As a QSL manager, as well as sending out the QSL cards one important job is to consider busted call or missing call inquiries. This may sound straight forward, after all a QSO is either in the log or it is not. But add in the adrenaline that rushes through the brain when you work an All Time New One (ATNO) then there is a chance of, mishearing, misunderstanding, euphoria, excitement, satisfaction, amazement, or doubt and all those emotions will take a split second.
Quite often after the emotions have passed and this can be literally seconds you think “did I really work that station?”
This is where the online logging comes in to its own, however what happens when you check the log and your call sign isn’t in it? All that adrenaline tells you that you did work it, but in that split second it takes, actually you didn’t, it was someone else with a call sign close to yours, but you are so sure it was you that you send an email to the QSL manager accusing the team of being deaf and stupid, I mean, how can they get MY call sign wrong, everyone knows who I am, top of Honour Roll in all the awards programs! So you demand that the team correct the log immediately. The QSL manager swings into action, emails the logged station, checks the matched data on Logbook of The World and shows the proof that NO, actually the team logged the correct call and you have to deny the DX’er of his moment of glory.
But, making the DX’er actually believe the evidence that you provide is like getting blood from a stone, instead he will email the operator who he thinks he worked and demand that he tells the idiot of a QSL manager he has to correct the log. Then what do you do? Luckily I work with some good DXpedition teams that say my decision is final. Of course I will always double check my facts, and work with the DX team to find the answers.
I think it is also important to consider that the operators on a DXpedition are working long shifts, they also go through spells of euphoria, amazement, excitement, satisfaction and doubt and also spells of despair. These guys are our team in the field or on the Island, sleeping under moonlight, if they are lucky! So please understand that mistakes happen and also consider the conditions at the DXpedition end, they could have Aurora, high noise QRN or QRM, severe weather and not to mention possibly hundreds of stations calling them at the same time, and ask yourself honestly could you cope in these conditions?
DX really IS more important than life or death to some. So why do I do it? Well I ask myself that regularly, but I do love doing what I do, I love DX’ing and QSL’ing and working with the DXpedition teams, it is all part of the game.