Optimists Need Not Apply; Embracing Your Negative Side.

If you’ve been in the HVAC service industry for more than 5 minutes you’ve probably noticed the really good technicians are some of the most miserable, grumpy SOB’s you’ve ever met. This is what you want to aim for. This is the epitome of a master diagnostic technician. And when you achieve that perfect state of crotchety, you’ll know you’ve made it to the top.

Now, before you start apprising me of the benefits of being a rose-colored glasses wearing optimist, let me just say this: Have a nice, piping hot cup of shut the f@$% up. When it comes to troubleshooting, pessimism takes optimism’s lunch money every time…it’s even been known to take optimism’s date to the prom too.

Here’s why; pessimism is a survival instinct that’s managed to keep us safe from harm for many years. Here’s an example. Take an optimist to the zoo and show them a lion, and they see a big fluffy kitty cat. Heck, they may even try to pet it…once.

Show a pessimist that same lion, and they’re eyeballing the cage to make damn sure the gate is latched while at the same time they’re making mental plans to use the optimist as a shield just in case the lion escapes.

To be a good diagnostic technician you need to look at how things can go wrong, especially things that have no apparent way of going wrong.

One more word of advice; try not to let your inner pessimist spill over into your non-work life. This is no joke. Many seasoned (nice way of saying old) technicians become so used to expecting the worst, the habit can throw a wet blanket on situations that should be fun, like going to the zoo with an optimist. (just saying)

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Patrick is Zen HVAC’s diagnostic and training guy. Patrick started in the trade the day he left technical school and never looked back. He's served in various technical and training roles in the HVAC industry but specializes in system troubleshooting and diagnostics, retro commissioning, and technical training. His moto: If I can understand it, anybody can. Patrick uses the Zen common sense approach to teach Patrick’s Likes- His Wife, kids and dog. Old pickup trucks. Hiking. The industrial Revolution. Patrick’s Dislikes- Taking work too seriously. Anything unintuitive. Emoticons :( Patrick’s Favorite famous person- Theodore Roosevelt “I am only an average man, But I work harder at it than the average man" Famous Patrick Quote- “Well, that was stupid of me”

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