Make Room For The Stuttering

The Least Expected Laughter

Posted on: June 19, 2014

I was at a meeting earlier in the week to begin planning for an upcoming large event. There were about 10 people on the committee and we all did not know each other.

So, we did the round robin of introductions, with people saying their names and which building or department we worked in.

I shared my name and then started to say which building I was from, but blocked as I was saying the first word. The block lasted only about 5 seconds, but was long enough to be noticeable.

A woman across from me laughed and said, “what, did you forget where you work?”

Ah, we’ve all heard this or been asked the equally ridiculous “did you forget your name?”

I’ve been so good over the past few years in not letting this bother me as it once did, but on this day, it did. The woman who laughed is a special needs teacher.

I didn’t expect for someone who works with people with differences and disabilities to be so quick to laugh and make such an offensive comment. I expected her to be more sensitive and professional.

That’s what stung the most. The expectation that someone “in the know” would be the last person to laugh and be rude.

I shared this with some friends in a Facebook group and they asked me how I responded. I didn’t respond – I said nothing as I didn’t want to draw any attention to how embarrassed I felt.

I wish this stuff wouldn’t happen but it still does. I’m an adult who stutters. Imagine how a kid would feel if they had been laughed at like that.

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3 Responses to "The Least Expected Laughter"

Ahh yes they old, “Don’t you know your blah blah?” I had that happen to me at my part time job, which ended up in me being bullied for my stutter in front of customers. Never again will I return their… However, thank you for sharing this its sad that this type of thing occurs even after petty highschool is through.

Keep your head up, haters are jealous of my stutter.

– James

How incredibly brave of you to post this and share it with others who may have experienced the same thing. I hope, if you feel comfortable, that at some point you pull this person aside and let them know how insensitive their reaction was.

[…] Pam has posted over at Make Room for the Stuttering about an unfortunate turn of events at a recent meeting. […]

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2016. 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 2016.