Why is it that I feel so proud of myself if I can put together a full sentence when talking to my boss without sounding like an idiot?

I'm a reasonably smart guy. I graduated from a Big 10 university. I'm an English major for pete's sake. But whenever I sit down for a meeting with him I feel like I sound like an idiot or blather and fumble for words.

What I mean to say: Almost all the contracts have been signed and returned. I gave you a spreadsheet that states this clearly.

What comes out: “The spreadsheet I gave you shows that a reasonable amount of space, I mean shelter, uh…contracts have been recieved by us…well by the office. You know. Work.”

What I mean to say: I revised that document for you. Did you look over the changes I made?

What comes out: “Those changes that you wanted me to make, which I totally agree with. They were good changes. Good ideas, sir. I…uh…made those changes in that document you wanted changed and so they're changed and I put them on your desk. Did you look at them? I mean, I know you're busy, and whenever you can get to them is cool. But did you get a chance to uh… take a look at them?”

I'm not nervous. He's a very cool man and a great boss. He's not imposing and I don't scare easily. I can even talk to most girls without sounding like an idiot (sometimes, others may disagree), I just don't know what it is.

What I mean to say: I got lost coming back from lunch. You're correct I was a little late coming back. I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

What comes out: “You know…whatever. Don't tell the bg guy. I'll make it up later.”

That's not the kind of thing to say to a boss. Even if I laugh to show him that I'm kidding. Bosses aren't allowed to laugh.

I'm switching careers to fast food.