[TheThinkTank] Theft, punishment, etc

Michael Kirk michael.john.kirk at gmail.com
Fri Jun 7 12:16:13 PDT 2013

There are always tough clients, but I'd say we at the LA Bicycle Kitchen
have a conversation about asking someone to leave maybe every 6 months.

If possible, "taking a break" is preferable to full on banning. For one,
it's not practical for us to ban someone for life, and
an unenforceable threat just turns it into a Mom said no, go ask Dad

Have someone who is on good (least bad) terms with the client have a
one-on-one conversation, outside of the shop in case there's a scene and to
emphasize that they (or better yet, their behaviors) aren't welcome by the
group. Try to be clear that you are acting on the groups behalf, it's not
that "Joe says you can't come anymore".

Something like:

"We think that you've (taken things knowing it's against the rules | acted
aggressively towards volunteers | taken advantage of us in some specific
way). As a group we want you to take a break from the space. If you come
back in the next month, you will be asked to leave."

I prefer this because it's reasonable to enforce, while still giving some
real consequences to a person that maybe just feels invincible. Also, it
gives them a path to be on good standing with your group in a month.

Immediately, I can think of three people that we've asked to take a break
like this. One of them (a few months ago) hasn't come back. A second stayed
away for 6 months or so, and now seems to be happy to follow our rules, and
the third is back and raising hell all over again. Your mileage will vary.

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