After asking a few other people on line what the deal was I determined that the first step was to find an empty kiosk and do the self-serve check in. Step two would be to stand on an over-one-hour-long line to drop off our bags. But which over-one-hour-long line was the right one? I certainly did not want to stand in the WRONG over-one-hour-long line!
As I was walking back to my wife and son with our newly printed boarding passes in hand, who should I see but an American Airlines employee.
So I said, "May I ask you a question?"
She turned to me, stopped walking and said, "Okay."
So I said, "I just printed our boarding passes and I was wondering w-w-w-w-w- (that's right, I had a block on the word "which").
As I was trying to get the word out, she said, "TALK, TALK, TALK! I DON'T HAVE TIME!"
At the same time that she was interrupting me she was backing away from me. When she was finished with her remark she turned her back to me and walked away.
This was certainly not the first time this kind of thing has happened to me or to other people who stutter that I know. But it was still shocking, frustrating, maddening, and sad.
Needless to say, American Airlines will be hearing from me. She picked the wrong person to interrupt and walk away from.
I wanted to share this experience because I know this kind of thing happens all to often and it is important for people who stutter to remember that we are not alone in being discriminated upon or treated unjustly because of the way we speak. I would love to hear from those of you who have been on the receiving end of unthinking or cruel comments. Take a moment to leave a comment sharing your story, and keep in mind that you're never alone, and there's never any excuse for someone treating you rudely because of your stutter.