Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘workplace stuttering

PamEpisode 145 features Bernice Gauci, who hails from the tiny Southern European island country of Malta. It is underneath Sicily, Italy.

Bernice is 24 years old and is a mental health nurse also studying for her Master’s degree in Family Studies. She is president of the newly formed Stuttering Association of Malta (SAM.)

Listen is as we discuss workplace stuttering and being open with colleagues. We also discuss how Bernice has reached her level of acceptance of stuttering. Her mom introduced her to a speech therapist who challenged her to think of stuttering as a gift. In fact, Bernice did a news interview on stuttering after the launch of SAM, where Bernice talks about how stuttering is indeed a gift. You can read this article here.

We also discuss the recent IFA Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, which Bernice attended. She talks about how she felt she was in a society for people who stutter, where she could just “stutter along.”

And we talk about the Stuttering Association of Malta, whose goals include having kid’s days and reaching out to parents. Bernice hopes that SAM will get more media coverage so that awareness of stuttering can be increased in Malta.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions, for feedback is a gift.

PamEpisode 144 features return guest Briana Pipkin who hails from Dallas, Texas. Briana is 24 years old, and is looking to transition in her work to become a classroom teaching assistant. She had been a speech therapist assistant but really wants to be in a classroom setting.

Briana was on the show three years ago and wanted to come back on so she could stutter more openly, something she’s been working on over the last several years.

Listen in as we talk about interview preparation, covert stuttering and advertising stuttering. This episode focuses a lot on the recent conference of the National Stuttering Association, and about an advertising workshop that Briana attended.

We also talk about work, feared stuttering situations and transitioning from covert to overt stuttering.

The podcast safe music used in this episode  is credited to ccMixter. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions, for feedback is a gift.

Last week, I had the opportunity to emcee an awards event at my school. I call it an opportunity because I try to seize every chance I get to do public speaking. I enjoy it, while many of my fluent colleagues hate it and avoid it all costs. My co-workers were glad that I was willing to do it.

I have had years of experience with public speaking, through my association with Toastmasters and no longer dread it like I once did when I was really covert and afraid to stutter openly. But I still get a little anxious, like anyone would. My adrenaline gets flowing because like anyone, I want to do the best that I can at events like these.

As a stutterer, my biggest challenge is reading names aloud and introducing people. That was to be my primary role as emcee at the awards event – introducing each person and keeping the ceremony moving and flowing.

I was anxious about saying people’s names – as I knew I would stutter on them. And stutter I did. Some with light, easy repetitions, a couple with blocks.

No one seemed to care, as the event was about celebrating success and I was just a cog in the wheel to make sure everything went smoothly. The people whose names I was calling were getting certificates of appreciation – that’s what they focused on.

But it bothered me. It always does when it comes to names. I feel getting a person’s name right is important. Our name is our identity and it’s important. I feel bad when I stutter on a name and it “doesn’t come out right.” I feel like pronouncing someone’s name correctly is a show of respect.

I always worry about this – perhaps needlessly, as like I said, no one seemed to be bothered by it except me. It’s important to me that people get my name right, so I think I should get their’s right too.

What about you? Do you find it difficult with people’s names? Just your own name? Do you place importance on getting someone’s name right?

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I had a really great conversation this week with a colleague about stuttering. I was talking with a new staff member about a Google hangout I participated in with people from all over the world, and how much I enjoyed it. She asked me what was the topic and I said stuttering.

PamEpisode 135 features Ashley Marcinkiewicz, who hails from Clifton Park, NY. Ashley is currently a PhD student at the University of New Hampshire, where she is studying microbiology. As a PhD student, Ashley teaches biology courses. She also enjoys hiking and outdoors activities.

Listen in as we discuss what it’s been like teaching and how Ashley has handled advertising her stuttering. We also discuss techniques and tools Ashley uses for when she gives presentations.

We talk about speech therapy experiences, the importance of attitude in how we approach our stuttering and how stuttering can be used as a benefit.

We also discuss the importance of community and learning from others’ perspectives about stuttering.

This was a great conversation, full of honesty and humor. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions in the comment section.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 134 features Margaret Heffernan, who hails from Greeley, Colorado. Margaret is 20 years old and a senior at the University of Northern Colorado. She is studying theatrical design and technology with an emphasis in stage management.

We discuss the importance of communication in her work and how she “calls shows” as a stage manager. Margaret realizes that she can be a good communicator even if she’s not fluent.

Margaret’s dad also stutters. We discuss what it’s been like growing up with a family member who stutters, pushing herself through hard things, and not feeling so isolated.

Listen in as we also discuss entering adulthood, self-confidence, approaching job search and interviews, being open and turning a corner, and stuttering without fear. Margaret wrote a great piece describing her thoughts about stuttering, called “I Stutter and Some People Wear Glasses.”

This was a great, honest conversation about life transitions. The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

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We all know the statistics. Only about 1% of the adult population stutters, so it’s common to not meet another person who stutters in our everyday lives.

I’ve talked to many people around the world who have shared that they have never met someone else who stutters, which may add to the isolation of stuttering.

I work in an organization that employs about 450 people, and I’ve met three other people who stutter through work. Statistically, that plays out as it should, but it seems strange that I’ve actually met all three of them. I don’t work directly with any of them but we have occasion to see and talk with each other.

They all happen to be men, which bears truth to the belief that there are 4 times as many men who stutter than women.

I have spoken about stuttering with two of the guys. In fact, one of them always asks me whenever I see him if I’ve done anything stuttering related recently. He’s referring to things he knows I’ve done in the past to raise awareness of stuttering, like organizing talks at local libraries and schools.

One person is a relatively new colleague that I see at least once monthly at meetings. I noticed that he stutters, but I didn’t go up to him and say, “hey, I stutter too,” I did that once with someone and it backfired. The person got offended and profusely denied he stuttered, even though to me it was quite obvious.

Everyone is at a different juncture with their stuttering journey and I don’t think it’s up to me to bring it up when I hear someone else stutter. But if this colleague approaches me and wants to discuss stuttering, I will gladly talk his ear off about it!

In an odd way, it feels good that I’ve met others who stutter in my workplace. Growing up, I never met anyone else who stuttered and always wondered if I was the only one.

It’s good to know I’m not the only one in the workplace.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2015.
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