Years as a debt collector:
One of the guys in a nearby cubicle called up debtors and posed as a legal counsel. He would tell them to raise their right hand and promise to tell the truth, and then he would drill them with personal questions and badger them, saying throughout the conversation, "Do you still have your right hand raised? You do realize you're under oath, right?"
He could get away with things like this because most consumers just don't know their rights.
Collectors constantly called debtors with the intent of harassing and intimidating them. If someone hung up, they would say, "Oh yeah? You're gonna hang up on me?" and they would call the person right back. It would become a battle.
If a consumer asked to speak with the collector's supervisor, the agent would simply pass the phone along to the guy sitting next to him, who was likely to be just as abrasive.
I heard so many coworkers call people "good for nothing losers" and tell debtors to "get off your fat a** and go find a job." They do it because they're frustrated -- they're trying to make money and pay their own bills, and they're running into resistance.
I stayed in the business so long because the money was good -- I would make about $2,000 a month on top of my base salary -- but after a while, I ended up being dismissed because I wasn't aggressive enough. I was just a kind-hearted person, and I guess that was my downfall. NEXT: Michelle Dunn