I worked at a fundraising call center for a well-known children’s hospital one summer many years ago. We placed calls from a bank of contacts who had either helped organize fundraisers in the past, or who were affiliated with organizations that were likely to participate (e.g., schools and churches). You’d think the people who answered from such organizations would be kind, but for the most part, these were home numbers (this was before everyone had cell phones) and we reached their teenage kid who was angry to be woken up at 11am on summer break. My coworkers and I would chat at lunch about interesting calls, because working at a call center could be a downer.
One day a coworker was really upset about a call she just finished. She called a church, where a grown man cussed her out for calling him. He told her “my mother f-ing kids don’t have f-ing cancer! I don’t give a F about other people’s f-ing kids!” and hung up on her. That job was an eye-opening experience for sure. I stopped working there when summer ended, as I was headed to college.