During college I worked in an outbound call center in the undergrad admissions office calling accepted students and providing info about the academic programs, student life, transportation, etc.
The contact info we had for the students was provided by them and/or their parents during open house events, but many people were still surprised, and sometimes angry, when we contacted them and asked to speak to their kids. We had a spiel to explain who we were, but a lot of parents were still suspicious. I should also mention that we usually called between 4pm and 8pm EST, and some people would get angry that we interrupted their dinner.
It was mostly the mothers of sons from New Jersey and New York who were the most combative. When they learned that a female college student was calling for their teenage son, they would usually get angry and suspicious, and some would even yell and hang up on us. We had to have pretty thick skins because of this, and after 3 years of working there nothing really fazed me anymore.
One day I was calling a student who was apparently the son of immigrant parents, because his father answered the phone with a very thick accent.
Me: Good evening sir, I’m a student admissions representative calling from University of X. We wanted to congratulate your son Student X on his admission, and inquire if you or he have any questions that we could assist you with.
Father: Excuse me, but can I please speak to a man?
Me: Pardon me, sir? I don’t understand…
Father: Thank you for calling, young lady, but I would like to speak to your manager. I’m sure he can give me much more information than you can.
Me: I’m sorry sir, but my manager Brenda (name changed) is not available at the moment.
Father: That’s fine, but I’m asking to talk to the man in charge of the office.
Me: Sir, I am more than capable of providing any information you may need.
Father: chuckles condescendingly I don’t believe that’s true. In my experience, women are far less intelligent than men, and you are obviously not qualified to help my son learn about your engineering program. Now, let me speak to the man in charge.
Me: Sir, there are only women working in this office. You can speak to me, or you can do your own research.
Father: My son will not speak to a woman under any circumstances! He goes to an all boys boarding school with all male teachers, so if your school only employs women then you can shove your admission up your ass! click