I am working in a multinational software company in India. Here in my office I am really interested in making a friendly relationship with a girl who doesn't know anything about me. Meaning she's from another one team. Now at this context I got her mobile number through the employee portal of my company. and now I am planning to introduce myself to her by means of sending texts.

Will it be a right move? , Using company's data in personal way would cause any problem to my career here?

And additionally, It is natural that a men can be attracted towards a women and vice versa. If my move is unethical, then why companies are displaying those sensitive data like mobile number publicly among the employees? Instead of displaying personal mobile numbers they could have displayed the official extension number publicly, right? What is the use of displaying personal mobile number over official extension number, to discuss office matters?

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    It's hard to voice to you how creepy this is, not only unethical. Please do not do this. Nov 1, 2014 at 15:14
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    How would you feel if some guy from your office just started messaging your personal number asking if you wanted to be friends and hang out - despite never having talked with him? I'm fairly certain you would be at the very least a bit weirded out.
    – pi31415
    Nov 2, 2014 at 5:21
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    Even if my car is unlocked, you opening it and taking something out of it is still theft. The company made the personal cell #s of employees available likely in case of some emergency where the employee would need to be contacted, not for you to use as a dating service.
    – Andy
    Nov 2, 2014 at 16:30
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    This question was asked 4.5 years ago! Please don't add more answers. Jul 3, 2019 at 21:10
  • @J.ChrisCompton or at least have a very good reason for answering a very old question....
    – mcknz
    Jul 3, 2019 at 21:37

6 Answers 6


If someone did that to me, I'd ask him not to do so again. (In writing, on the company email system.) And if he did it a second time, I'd complain to HR. There's a difference between having lunch with a colleague and having someone you don't even know ask you out at work. And I would view a text as intrusive.

There could be legitimate business uses of that data like resiliency or emergency use. For example, what if the company phone system goes down.

How do you know you like her? Why not have lunch in a group and get a feel for if she is even interested.

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    I'd consider that this is in India, where we know that acts of violence against women are happening that should be unimaginable in a civilised society. Therefore, you would be well advised to call HR immediately and make sure that the name of the person calling is officially recorded.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 2, 2014 at 16:52
  • @gnasher729, take it from me, many of those acts happen in the US too. Something like 1 in 3 women have been raped. I wish they were unimaginable. I can imagine them all too well.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 5, 2014 at 20:32
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    1 in 3? Do you have citations to back this up @HLGEM ??
    – MDMoore313
    Nov 5, 2014 at 20:48
  • Sorry I mistyped, 1 in 5. Google it.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 5, 2014 at 21:17
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    @HLGEM You made a claim/assertion, it is your job to substantiate the claim.
    – dfundako
    Jul 3, 2019 at 16:12

I am a woman and I have been sexually harrassed at work and I have had someone physically attack me at work and try to rape me. If you sent me an unsolicted text message when I don't know you and I did not give you my phone number, I would immediately report you to HR if I knew you worked for the same company and do my best to get get you fired.

You have to understand that this is a safety issue for women. Women seriously do get attacked at work or just outside of work and women do not ever want to be hit on from strangers through their private phone number. This is not some cute, flirty thing. This is so frightening I almost threw up just reading about it. Not only would this likely get you in trouble at work, the chances that a woman would like you for doing this or want further contact are less than 1%.

If you want to meet the woman, find someone to introduce you. Then ask for her number and if she gives it to you , then you can text her. If she doesn't, then that is her right and you need to respect that she does not have feelings for you.

  • 4
    While I fully agree that this would come over as weird, trying to get someone fired and calling it a "safety issue" looks like an over-reaction to me. As long as there is no indication of violence or coercion, I would not see a safety issue (though I admit I do not share your experiences). Depending on circumstances, it might still be harassment, of course, which is bad enough.
    – sleske
    Nov 10, 2014 at 0:24
  • Anyway, the rest is spot-on, especially the simple fact that the desired result is very unlikely. And sorry to hear about what you went through; I hope you have been able to get the support that you needed.
    – sleske
    Nov 10, 2014 at 0:25
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    @sleske, what you are not understanding is almost all women feel unsafe when strangers approach them because almost all of us have been sexually assaulted or harrassed (which includes things besides rape like being groped, being stared at in creepy ways, being stalked, have men rub their sexual parts against you in a crowd, cat-calls). This is why when some woman put up a Twitter asking other women to describe their first assault, she had almost ten million women respond in less than two days. For women this is a HUGE safety issue.
    – HLGEM
    Oct 12, 2016 at 14:08
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    I think I understand where you come from. At the same time, I know that many men find it difficult to establish contact with women (happened to me, too), so I also empathise with OP, and would view his attempt as clumsy, but not malicious. I also think that there is a difference between unwanted, but non-threatening communication (sort of like spam), and harassement or even physical assault - but then I am not in your situation, so I realize you may see things differently. Anyway, I hope we have given OP some how to approach that women in a way that is appropriate and non-threatening.
    – sleske
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:23
  • I find this discussion with you quite enlightening, but I'm afraid we are getting OT. We can continue in chat if you like. Anyway, thanks for your comments from a perspective I did not know well.
    – sleske
    Oct 13, 2016 at 8:25

The correct protocol is to talk to her first (maybe a few times) and then if you get along great you can ask her if she wants to go to lunch with you and later if you can have her mobile number.

Then it is up to her to decide if she wants to give it to you.

Also you seem to have little experience with social stuff, so a quick tip: Even if she acts nice towards you, it doesn't mean she loves you and wants to marry you.

Another good idea is to not date people where you work. If it goes wrong, it will be awkward for the rest of your time there.

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    Another good idea is to not date people where you work. If it goes wrong, it will be awkward for the rest of your time there. This is a notable point. Must think of this first. Nov 2, 2014 at 7:02
  • While dating at work can be problematic, I also know quite a few cases where it worked out nicely, so I wouldn't make a blanket statement. Just be aware of possible problems, and don't burn bridges.
    – sleske
    Nov 2, 2014 at 22:12
  • @sleske, I have seen more times than not where it worked out very badly and often with one of the two people (usually the woman) fired.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 5, 2014 at 19:55
  • The dating at work part can be okay...if we're talking about people who otherwise have no reason to actually "work together" and if there is no way either party has a way to otherwise influence the prospects of the other one at the company. Otherwise it could very easily become uncomfortable or even ugly.
    – NotMe
    Nov 6, 2014 at 17:27
  • @kevincline Maybe you interpreted this differently, but that seems to be what this answer is suggesting. Jul 3, 2019 at 15:59

No it's not ethical. Your multinational software company most assuredly has a company policy regarding use of company and personnel data, such as phone numbers, as well as what type of behavior is considered appropriate. I suggest you first review that information before doing anything else.

Even if your company doesn't have any specific policy, this information has published by the company, explicitly for company and work-related use. Someone probably asked her to include her personal mobile number on the corporate database for reasons related to her job. That's the only capacity that number should be used, unless she gives you explicit permission to contact her. Like all the other employees, she is trusting that by sharing her personal data, it will not be misused.

now I am planning to introduce myself to her by means of sending texts.

Based on what I just wrote, this mostly likely against your company policy and could lead to you getting immediately fired. This is a clear misuse of her personal information, given that you do not work with her and your intentions of using this information is not related to your or her jobs. No one has asked you to contact her for work so you should not use this information to contact her for personal reasons.

As for your personal feelings about her... It's true that we cannot really help who we are attracted to, but your plans are very passive-aggressive and manipulative, and will not lead to any type of positive outcome. Respect her privacy. If you want to meet her, just walk over and say hello, or get a friend to introduce you. This isn't really the place for relationship advice, but if you cannot get over your fears of talking to her, you might want to find someone you feel more comfortable talking to — preferably someone you DON'T work with.

And if she says NO or she's not interested, respect that and leave her alone.

  • +1 for speaking some to the actual question as well (why is personal data in work resources). The rest is good, too.
    – SemiGeek
    Jul 3, 2019 at 18:27


(1) In most western cultures (not sure about India, but probably the same), it is barely acceptable to start a relationship with a co-worker. It is acceptable if the relationship is (or at least planed to be) serious enough to end up in marriage (or having kids in places where people do it in the reverse order). If such a relationship fails, it is highly likely to disturb the whole team and a reasonable manager will probably fire both of you (or in rare cases keep more valuable employee).

(2) Getting the girl's phone number from any other source except the girl herself is generally a bad idea for starting a communication. Other answers explained it pretty well.


Would you like a gay man to make sexual advances on you at work by using your mobile number?

Answer that and you have your answer

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review
    – espindolaa
    Jul 3, 2019 at 18:42
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    It answers the question as the poster would think and say no. I am sorry that i did not give an explicit answer. But surely getting the poster to reflect would be good
    – Ed Heal
    Jul 3, 2019 at 20:04
  • Or he would think and say yes. I agree that making him reflect about it is very important, but so is making it clear that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.
    – espindolaa
    Jul 3, 2019 at 20:53

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