The Conversation

by Jim Abbott

Rogers and Co; this is Mark speaking.
How may I help you?

"HHHello, my name is Br------------"

Could you speak up sir, I'm having a hard time hearing you?

"----I'm ccccalling to sp----------"

Are you all right sir, is there something that I can do?

"I need to sp,to sp,to sp,-----to talk to---"

Excuse me sir, there's someone on the other line
Thanks for holding, now let's try this one more time

"MMMy name is Br,Br,Brian Mc-----"

I didn't quite get that, could you repeat what you just said?

"I said, my last name is Mc----"

I'm very sorry sir, what was that again?

"---------I'm Brian um--McGin---um---McGinnes"

I have another call, please hold for a minute

Okay now, could you just tell me with whom you wished to speak?

"---There's a ggentle--man named Smith wh,who I wa,was supposed to mmm-----"

Meet? A gentleman named Smith that you were supposed to meet?

"Yes,but I wwould appreciate it if you wouldn't interrupt me when I spea----"

Now sir, would that be Robert or Richard?

"I think it's RRichard, but I'm nnnot really -------um-----sure"

Very well sir, please hold once more
Mr. Smith is not in right now, perhaps you could call back?

"I really nnneed -----to le---um----leave a mmmessage"

Very well sir, but are you sure about that?

"-------Yes, I'm quite sure, why ddddo you ask?"

Well, our voice mail is broke
And I have so much work to do
This call has already lasted far too long
And I'm sure you realize that too
Certainly you can understand
That I'm a very busy man
And with the way that you speak
Well sir, you know
I just don't have all week
So if you don't mind
Perhaps you could call back later
When I have a bit more time

"LLLLListen MMark; it was Mark, wasn't it?
"I've hhhhad about all I'm ggggonna sstand of this!"
"Since you've an,an,an,pppicked up the ---um--pphone
"You've bbbbeeen ac---ting extremely rrrude

Well, I'm terribly sorry sir
"And I am vvvery insulted by your atti--tude!"
I didn't mean to be insult...

"Oh, and I'll dddo my best to try"
"Not to wa,wa,waste too mmuch of your oh so precious time"
" MMark, the one question I'd sssimply llike to ask of you"
"Is hhow wwould you like to sp,sp,spend a few minutes"
"Walking in mmy -----shoes?"
"For people who stu----tter"
"Talking on the ph,phone is a very hard thing"
"And you can't hhave any kkind of idea"
"As to th,th,th,the panic that it br,br,br,brings"
" -----I dddidn't choose to st,st,stutter, it chose me"
"Geez man,don't yyou think that I"d like to be able"
"To sp,speak fluently"
"SSSo my stuttered speech annoy's yyyou, does it now; do tell"
"Well trust mmme, my fr,friend"
"It bothers mmme as well"
"NNow, if you wwould, please inform Mr. Smith that for today's mee----ting"
"Brian McGinnes is going to be a couple of hours late"
"And if that's nnnot good for him, maybe we cccan reschedule"
"PPerhaps at a later date"

Yes I will tell him Mr. McGinnes, and sir
Please accept my apology
And what I said, you are right
It was very rude of me
But I guess at this point there's nothing really I can say
To make up for the insensitive way
In which I have spoken to you
And as I sit and think about it, yes it is very true
How could someone like me possibly have a clue
As to what a person who stutters, a person like you
Every day of your life is forced to go through
Again, Mr. McGinnes, I sincerely do apologize
And for what it's worth, thank you sir
For opening up my eyes

"--------Well then, I ggguess on that nnote"
"I'd say th,th,that our conver,ver,versation is finished"
"So I'll just sssay ggood day to you, Mark"

And good day to you as well, Mr. Brian McGinnes

added with permission April 30, 2001