The company I work for has a contract with a consulting firm to manage ERP functions. This relationship with the consulting firm has been ongoing for at least five years. Over that time, we've always had one specific consultant that is assigned to our account. Most of our dealings with the consulting firm is done through this individual. We work closely with them to solve problems and complete tasks.
I've only been with the company for three years, but over time I've noticed that our lead consultant speaks slower and slower. He will pause after every two or three words, take a moment, give me a long drawn out "uhhhhhmmmm" before continuing for another two or three words, rinse and repeat. This makes communication very slow and frustrating for everyone involved. I know this because our staff discusses it from time to time. For the most part, I've just put up with it. I assume it's likely a medical disability or some speech impediment.
This creates a major problem for me. I have full responsibility to assign tasks for the consulting firm and to sign their invoices. I've noticed that perhaps we do not receive the full benefit of their services, and their work has been a bit under par. I'm not exaggerating when I say a sentence that I could say in perhaps 4 to 5 seconds could literally take our lead consultant 75 to 90 seconds to say. Their rate is almost 200 USD/hr. Before, my frustration just came from my impatience and this slowing me down, having to talk to him for much longer that I think is appropriate. But now I'm starting to get emotional when I see the amount of time it takes for them to do something and how much I'm paying for him to stammer and say "umm" for 80% of the time.
Normally I feel like I can suppress my frustration pretty well, but this morning I lashed out a bit while on the phone with him. I said "C'mon man, get it out, I've got things to do". I felt ugly, and I'm not proud of that, but it's obvious to me now that this is a much bigger issue than I thought and something needs to be done.
My question is, what are my options? Is there something wrong with me? Do I need to learn more patience? Should I talk to him? Ensure that he is getting speech therapy that they need? Should I have the consulting firm adjust their rate to accommodate the time difference? Should I discuss with the consulting firm and request a new consultant? Should I cancel the contract and move on to a new consulting firm?
Update: I apologized later that same morning in a private face to face discussion.