Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A late-night update

I got a new part-time job. I now work at my local cinema. My responsibilities are heavily focused on customer-interaction; selling food, directing guests to their screens, seating some guests, and cleaning up after people. It has been a pretty insightful experience. After all, this is my first job where my main duty was serving customers (I did very little of this at McDonald's). I would be talking for hours on end to customers.

Firstly, the interview process was interesting. The one-on-one interview went fine until I brought up my stutter and then I couldn't stop stuttering. The group interview went great. Ya... I can't really explain it. Either way, I was surprised that I got the job. Why would a cinema that prides itself on great customer service employ someone who can't communicate effectively? Thus, I feel sort of indebted to them. I feel as if I owe them for taking a "risk". I guess that says something about the respect I have for my stutter.

Anyhow, I've been in the job for two months or so. An outsider would probably compliment on how well I have managed my stutter. I rarely get blocks and manage to interact with the customers like everybody else, yet I find time to critique myself. I feel disappointed every time I can't get a word out, every time I say something different to avoid the stutter, every time I see that the customer is a little confused as I babble on. So whilst I may talk for 6 hours without a significant block, I get angry with myself if I get a small short block.

That said, it doesn't really affect my ability to perform the job. I can communicate on the radio, albeit at times a bit poorly, I can interact with the customers and so forth. However, I know I could do better. I feel that my stutter is my limiting component to perfection that so many of us strive towards. How can I be a better employee if I can't overcome this stutter? And I do want to be a better employee.

I have often spoken in the past how I felt that the best course of action was to accept that I stutter and just progress, however, at times that feels like accepting defeat. I don't like to lose without a fight.

Does my personality define my stutter or does my stutter define my personality?