I've just finished reading the piece by Scott Taylor, Deseret News staff writer, in which he wants to warn us about the hazards of Caller ID, a new service of US WEST. It seems that his 8-year-old daughter called a pet store but because she had no phone experience or phone etiquette couldn't effectively communicate to the pet store owner. The owner thought that this was a prank call and told the 8-year-old that he knew who her father was (because he had Caller ID).
Apparently this was so scary that the girl was "in tears" when later relating the conversation to her parents. The owner had immediately called the girls back and left a message identifying the store and suggesting that the girls be taught some phone manners. Later in the piece, Taylor actually hoped "that it was an isolated incident involving someone who acted without sensitivity" (presumably referring to the store owner).I am totally astonished by Taylor's ignorance and hubris. Why was his daughter, an 8-year-old, using the phone in an unsupervised manner? It seems to me that the store owner was totally justified in saying what he did to the girls. Moreover, Taylor didn't address the main issue of the store owner, which was why has he failed to take responsibility and teach his daughter proper phone etiquette.
I believe that Taylor should call that store owner and apologize. Every day my answering machine has several messages from children who have dialed a wrong number. It's obvious that these kids are not being supervised while on the phone and don't have proper phone manners.
Perhaps Taylor expects the school system to handle particular parenting job? The problem is not with US WEST, nor with that store owner, nor with Caller ID. The problem is with parents like Taylor.