29th April 2020
Just before the coronavirus hit, Meghan Dwyer landed an interview at a place she's wanted to work ever since she was a kid — Disneyland. Would her stammer ruin Meghan's chances of getting her dream job?
Ah, the classic interview jitters: such a classic feeling, but a feeling most stutterers despise having. Doing an interview with a company as big as Disney was pretty nerve racking for me.
When driving up to the place nerves were shooting through my veins like an electric shock. My brain was telling me to turn around but my heart was telling me do it. I could feel my jaw getting tighter and my stutter getting worse and a knot was forming in my stomach. It felt so surreal getting an interview with a company I have been dreaming to work at since I was a kid.
I let my smile do the talking, but inside I was nervous as heck and my speech was choppy. I definitely felt like it was going to be the death of getting this job.
As soon as I got called in for the interview I let my smile do the talking, but inside I was nervous as heck and my speech was choppy. I definitely felt like it was going to be the death of getting this job. Whenever these opportunities pop up I never tell them about my speech unless they ask about it, because I’m scared to tell them. The woman interviewing me dealt with me and with my stutter well, I was thankful for that. But I was terrified I wasn’t going to get the job because of it.
The interview was over; I was sent outside for an hour but it felt like forever. Looking around didn’t ease any of my anxiety but part of me kept thinking this pipe dream could come true today.
The moment of truth
I was asked back inside the interview room and then I heard those faithful words: “I looked at everything and I would like to offer you a job at Disney.” I kept calm and collected but it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Inside I felt like a kid on a sugar rush going crazy. The moment I walked out it felt like I was walking on air, like I was floating — it didn’t feel real. Walking to my car, still on cloud nine and sporting the biggest smile I’ve ever had. I did it!
It didn’t really hit me until Mickey Mouse himself gave me my name tag.
The Smokejumpers Grill at the Disneyland in California is going to be my home now for a while and plating the food is going to be my job. Even a stutterer like me can land this dream job, and even though I’ve been furloughed at the moment because of the coronavirus, it’s still surreal. It didn’t really hit me until Mickey Mouse himself gave me my name tag — then it clicked in my head that I’m officially a Cast Member.
March to the beat of your own drum
Growing up, I was bullied like mad for being out of the social norm. Those people shaped me into who I am today. Those people were sandpaper — even though they scraped me I came out polished, and they became worthless and used up. It took me years to develop the mindset of working through it.
Never let your disability define your self-worth. It is the most amazing thing that has happened to you because it’s what makes you different. It’s great because you march to the beat of your own drum. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Let your stutter shine because it’s amazing. Only 1% of the population stutters, so we are as rare as unicorns. I’m living my dream and you can live yours too.
(Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels)