Friendly chit-chat

As I mentioned the other day, I was flying back east. I remembered that I had another speech win traveling.

I was on a smaller plane, two seats on each side. I sit down, and after a while a rather large guy sits down next to me. (We were flying to Indy, and it was a Sunday night). So I asked him if he was going to Indy. Then what kind of work he does there. Short essays. He told me what he was going to be doing … training for his company that has their offices there. Ah, ok. Never been outside of downtown, etc., I told him about my short experience there, our office is downtown.

I was doing well, the pace was good, and I was breathing.

Our chat reached a stopping point, and then they announced that the doors are now closed.

The flight attendant came by and told him that there are two empty seats all the way in the back. So we exchanged polite goodbyes and good lucks, and that was it.

I’m trying to practice more and more in “spontaneous social situations.” I try to keep things comfortable for me, maybe bring up a few canned phrases and stories. Venture out here and there. Short and sweet.

Your attention, please

One of the things about working in an office is that people are always coming and going, walking and talking. They have conversations just standing in the hall, as they walk up and down the stairs, and across desks and people.

Very often someone will be leaving our office area, and someone sitting will make a comment to them. It’s loud enough so that most others can hear it, but the person walking out (who it’s directed to) often does not. So they have to stop and ask, “what’s that?”

Since I stutter, this is pretty hard. I mean, if it’s me making the comment while sitting at my desk, it means that the words were spontaneous enough, were sufficiently given a breath of air, and sadly, are probably not going to come out like that again.

As soon as the person says, “what’s that?” then the focus is back on me. In an open room. And this person was walking out — so they’re in a hurry — and here I am holding things up.

I think what my strategy is going to be is to get their attention first. Or make sure I have it (eye contact or stand up, or … throw something at them) and then start talking. Or just avoid this type of interaction. Notice I didn’t say avoid talking. Just a certain type of conversation.

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