Technician Head Trash

It's Friday at 6 PM. The schedule is clear, as far as you can tell. Other guys have been getting cleared right and left, so you call in standby.

5 minutes pass.

10 minutes pass.

You check in again… and sure as &%$#!

You get sent across town to another call that YOU KNOW has been there ALL DAY. That dispatcher is trying to make you pay because of that time you threw her under the bus to the service manager because she has been taking FOREVER to get you your calls!

I'm pretty sure this exact scenario has happened to me several times, and I know these sorts of thoughts go through the minds of techs all around the globe on a daily basis.

We can pick on dispatchers, but it isn't just them. It's also:

  • The new apprentice who ALWAYS loses your tools because he's sloppy
  • The other tech who ALWAYS gets stupid callbacks that you have to run after hours
  • The lying customer who “just changed” their filter when it looks like it's been in since Reagan was in office
  • The wholesaler counter guy who doesn't know a drier from a TXV
  • The manager who hits you with a callback when it WASN'T YOUR FAULT! (And it wasn't a callback anyway)
  • The CSR who NEVER gets the address right in the call, so you end up driving all over creation only to find out it was Prestwick Ln., NOT Prestwick Place!
  • The idiot installer who NEVER sets the charge right and ALWAYS leaves the gas valve off!
  • And don't even get me started on SALESMEN!

People treat you wrong; they are lazy, ignorant, and sloppy. Sometimes, they are even out to get you.

While some of this may be true, it's all head trash.

What is Head Trash?

Head trash is any unproductive thought or emotion. It's just that simple

Head trash makes you angry, gets your blood pressure up, impacts your health, hurts your relationships, distracts you, takes you off your game, and impacts your ability to make money.

Head trash leaves you feeling like a victim; it feels like your circumstances have the upper hand on you, and you have no control of your life or future.

Head trash impacts your family, your career, your goals, your friends, and your co-workers.

When you live with a lot of head trash, EVERYONE is a potential enemy. Every circumstance could be (and probably is) a threat in your mind.

Isn't This Self-Help, Woo-Woo Bull Malarky?

It may sound like it, but all of the most healthy, fulfilled, and happy people I know understand how to manage and eliminate head trash.

To me, the results speak for themselves.

Combatting head trash is simple to do but difficult to choose. Dumping head trash goes against our natural fight or flight instincts.

We have a whole portion of our brains called the amygdala that is DEDICATED to our most basic needs and fears, and it comes in HARD when we feel angry, scared, or persecuted.

There was that one time when I got that callback sheet that I KNEW WAS BS, and I balled it up and threw it at my supervisor when I was 19… Yeah, that was the old amygdala at work.

I hear so many negative and angry people spouting what they call “the truth,” but then when they open their mouths, all that comes out is opinions, bias, and exaggeration. There's very little objective “truth” to be found.

Blaming and complaining is popular—even comfortable—but it's completely unproductive. The world has so many real problems you can work to solve without spending time thinking and talking about things you aren't doing anything about or attempting to fix.

Here are Ways to “Take Out” the Head Trash for Techs 

  • Think about the people you care most about and why you do what you do.
  • Remember that you chose and continue to choose your profession and where you work. You are COMPLETELY FREE to change at any time and find something you like better. You are in control of your career and decisions.
  • Consider your own weaknesses and mistakes. This will help you have more patience with others when they fail in different ways.
  • Remember that almost everyone values their own contributions and importance to an organization as unrealistically high, INCLUDING YOU.
  • Call someone that helped you along the way. Thank them and check in on them.
  • Don't assume bad intent. Sometimes, it may seem like people are out to get you, but more often than not, they are dealing with their own issues that you don't even know about. People are rarely thinking about or scheming against us as much as we imagine; just fault on the side of assuming the best of others.
  • Choose to be positive as an act of protest against negativity and drama.
  • Talk to someone who won't stand for your whining BS, not to someone who agrees with you about how tough you have it.
  • Stay away from the words ALWAYS and NEVER. They are ALWAYS exaggerations.
  • Give stuff up; most of the things we get worked up about are meaningless.

I heard something the other day that really stuck with me.

It is impossible to be ungrateful and truly happy. It is impossible to be truly grateful and unhappy. 

If you are like me, you want to try and pick that statement apart and try to find exceptions… STOP IT!

You can and will beat head trash if you:

  • Take responsibility for your choices
  • Choose a positive outlook
  • Surround yourself with happy people who want to make you better
  • Stay away from dramatic complainers
  • Take time for gratefulness

Here is some tough talk:

In the good old USA, you decide what type of person you are going to be and what sort of life you are going to have.

Take out the head trash.


Related Tech Tips

Weighing Refrigerant In and Out
If you don't use a scale every time you add or remove refrigerant, I suggest you begin doing so immediately, if not sooner. Weighing in while charging is fairly obvious, and it's useful so you can keep track of what you are using and how much to charge a customer. When you have a system […]
Read more
Double Lugging, A Common Mistake
Connecting more than one wire on or under a single lug or connection point is called “double lugging,” and it is ONLY allowed in line voltage wiring under one condition, according to NEC 110.14: If the terminal, lug, or connector is specifically rated for more than one wire In the case of a conductor splice, […]
Read more
Lifting Techniques Part 4 - Using Unistrut
This is Part 4 series by Senior Refrigeration Tech (and prolific writer) Jeremy Smith. Pay attention to this one, folks. I know rigging and safe lifting practices may be boring to some of you, but it could very well save your back or your life. Disclaimer This article is written by a technician representing his […]
Read more

One response to “Technician Head Trash”

  1. Thank you for writing this article. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! ‘Head Trash’ affects everybody and I especially appreciated the reminder to be thankful for every ‘good thing’ in my life. When I start having head trash, I think to myself… “In the grand cosmic scheme of things… Does this really matter?” and 99.999% of the time, the answer is not really! It helps me stay focused on what matters the most. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from