Why Are AV Techs so Negative?

Let me interrupt my series of personal posts to talk about a question I know people have asked.

Put any group of 3 or more AV techs in a room and within 15 minutes at least one will be crying and moaning. We are, on the whole, a negative group. We rarely focus on the positive. In fact, right now I am fighting the urge to explain just how bad many events are, and why there are so few positive things to talk about. I seem to want to fall into the pattern of complaint even here.

But even in less than ideal situations, not everyone trends toward the negative. Why do AV techs?
I think two factors play into it.
1. In order to be good at what we do, we have to be detail oriented and analytical. So we notice problems. And we figure out why things went wrong. Therefore, we know what is wrong. And we do it for everything, not just technology. We don’t shut off the analytical part of our minds.
Since we analyze everything, and we have to find flaws and issues for a living, we tend to drift toward that in all situations.
2. There are extraordinairily high expectations placed on us. We don’t serve on life or death situations, but some clients act like it is. AV techs are under enormous pressure. Things should function perfectly. But most of the time you don’t have the right gear to pull off perfection. Many times the techs are put into a hard spot, pulling off miracles with substandard gear and minimal prep time. And when something fails, they are often raked over the coals for it.
So we get defensive. And we collect horror stories. And when we get together, we tell those stories. We vent. We bemoan the gear and the expectation and the performance, and generally dump on anything that wasn’t perfect.
Because of those two factors, we often get into a pattern of negativity, many times without realizing it.
Want your AV Tech to be more positive?
Listen when they tell you about broken gear, or better ways to accomplish something. Don’t rip their heads off when something goes wrong. Analyze it with them, and take steps to keep that from happening again. Foster a more positive environment. And when you hear them slip toward the negative, steer the conversation toward something positive.