You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

The Successful Bartender: Putting People Skills to Work by Geoff Colvin and Peter Battistella
Behavior Associates, 2007

successfulbartenderEvery training I co-led on how to deal with teen behavior problems in the library, someone would ask for examples of what to say in particular difficult situations. I avoided this and instead focused on building confidence and awareness of teen issues. If you were disappointed by my training, this is the book for you! While library staff can’t cut off someone’s supply of alcohol (we only ask that you keep it in a brown paper bag or out of sight), we can use bartenders’ tactics to deal with angry people, fights, and sleepers.

How to defuse confrontation between customers: “Look, I hope this doesn’t get out of hand, I don’t want any trouble on my shift.” Or “Listen fellas, we don’t want any trouble here, let’s cool it OK?” Or “Listen, take it easy would you? This needs to stop.” And to patrons who provoke others to fight: “OK fellas let’s leave it alone eh.”

This is really solid behavior management for the over-21s which focuses on awareness of the workplace, being present and visible to calm potential problems, using firm and direct language when addressing unacceptable behavior, calling the police when it’s needed, and documenting what happened afterward.