Servicing refrigeration equipment can be very stressful at times. Properly handling a stressful situation can help a technician defuse a problem before it gets out of control. If not handled properly, a stressful situation can potentially cause a technician to misdiagnose a system problem, causing damage to the equipment or injury to the tech.

Stress on the refrigeration job can have many causes, but some of the most common are overload anxiety, troubleshooting frustration, and payment collection.

When a technician is faced with having too many service calls to handle in one day, the tech may become anxious trying to handle them all. Even the most experienced technicians may have difficulty handling this situation.

When faced with this type of anxiety, a technician should immediately contact the office, speak to his superiors, and let them know that he cannot handle all the work assigned to him. This in itself can be stressful - most technicians don't want to tell the office that they cannot handle their workload. But it needs to be done for the sake of the company's reputation.

Trying to handle too many service calls or too much of a workload in one day can easily lead to mistakes on the job. Mistakes are never good. They can cause personal injury or a financial loss to the company, neither of which is good for the technician, contractor, or customer.

Another area that can be stressful for a technician is not being able to determine the cause of a problem. A technician can easily become frustrated when this happens.

Some technicians may not want to admit that they don't know how to troubleshoot or repair a particular system. When this happens, a technician may try to repair a system he knows little or nothing about, then becomes frustrated when he is unable to do so.

What a technician must realize is that no one person can be an expert in every aspect of our industry. It's OK to ask for help when you need it. If a technician can realize this and ask for help, the stress of not knowing how to troubleshoot or repair a system will be reduced.

Some companies require their technicians to collect payment on an invoice when the job is done. Unfortunately, there are times when a service technician does everything right on a job and treats a customer very fairly, but the customer is either unwilling or unable to pay the invoice when required.

When this happens, a technician should not take it personally and become confrontational with the customer. He should immediately contact his office and have a superior decide how to handle the customer and the payment.

If handled properly, a technician should not become frustrated over this type of problem. However, sometimes this is easier said than done. There are many other aspects of servicing refrigeration equipment that could cause technicians to become frustrated. What they must realize early on is how to handle and defuse a problem before it causes them grief. Again, this is easier said than done. Practice does make it easier, though.

Joe Marchese is owner of Coldtronics, Pittsburgh. He can be reached at 412-734-4433,, or

Publication date: 06/06/2005