Children

A lady phoned me today after receiving a mailing from us about one of our policies. I could hear her children crying in the background. It also sounded like they were being smacked. They were crying properly, not the moaning crying that kids do to get their own way. The lady wanted to set up the policy, but it bothered me quite a lot that her children were crying.

‘Are your children ok?’ I asked her.

‘Yeah, yeah.’ Came the answer, and then it went very quite.

I explained how long it would take me to set the policy up and asked again if she wanted to check on her kids. She then said they were with their grandmother. She then began to swear at someone who was with her. I was about to remind her that the call was being recorded, more for the sake of her kids than the swearing, but she hung up on me.

It worried me that she thought more about making a phone call then she did about the well-being of her children. We often get people calling us when they’re obviously holding a baby, the poor little thing crying when it needs a bit of attention. I often ask if the person would like to call us back.

The powers-that-be at work will probably say that I should never get involved in things like that, just do my job and ignore anything in the background. But is it really that easy? And is it right to ignore it? Surely children should come first? If we can hear someone being hurt should we really ignore it?

And what if someone actually tells us that they are doing something illegal? The DPA laws say we can’t give their information out without permission. But surely there should be a moral duty, a humane duty, to pass the information on to someone in authority who can investigate? Or should we just ignore it and let it continue?

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