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3.There will be more pressure at new school, work will be harder, you hear all stories of people having their heads flushed down toilet or their money stolen from older pupils.
These thoughts made me extremely worried and nervous about future.
The first day of senior school turned out to be a nightmare. After being split into three classes we were shown to our form rooms. Then a confident and smiling man (our Form Teacher) entered room and proceeded to welcome us into our new school. He then introduced himself and then to my horror said “as most of you do not know each other, I would like you each in turn to stand up and say your name and tell us which junior school you were at previously”. This was not a good start and predictably when it was my turn to speak, I stuttered. People knew straight away about my speech impediment, some laughed and I now had to face this on my own as my best friend from previous school was no longer around to help.
I had to grow up quickly but soon became quite depressed and my five years in senior school were by far worst years in my life with stupid comments from certain adults not helping such as “these are best days of your life so enjoy them”. This statement was apparently supposed to make me feel better!
Various days stick in my mind from school but by far worst day was when I was around fourteen years of age. I was in a science class and we had just had a test. The teacher said “to mark this test, I want each of you in turn to stand up, read out question, and then tell us answer”. They started on front row of which there were four people, second row had three, and I was third person on third row, therefore I would have to read out question ten. I scanned down to question and to my dismay there was a “b” word in question. Typically I stuttered when attempting to read question and various people in class began to laugh. I put my head in my hands to avoid seeing their joyful faces and then started to think, why have I got this problem when everyone is fluent? Why does everyone laugh? Will I always have this stutter? The laughter seemed to last for ages and eventually I looked up at teacher, hoping he would help by controlling class but to my disgust he was laughing himself.
I decided that after taking my GCSE’s that best thing I could do was to leave school and to try and find employment. I left school at sixteen after passing seven GCSE’s grade C and above. People were shocked at my decision, especially my family and asked me why I was leaving; I didn’t feel able to tell them truth and stated that I wanted to earn some money etc.
Trying to find employment became yet another struggle, what work could I do with a stutter? I thought I could work as a simple filing clerk in an office and started to write to different companies. I then had pressure of interviews which I could virtually guarantee I would stutter at. I was accepted after six months of trying by an insurance company, company had a grading system and I was to be on lowest grade. The role was simple and mainly involved filing papers. I decided to take insurance exams and became qualified to be a Financial Advisor at age of 22. The success in exams helped my career and after a slow start quickly progressed up grades to become a Team Leader (Grade 6), again at age of 22. Having a stutter had not hindered my progress but had made life difficult at work.
My first promotion led to me having to answer and make telephone calls. The telephone for me was my worst area of speech and I found it especially difficult in workplace.
The Team Leader position would put a lot of pressure on my speech as I had to interview people, attend meetings, make pressure phone calls, and appraise and lead a team of ten people. I felt I had reached stage where I had to overcome stutter.
Stephen Hill is somebody who has overcome a stammer/stutter and who now helps other people to achieve fluency. Stephen runs one to one speech courses held in Birmingham, England. For people who are unable to attend there is a seventy minute dvd available.