Phone Call Tragedy

It gets awkward. And I usually only call people when the subject is urgent.

The only real problem is that I don’t know what the reason behind a neglected reply is. It could very easily not be the person’s fault, but it also could.

When it’s business, it should be serious. For example, I’ll have a client who has an audition on Saturday. He needs an accompanist and I’ve agreed to help him, but all I have is a phone number. I tell you, I blow up with joy if he picks up the phone, because we can actually talk! However more often than not the phone is not picked up, and I am left with the answering machine. So I’ll leave a message explaining who I am and a possible plan in case they get the message and can’t get back to me.

A backup plan is good and all, except for the fact that there isn’t any certainty that this person ever got the message. Most commonly, the message was skipped over and he is in need to being called again. That’s fine, the audition date is coming up soon and it would be important to rehearse the music so this guy has a chance.

So you call again later, and the phone isn’t picked up, and you wonder if this is even the right phone number you’re reaching. If it isn’t, then either Facebook stalking occurs or I’m off the hook. And yes, there have been situations in which I as the pianist have found clients on Facebook, who even after accepting a friend request do nothing to contact me to rehearse with them. I suppose now that I am going off to college, students who ask for pianists will actually be serious about their talents. In high school, it has been a hassle.

The same goes with money as well. I cannot say how many times I have called people and while they do answer, money is never paid. I do not get business all year long; each single payment is precious to me. I don’t believe payment is not a difficult concept, but it’s incredible what excuses I have gotten for money not being paid. After several weeks I do happen to become tired of the constant asking for compensation. There have been cases where I have just given up, resolving that if that client ever crosses my path again I can sue or be paid with large amounts of interest.

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