More tales of the Stuttering Ambush – Lunch

Yesterday I talked about getting ambushed at work. Today let’s just continue into lunch.

These days I’m going to the same place almost every day. Sometimes by myself. When I go by myself, sometimes I’ll meet someone else there, and we’ll sit and have lunch. Things are nice. He probably knows I stutter, and he doesn’t make a big deal out of it. I don’t have to introduce myself to him.

But sometimes disaster strikes.

It works like this. I’ll get to the restaurant (Subway) early, order up my food, and then sit down at a table. At about this time, my buddy comes in and starts ordering. I nod and wave. Then I notice that he’s brought along somebody new.

Great. Ambushed again.

So what are my choices — eat quickly, and then run out? Say I’ve got a meeting? Maybe not make eye contact and hope they’ll forget that I’m here? Hope that someone in front of them will take the chairs that are empty at my table thus leaving them nowhere to sit? Should I call someone up and have a long conversation over the phone? Spill my drink all over the place and take a lot of time cleaning it up?

The dynamics get me all worked up as well. I glance to see that my buddy is first in line, and the guest is second. Ok, so maybe he’ll introduce me, that’s good. But then something gets held up, and they switch places. No, no, no! Make it stop. They switch again. My buddy has paid, and he’s coming this way. He puts down his tray and shakes my hand, saying hello. Yeah, things are good. The tension ratchets up as he then leaves to fill up his drink, passing his guest who’s paying. He instructs his guest to sit with me at my table.

Well. Here we go, I guess.

Since there’s only one guy, I have to see what happens — yeah, he’s introducing himself. I don’t catch his name at all. I try to read his ID badge, but that’s pointless as well. I can’t think straight, and I’m certainly not breathing either.

Stutter, stutter, stutter, drag my name out. By now my buddy is done filling his drink and is walking back. This guy (who’s still waiting for me to say my name) is awkwardly standing with his tray on the table, waiting to leave to fill his own drink. I’m still trying to get my name out. Ok, finally that’s done.

New Guy goes to get his drink, and my buddy comes to sit down again. New Guy comes back, and there’s a good bit of silence.

What was his name again?

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