Well it's that time of year again, ham radio friends where we think about what we want for Christmas in our ham shacks. Yes many of us would like one of those $2000 dollar ham radios, but our budget limits us from that. So then we have to make a decision on what we want and what fits our budget.
In my situation, my wife works a good full time job and I have early retired. Yes due to the pandemic, my job did not call me back. In fact they only called me when they were short of help, because one technician was going on 3 weeks vacation and the other was going on a week vacation after that. You may be asking yourselves how did I know this.
Well I kept in touch with another employee that they had coming in and helping during the pandemic. Yes the individual was supposed to stay out until the government said it was okay to go back to normal. I asked how they were practicing any protection from the covid 19. I was told they only wore a mask when a customer came in to the store. As far as back in service where I worked, it was business as usual. No one wore a mask and there was no self distancing.
The employee asked me if I had talked to management. I said I had not spoken to them since they let us go. I was told that they were telling people that I told them I was not coming back. Nothing but more lies as this was always happening. I was told that they said they were going to call me. Well they called and I listened to the message on the answering machine.
They told me nothing about what I already knew. They wanted me to come in to talk to them. They also said in the message that they would only pay me what unemployment paid. That would be 60% of my normal wage. Understand that I worked there for over 17 years, never had a raise or a cost of living increase. I was earning about $14 dollars an hour working as a Computer Technician. I asked the employee if they were paying everyone less, the answer was they were paying them the same amount.
They were paying the other technicians $25 an hour or more. So they were going to only pay me about $7 an hour. This was basically a slap in the face to me. I decided to stay on unemployment as long as I could and look for a job as an Electronic Technician. I have my AAS Degree In Electrical Engineering with the Master In Electronics. I had worked as a Electronic Technician 12 Years before working as a Computer Technician. I found that jobs were scarce at the time and the ones being offered were not worth it due to the pandemic and pay.
I decided to stay on unemployment until it ran out. I checked the amount I would have on social security and compered it to the amount if I waited until 65 to 70 to retire. There was very little in the amount, so I decided to retire now. There were other personal reasons why I did not go back to my job. I informed unemployment about all this and the reasons for not going back. I never has an issue with unemployment. My biggest reason was the lack of protection for the covid 19 pandemic.
Okay, so back to the subject at hand about what do you want for Christmas. If your budget is small like mine, then I would look at purchasing low cost items on Amazon or Used Items On Ebay. I myself am getting a Baofeng Handheld Ham Radio. If you want a good ham radio, then I would look at Ebay for a used ham radio or gear. Ham Radio Operators tend to take really good care of their equipment.
I have seen some pretty good deals on Yaesu, Icom and Kenwood Transceivers as well as other brands. My advise is to always check out the sellers rating and reviews, because there are many crooked people out there. Yes there are many scammers that are just after your money. So always make sure to protect yourself.