first contact

I received the following texts today. As always, everything is transcribed directly from my phone, with incriminating evidence hidden.

Singer E: (1:03) Hey! I’m in need of an accompanist for my voice lessons. I’m wondering how much you charge and if you’re available on mondays [time-time]. Thanks!
-[First Name]

Singer F: (6:10) (1/3) Hi. My name is [Full Name] and I am a friend of [someone I already accompany]. I am looking for an accompanist for this semester, and after hearing nothing but good
Singer F: (6:10) (2/3) things about you from [singer], I figured I would ask you. My lessons are tentatively scheduled for Wednesdays at [time]. My teacher is [teacher]. I
Singer F: (6:10) (3/3) understand if this won’t work out, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Yours, [First name].

So I guess there’s only one way to put this, let’s not beat around the bush: Why did they think that texting me was a good way to start? Would it have been so difficult to actually dial the phone and leave me a voicemail, or to write an email? The second set of texts especially – it already is an email. And a rather professional one at that. If you go through all the trouble to write such a nice letter, is it too much of a stretch to actually email it? Also, do you just assume everyone has text capabilities now?

Is professionalism completely dead? Texting is far too familiar to begin a professional relationship. You don’t even know the person yet! It’s like trying to make a business acquaintance with a pickup line. “Hey baby, I hear your portfolio is doing fiiiine. How’s about you and me trade stocks?”

(I left them both voicemails.)

On the other hand if this is what happens when email gets involved, maybe I don’t want to go there. Last semester this happened:

9/7/10
Hello,

I am looking for an accompanist that can work with me twice a week for 30 minutes each time (Wednesday afternoon for my voice class and any other day for practice). I will be working with you for an 1 hour a week. If you could please e-mail me back to this address or call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx if you’re interested as well as prices and schedule. Thank you.

Regards,
Singer G.

9/7/10
Singer G,

Thanks for contacting me! Unfortunately, before either of us can do anything else, I need to know when your lesson time is! Beyond that, I’d be interested, but I’d like some more information: what year are you, who’s your professor, are you a major, and what rep will you be singing? As for me, my rates are $30/hr or appropriate fraction thereof. Looking forward to hearing back from you –

-Liz

9/7/10
My lessons are from 12:30 – 1:30pm. I will need an accompanist fro the last 30 minutes of the class which is at 1pm tomorrow at room 16. If you could reply to this ASAP I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Regards,
Singer G

9/7/10
Singer G,

I’m afraid I’m still missing some important details. Am I playing for your lesson tomorrow, or your studio class? What building are we in – HMU or KMU? Also, can we meet beforehand so you can get me some music? I don’t know that you’d need me tomorrow, since we haven’t actually met yet.

Thanks,
Liz

——

I never heard from him again.

**UPDATE! Singer F heard my voicemail, called me back, and we set something up. Singer E didn’t bother to listen to my voicemail, called my unfamiliar number and asked who I was and why I called him.

(Also, for those of you wondering who Singers A, B, C, and D are.)

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1 Comment

Filed under adventures in accompanying, this actually happened

One response to “first contact

  1. Peggy

    No, professionalism is not dead..yet. It is not taught in this day of political correctness. It just requires those of us who really care to teach the unwashed what it is all about and help bring them up out of the muck. It takes patience and your efforts will be rewarded (if you don’t strangle them first).

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