Should I Text or Call?

Henriette writes in:

Thanks again for explaining how POs work, you saved my green PA ass!

I’m writing because a couple of months ago I had an interview with the Designer and the Art Director for a show, which went great, but the show never actually started. The Art Director called me and gave my his cell phone number at the time to talk to me directly about the situation.

So, now the show I’m on is ending and I would like to get back in contact with this guy, but I only have his cellphone number!

My coordinator absently said “yeah oh well, text him, then!”, but I’m not really sure that is the best idea in the world. But then again, maybe I’m just paranoid. AND, I’m the Italian one, so I’m still struggling with social etiquette here.

Honestly, cell phones are new enough, I think everyone’s still figuring out what the etiquette is.

But if someone actually gives you their phone number (as opposed to just putting it on the crew list), they’re giving you the okay to call or text.

Texting has been around longer in Europe, so the rules may be different there. Personally, I find texting to be incredibly informal,1 so I wouldn’t do it until we have a firmly established relationship. Text messages are curt and to-the-point. That can come off as rude with someone you only just met.

If I were you, I’d actually call, unless your accent is indecipherable. There’s a decent chance you’ll have to leave a voicemail, so be sure to speak clearly when you give your name and number.

This goes not just for immigrants and people for whom English is a second language. There are people who grew up in America who I can’t understand. You know who you are.

Lastly, if you do speak another language, be sure to put that on your resume. You never know when that’ll come in handy.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. So informal, Firefox’s spell checker doesn’t know the word.
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