Posted On March 19, 2014 By In Advice For Men, Advice For Women, Girlzone, Lifestyle

Please Stop Texting Your Boss

 
 

While I’m aware I’ll have to survive off fantasies of a world without texting, I know I can fight for one cause…

Please, dear God, stop texting your boss.

Why? Texting has already ruined every relationship in your life. Let’s go through a mental checklist:

Lovers?
Deleted your number awhile ago.

Friends?
Sick of the same stories.

Parents?
Don’t even call you anymore.

You?
It’s so over…
(because you just killed yourself in a texting and driving accident)

Did anyone text me? No. What about now? Hmm. Hmm. Hmmm. Oh now? Mom. Hi Mom. I’m driving. STOP IT.

When did it all begin for you? I wish I had a definitive answer. “This was my first text.” It should have been a pivotal moment, but I haven’t a clue.

I know I was given my first cell phone in 7th grade, a pink Nokia which I used to play Snake and call my best friend Elaine (at home). In high school I was adamant that my parents purchase the Batman phone. What was the Batman phone? Well, The Dark Knight was due to be released and Nokia manufactured a promotional black flip phone with the Batman logo and pre-loaded Batman and Joker quotes. For a girl who remembers the day of Ledger’s death like most Baby Boomers remember JFK, this item was crucial for survival.

I lied to you. There was a phone in between the Pink Nokia and the Batman Nokia. A chunky flip phone that was stolen in the girl’s locker room during P.E., how terribly tragic. There might have been a Blackberry somewhere in there too. Even a Razor, or two. My brother has had over 30 cell phones to date. Our mom is convinced it might make a good coffee table book – the tales of lost cellular devices.

How do I remember all of these things, but I cannot remember the first text I sent, ultimately ruining all human interaction to follow? And for that matter, when was the first text sent? I shall Google it now…

In the year of 1992, on the 3rd of December, the message “Merry Christmas” was sent by a Canadian test engineer. And there you have it, the day the music died. From this point on:

  1. Laziness grew exponentially.
  2. All intent, tone, and manner would be lost.
  3. Every person would drift further into their own, psychotic, man made island.

I wish I could say that as I got older, I cared less of the troubles of texting. An absolute lie. Texts in high school were bearable. No response from Bill? These reasons were legitimate: He ran out of text messages from the month or text messaging isn’t even in his plan! What a delight. Today? There is not one viable excuse. Even worse, we’ve settled into our textual personalities.

Multiple Messengers
… Crack Addicts
Emoji <3ers 🙂
…Dreamers
Essayists
… Over-thinkers
Forgetful Reply-ers
… Liars
Immediate Responders
…Loners
and the worst of all, double entrendre…ers
… Conniving B*tches

Why is this list so important? Because I was able to make it. It isn’t the Truth. I assigned my judgment to a texting style and could have easily made a mistake along the way. You’ve done it before, yes? You’ve taken the one word response as “I hate you” and you’ve assumed a “sounds good” to mean, “I love you so much and cannot wait to see you.”

Imagine what can happen with your boss. Terrible, terrible things.

Say, your boss is a one-worder. You don’t know it, but he’s always been a one-worder. Now he’s texting you about scheduling a meeting tomorrow and you say you simply cannot attend. You’re an essayist, of course. You explain all the reasons you cannot attend. You’re double booked! Your desk is stacked! There is no way you can make it happen! His response? “Fine.” Oh. No. Anything but fine. Fine might as well mean fired. It’s over for you. The next day you resign a perfectly good job because of the anxiety of making eye contact with him. Now you’re unemployed and can’t pay your cell phone bill.

Or what if, you really are a forgetful texter? Your boss texted you on Sunday afternoon. You saw it in the middle of a OITNB binge, but were distracted by Matthew McConnoughy’s hair. What did she ask? Whether or not you followed up with that client. You did. You’ll tell her later. Did you tell her later? You completely forgot because now you’re watching all of Bob’s Burgers. And your boss is the sensitive type. She’d never double text. She’s waiting at home to hear from you and it’s ruining her night. By tomorrow, she’ll hate you, she’ll follow up with the client herself, then you’ll receive a confused email from the client, and he’s questioning how the business is run. Everything was fine until texting got in the way.

Or what about this?

You’re drunk. Your boss texts you. You respond, “I’m drunk.” They’re not laughing, but you’re too drunk to know that. You add a few emojis to lighten the mood. Now you look wasted. “But I thought we were buddies!” Yeah, well, you aren’t.

So don’t risk it. Don’t risk the intent, the autocorrect from hell, the wrong emoji. It’s already difficult to get a job, getting fired for communication failures would be a travesty to your student loan payments.

If you think I’m talking in extremes, I’m not. I’ve heard worse (sex scandals producing in a coworker’s brain based on a misread text among colleagues).

We’ve gotten so comfortable with our texting habits that boundaries are being diminished. We’re working too many hours because our bosses can get a hold of us whenever they please. They’re like a neurotic girlfriend sitting at home waiting for her lover to return, but our lives do not need to be The Devil Wears Prada. We can let them go, by never allowing it in the first place.

So go ahead, ruin the rapport in your romantic relationships, fray the ends of a perfectly fine friendship, forget the sound of your parents’ voices, but please stop texting your boss. It’s laziness at its finest.

Solution?

Set the standard. If face to face correspondence is not an option and the phone keeps ringing, send an email. Then text your Mom, but make sure she knows you mean well when you say, “Can’t talk.

This rule can be broken if:

A) You were friends with your boss prior to hire.

B) Your boss is your age.

And even then I worry for you (us). Relationships change when money is exchanged. Perhaps this friendship isn’t strong enough to withstand the business text. And so what if your boss is your age? What if he’s an essayists who expects immediate responses, but you don’t know that so now you’re unknowingly pissing him off?

(All of this could and should be applied to every other relationship in your life, but I told you, I fantasize)

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Hilary Fitzgerald is a writer for Writtalin. Hilary is a writer/filmmaker living in a brown box in Silver Lake. She tries to divide her time between her three loves--Diet Coke, Guacamole, and the Slamdance Film Festival, where they like to call her "crazy," but she is officially known as the Festival Coordinator. Ms. Fitzgerald once had a web series named Corilary, but now entertains herself with what her Uncle Jim calls "a great YouTube effort," otherwise known as Talkies with Hilary's Mom. If you like short 16mm black and white documentaries, she made This is Not the End, but you might not be into that sort of thing.

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