In the summer of 2009 I decided to develop a stutter. I surprised my mom with it first, unveiling it in the very first text message I ever sent her ("i fee-fee-fee-feel like chi-chi-chi-chicken tonight, li-li-li-"), and then performing it through an entire dinner that she spent clenching her teeth tightly and scraping her fork against her plate. When I was washing the dishes later I saw that she had scraped the words "idiot son" into her plate. Success!
A few days later I sent my boss an email asking for a private meeting. He replied with "anytime" and so I marched over, closed the door behind me, and sat down. "What can i do for you?" he asked politely. "Weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-well..." I began, and smiled to show relief when I finally got the word out. He smiled nervously back. "Weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-well, suh-suh-suh-sir..." I continued, and again paused to smile with false relief. "I be-beh-beh-believe that I ha-ha-have been do-dooooo-do-dooooo..."
"Doing?" my boss offered. I smiled. I opened my mouth to start again, and he stopped me. "What do you want? A raise? You have been doing a good job. A raise it is. Yes, a raise. Three percent?"
"Weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-weh-weh..." I started.
"Five percent!" he said, and he looked at the door to his office with a look that said "escape is so close, yet so far away..."
I smiled, then concentrated: "Weh-weh-weh-weh..."
"Ten percent!" he shouted gleefully, and here he jumped up, shook my hand, mumbled something about coffee and clients and meetings, and ran out of his office. Success!
Read more about my stuttered adventures this fall when my self-help book, "Stutter Your Way to Success" is released. It's sure to be a real home run!