Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Out of the Loop All Day
Yesterday was a long slog at work, so when I got home, I crashed pretty hard. For the second day in a row, I had an unusual 9AM start at work. Thankfully, today was a 'work at home' day, a three-and-a-half hour Zoom workshop about conflict de-escalation in preparation of our uncoming-albeit-truncated Fall fundraising program. The workshop largely consisted of intuitive tactics- stay ahead of problems, make sure communication is unambiguous with a consistent message, don't allow yourself to get trolled and lose your control, and keep conversations with difficult persons from getting derailed. A large portion of the workshop dealt with dealing with mask-noncompliance. Thankfully, we have the full weight of the state and local governments behind us, and the tickets for the events clearly delineate our mandatory mask policy and social distancing rules. One of the more interesting topics in the class involved intervening in conflicts that have escalated to the disruptive stage, such as shouting matches between a recalcitrant visitor and a staff member. Some of the more novel approaches involved confusing the aggressor by approaching and asking a totally unrelated question, such as a query about a local sports team's prospects. My favorite technique was something the lecturer termed the 'soft shock'- this is an action which startles the individuals in conflict, such as feigning a stumble or dropping an object... draw the attention of the individuals-in-conflict away from each other by basically pulling a Clouseau: The lecture was actually fairly entertaining. We split up for a bull-session, we workshopped potential situations, we exchanged anecdotes from previous years. It was three and a half hours well spent, but spent is the key word here- as soon as it was over, it was naptime for me. My traditional shift on Wednesday starts at 9PM, and I'd spent the last two days temporally displaced (I think 'Temporal Displacement' is a D&D spell). After this blog post, I'll be doing a bit of catch-up with current events.
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard at 9:49 PM