Stuttering and Searching

Things are going well here regarding the move within the Kingdom. Making progress, but it’s been a little rough, speech-wise.

What happens is that my company gives me a list of compounds with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Some work, some don’t.

So what I’m left doing is driving to the compounds. This involves pulling up to the gate, and then … opening my mouth. And explaining what I need. It’s simple, really. To talk to the manager. Is he here? I need to ask about housing availability.

Yeah. Lots of words. To someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language. And from the inside of a car that’s several feet away from the gate. And sometimes there’s a random person standing nearby watching this all happen. And sometimes there’s a car behind me, itching to get in. Plenty of fun stresses to add up.

Since I drove around on a Saturday (weekends are Fri-Sat here) some managers were in, most were out. So I got a bunch of phone numbers to call (mobile numbers … more fun). I did talk to a few managers (or their lackeys) in person. Most of them said, no, we’re full right now. Thanks!

But I’m pushing through. Just sucking it up, stuttering, stammering, bumbling, stumbling, getting numbers and looking for things to follow up with. I’ve got a good lead on something now, so hopefully it’ll work out, and this part will be done.

Fortunately I’ve been able to do this solo — the family is out of Kingdom. I can’t imagine how much more stressful it’d be with a car full of kids …

Stuttering in College Part 6

Onto junior year. By this time I was really happy at the newspaper and could see that yes, I might be able to reach my freshman-year goal of becoming editor in chief by senior year. The position was really only open to someone who had experience at the paper, and who the advisors were familiar with. There was one other person I’d have to interview against, but I don’t think he was taking it terribly seriously.

This is when I started to see how organizations — and moving up in one — really worked. It was all about networking and who you knew. You couldn’t just cold-call and hope to get a job.

My junior year I also moved off campus (but still within easy walking distance) and got a car. The car was useful for driving the four hours back and forth to my parent’s house. And driving aimlessly around Pittsburgh on the weekends. Gas was cheaper back then.

During high school, I managed to get a bit of a reputation with regards to my somewhat reckless driving. I don’t think I was too bad — I never crashed into anybody or anything — but it continued in college once I got my car. The other bit that added to the story was that I didn’t drink — so I’d end up being the designated driver all the time.

Sometime during my junior year I had the first thoughts regarding my stuttering and what was really going on below the surface. I got a taste of the iceberg — although I didn’t know about it at the time. And even though I got a taste, I didn’t do anything about it.

It goes like this: I realized that my driving — reckless or fast or otherwise — was causing people to talk about it. They’d think me, then they’d think of the driving. My subconscious had, for the past few years, been playing this little game. It found things to divert everybody’s attention. Sure, they seemed innocent or “just the way I was,” but really, they were all just a diversion. If people were talking about my driving, then they weren’t talking about my stutter.

I think for some people who stutter, they’re introverted to begin with. So they’re not doing other things to divert everybody’s attention. I’m not. So if I was going to be out there, out talking to friends, seeing new things and having new experiences, I’d dictate the terms. And what people would remember of me during those times.

A few years after college, I sat down to write more of my thoughts on this. And realized a lot of who I was had been set up by my crafty subconscious.

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