead. Then there are the SWL
cards: "Heard you calling CQ contest," reported after the results are out.
QSL that one and all of a sudden 10 guys in the same radio club all heard
the same CQ and now want cards. Hey, how about those cards with 10
callsigns or more on the front and the guy forgot to check off his - you
will have to research each call sign in the log until you find the right one.
Remember, you cannot cheat. You have to look up EVERY call, that's my
rules. For those not immediately found, you will have to instigate a search
and put forth a good effort to locate that callsign. For those not in the
log, write a note telling them so and include a list of calls you did work
at that time. You will have to write notes to every ex-GI that ever touched
Alaskan soil, even if it was the dead of night and he never actually got off
the plane. You will have to answer questions for tourists-to-be and provide
feedback to tourists that were. You will be expected to know each of the
thousands of hams in Alaska and relate a story about them to someone who
knows them. Be prepared to provide an adequate description of the QTH for
those who ask. Any other QTH in the state is also fair game. You will
suffer with envelopes that are too small, envelopes which will not seal and
envelopes that are already stuck together. You will have to carefully note
the QTH at time of QSO - I have operated from 2 IOTAs and 4 mainland QTHs in
Alaska. You may also receive cards for V77Y - that was me, too. The V7X
and HS1AZ cards you will have to forward to their respective managers,
however, as I was only one of the ops there and do not have the logs. And I
almost forgot the /VY1 QSOs.
And then after doing all of that for 20 years, you will still have to defend
yourself for not paying for all the return postage out of your own pocket.
Does the view look a little different now?
CQ-Contest on WWW: http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests: cq-contest-REQUEST@contesting.com