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May 10, 2011

The Cellular Demur - Part I

I plan to express my thoughts about an unfortunate incident - really a series of incidents. However, I have so many thoughts I believe I will make this initial posting only a synopsis of the events, but I will not yet confess any evaluation or my self-analysis in response to these issues. I have made several notes about my personal observations and have outlined my second posting on the topic to try and remain honest in lieu of any feedback or discussion that may occur before completing the continued portion.
At any rate, I believe the best way to describe what happened (at least from my perspective) is to publish the letter I wrote and mailed today. I'm quite confident the recipient does not read my blog nor are the details explicit enough to reveal any person's identity other than my daughter's and mine. So, without further ado - the letter:
Dear [name removed]:
I am writing in reference to your allegation that my daughter Rachel damaged your daughter’s mobile phone on or about [date removed]. We have spoken on a few occasions but have yet to come to either an agreement or consensus of what happened. Despite your expression that I have agreed to pay for the damages, that statement is not true.
The professed damage to the phone occurred at your residence under your supervision. The phone allegedly was damaged during a horse-play incident involving three girls somewhere between 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock in morning. Yet you claim my daughter was the only vandal in the group. Nevertheless, the mobile phone in Rachel’s care had been tampered with by your daughter, albeit without permanent damage. That said; my daughter agrees with portions of your account but does not consider her actions, even the parts which are in accord with your statement, could have caused the suspected damage.
Five days passed after the incident before you contacted me. You said the other girls claimed it was solely Rachel’s fault; however, when I contacted the girl present (other than your daughter), she expressed to me she did not believe Rachel damaged the phone. I asked you for further evidence Rachel was responsible. You told me you would have a technician examine it and give me a written report of what caused the damage. I also came personally to your home to inspect the phone, where I took pictures of the supposed damage. At my arrival, you immediately left the front yard and refused to speak to me, leaving me to correspond with your daughter. Finally, you have admitted that neither you nor your daughter purchased this phone and hold no financial investment in the item.
Several weeks later, you called to tell me a technician examined the phone and found the damage was definitely Rachel’s fault; however, I have yet to receive a written analysis. Further, when asked for the business and name of the technician, you were unable to provide such imperative details. There is no invoice for services performed or even an estimate for work pending.
To date, I have received no quantifiable evidence or material witness that my daughter is responsible for this incident. I only have your claim of what happened. Based on this, it is impossible to know whether Rachel is responsible for the damage, whether the damage happened at the time you declare, or even whether the phone has suffered damage at all. I cannot hand you thirty (30) dollars simply because you demand it.
I am not without compassion; however. I want you to know I did believe the phone was damaged at the party, but I was uncertain about the blame. Yet I declared if I could know she was indeed responsible, even in part, I would make the appropriate and proportional restitution. Further, I actually considered replacing the phone with a new model, as a gesture of goodwill and sympathy, regardless of Rachel’s degree of fault – as I understand this repair might be a financial difficulty for you.
Nonetheless, recent events have given me reason not to show you generosity. Your belligerent and profane tirade left as a voicemail on my twelve-year-old daughter’s phone line has prompted me to consider the legitimacy of this entire situation. A person who would cuss, harass and threaten a minor child over an unsubstantiated demand for thirty dollars might also be the type person to fabricate a tale to elicit either guilt or sympathy from others for the sole purpose of swindling money.
At this juncture, I refute all your demands, and I refuse to compensate you in any way. Further, because you are not the owner of the property, you have no business to contact me, my daughter or any person I know in regards to this matter. Should you choose to continue your harassment, I will petition all legal authorities, both civil and criminal, to prohibit your menacing behavior.
If you still believe you are due remuneration, then you will have to file your grievance in a Small Claims Court. However, know that should you choose this course of action, I will counterclaim for my lost time, wages and costs to respond to your baseless suit and potentially seek damages for loss to credit reputation.
I am deeply saddened by this incident. I told both girls that I did not want what happened to impact their friendship and that the adults would figure out how to make this right. But I also explained to both of them that to resolve a conflict a logical process and verification of events are undeniable requirements. Despite my encouragement, the girls’ association grew cold immediately after the conflict became known. Your refusal to provide any evidence, your unyielding demands without compromise and your disrespectful treatment of everyone involved has made not only this simple financial issue impossible to resolve but also destroyed the friendship of two young girls. That loss is far more excessive than the paltry thirty dollars.
     Dj Hackney

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