Friday, 10 July 2009

Drive-Thru Madness!!!!

First off! Apologies.. again.. I've gotten quite bad at this whole blogging thing. Problem is though that although I have the urge to write about my experiences I have become quite lethargic with it... I'll try to be a bit better.

So since the last update I've had two jobs. One was at a books factory but that work dried up when the recession hit... I then started work for a fast food chain to help pay with my living fees and it gives me great flexible hours so I can still somewhat concentrate on university. In my interview I explicitly asked to work in the back so I didn't have to deal with customers...and my stutter

Anyway... The first few weeks were a bit boring... I barely spoke to people, kept quiet, didn't engage into conversation. My typical first impression I guess. I started opening up a bit and speaking more but for some reason my stutter is pretty bad when I'm talking to new people. Nobody made a deal out of it which I was kind of surprised. One or two people were curious about it and I entertained their questions but other then that nothing really.

Fast-forward six-seven months till about last month and I'm still there. Things are good, made friends, rarely stutter when I speak to them. There are the few occasional things that I get stuck on... When you make ham/cheeseburgers you need to shout "cheese on" to know how many cheese and hamburgers to make. I know hate the word cheese. Ch-cheese... Ya..

So I was resigned to the fact that I'd just work in the back until... I went to get a Subway one day and the guy behind the counter stuttered. Crap! That takes balls... the amount of options you have for a sandwich, the amount of questions people must ask! He didn't seem flustered at all.. he just stuttered through it all. He picked up on mine as well and we small-talked.. but that was my inspiration that if he can go through that, why can't I?

But.. as usual I just decided not to, until a co-worker pushed me to do the drive-thru window, because nobody else could and I was the last resort. He was there for the first few cars and then left. And you know what? It was absolutely fine. Sure I stuttered, sure I used every trick in the book but it was absolutely fine. When I got into real problems I'd just say "sorry I've got a speech impediment" and they would be happy to wait for me to finally spit out the simple question. Ok, with customer service you're always going to get the odd jerk but that was a rarity.

This got me pretty happy... and I told a couple of friends in excitement but they just kind of shrugged it off. I don't think they realized the mental wall I had just walked through. I can now do customer service. I mean.. I could always do it. But I now know I can. And if I can do that, then I can do more things I think I can't.

I have found that my emotional health, with regards to my stuttering, is a lot healthier now that I have accepted it rather than fight it. I'm not saying don't go to therapy, I'm just saying that for me... I've given up the fight. And the sooner I manage to adapt my life's goals and ambitions around this fact, the sooner I will be at peace with my stutter. But more about that in another post!

Wow... that was really long.. If you've read this far thanks!


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Calvin77 said...

Mike, great job. I know the feeling to be in a position when you have to speak in a drive-thru situation and the anxiety it provokes. I know the feeling of breaking thru and doing something you thought was impossible. I found the same reaction from friends, like it was no big deal. Stuttering is reallyu like an ice berg. People only see 10% of the stuttering and not the 90% that we keep, inside and don't really show or talk about. Keep up the great work.

Hiten Vyas said...

Good to see you back Mike. This reminded me of going to McDonalds drive-thrus years ago with my family in the car. I would be in the driving seat and would dread having to make the order, because I would block when asking for the food. Great to hear you've been making progress.