The hanger (hunger + anger) is real.
A video began circulating online about University of Connecticut student Luke Gatti, who was denied service in a dining hall after arriving with an open container of alcohol in his hand. But Gatti wanted his bacon and jalapeño macaroni and cheese. We’ve all had those days. However, when Gatti became vulgar and began pushing employees of the dining hall, he was tackled by a member of the staff.
The video is nine minutes long and has some moments that will make you laugh and others that will make you moan. Although an interesting watch, it is also a good glimpse into how people handle conflict.
Going into the halfway point of the semester, many students have had the occasional encounter with a student who is “having too much fun.” When dealing with these students, the situation can go from zero to 100 in an instant. Knowing how to adapt to the situation or deescalate a situation is important for your safety and the safety of others.
The staff did a good job handling Gatti. The staff managed to avoid majorly enraging Gatti and only used physical force when necessary. The manager talked to Gatti in a clear, calm manor as Gatti became louder and more aggressive.
Yet there were many areas in which the staff could have handled the situation better. For instance, toward the beginning of the video, the manager tried to tell the student that anyone in the dining hall would know that students are not allowed to bring in open containers. He then proceeded to turn to another student to ask them if they would bring in alcohol.
When handling a conflict, you shouldn’t go out of your way to involve others. That just brings in unneeded attention. There may be part of you thinking, ‘Yeah, but when I take down John Doe I want everyone to know what he did!’ Take a breath, and think about whether you or John Doe really needs everyone watching you go at it.
On top of that, when the manager tried to leave the situation, two other employees of the dining hall and a few students tried to step in and handle it as well. One student got in between the two the first time Gatti attempted to shove the manager. This was useful because it prevented the situation from escalating too quickly. But, the two employees who enter the situation do it to talk to Gatti. It leads to them and the manager all talking over each other as they try to calm Gatti down and persuade him to leave. When one person is handling something, take a second to stand back and only involve yourself if absolutely necessary. Too much stimulation can negatively affect the situation.
You should check out the video. It has some good moments and shows how you can handle a situation like this. Just remember, before engaging in a volatile situation, think about if you’re needed, if it could harm you and whether you would make the situation worse. Remember, sometimes the mac and cheese isn’t worth it.