Exactly how important are follow-up calls to job interviews, and is there any possible alternative to them?
I've had a near-phobia of talking on the phone, except to people I know well, since I was about 5. The only people I'm comfortable calling are close friends and family members, and even them I only call if I have to. I've been told I'm friendly and easy to get along with in person, both in workplaces and my personal life. I'm articulate and no more shy than many other introverts. So, my problem isn't with talking to strangers in general; it's with the phone, specifically. When I have to make a phone call, even for something like making a dentist appointment, I feel so much anxiety I end up putting it off for hours or altogether.
What do I do about follow-up calls? Everyone tells me I have to make them but no one can explain to me what to say, anyway. Their purpose seems to be running over to the company's proverbial court to pick up the ball you already passed to them and annoyingly bonk some poor receptionist who's never heard of you over the head with it. I don't understand what on earth I'm supposed to say, and I feel like if I don't have a *literal* script, I'm not able to get up the nerve to make the call.