SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Like many of her generation, Barbara Canton had little use for today’s technology. The 72-year-old retired schoolteacher was satisfied with just a TV, clock radio, and land line. But all of that changed when she answered the phone on Monday. The female voice on the other end failed to identify herself, and Canton spent ten harrowing minutes trying to figure out who she was while making polite conversation.
“It all happened so fast,” Canton said. “I remember saying hello, and the next thing I knew we’d exchanged ‘how are you’s and were talking about the beautiful weather we’ve been having. I’d missed my opportunity to ask who it was without looking foolish.”
As the minutes ticked by she tried desperately to pick up on any possible clues to the caller’s identity with no success. “The woman talked about gardening so I thought it might be my friend Jean, but then she mentioned a husband and Jean isn’t married,” Canton said. “Then she mentioned my neighbor Carol and I tried to think of people I knew who would also know Carol, but no one came to mind.” The caller then suggested getting together for lunch, sending her into a panic. She mumbled something about her casserole burning and quickly hung up.
The next day Canton’s son accompanied her to a well-known box store where he helped her purchase, then program, a new phone with caller ID. She recounts her experience in the hopes that others will learn from her mistake. “Everybody should know who they’re talking to at all times,” she said. “I could be having a lovely lunch right now, but instead I lied to and then hung up on someone who may or may not have been a good friend.” She then sighed wistfully and wondered aloud what she might have ordered.
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