I tend to let my incoming QSL cards pile up for a while and then fill them out in a batch. I don’t actually get all that many QSLs unless I am doing something special like a mini-DXpedition or activating a rare VHF grid.
Last week, I decided it was time to catch up on my QSL responses, so I fetched the small pile of cards and starting working on them. The first one came with an Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) and I was able to find it in the log right away. A minute later, my QSL was filled out and ready to mail. Now that is the way it is supposed to work!
The next card in the pile was just a bare QSL card sent as a postcard, with no SASE included. This always makes me a little grumpy. My general policy is to respond to cards sent via the QSL bureau and cards sent direct that include an SASE. Everything else gets ignored. I’ve had to take a hard line on this when doing DXpeditions, otherwise the work just gets way out of hand. Everyone else needs your card but you probably don’t need any of theirs.
So I looked at the second card and thought “sorry, guy, but if you need my card you need to include an SASE” and I set it aside. I picked up the next card and it came inside an envelope but without an SASE. But this one was a grid on 6M that I needed, so I am looking at it a bit more graciously. Should I send my card back to this guy? Wouldn’t I just be encouraging bad QSL habits on his part? Judging by the information included on the card, this ham has probably been licensed for at least 10 years…he should know better. OK, maybe I’ll make an exception on this one since I really need his grid.
Here’s another card with no SASE. This time it is obviously a new callsign, so I am tempted to have pity on him. Didn’t anyone teach him to QSL properly? Perhaps I should ignore the lack of SASE and just send him a card. Is it my job to teach every ham QSL courtesy? Or maybe I need to lighten up?
Mostly, this just makes me grumpy. I am probably thinking about it too hard.