The aggressive sales goals at Wells Fargo, which ultimately led to fines, congressional oversight, and the termination of its CEO, caused so much stress for employees that it made one woman drink a bottle a day of hand sanitizer.
Wells Fargo employees issued two million bank accounts or credit cards without customer consent from 2011 to 2015, and collected fees on those accounts. Employees faced an almost unthinkable ultimatum: open accounts legally or otherwise, or take the risk of being terminated for not meeting sales quotas. (RELATED: Wells Fargo Fires Employees Who Spoke Out Against Illegal Practices, Says Report)
Angie Payden, a Wells Fargo banker out of Hudson, Wisc., describes a nightmare scenario in which the stress of three years at the bank caused her to develop a chronic habit: drinking hand sanitizer.
Payden says she was forced to participate in: “opening travel checking accounts for customers by convincing them that it was unsafe to travel without a separate checking account and debit card; Coercing customers to open credit card accounts to use as overdraft protection for their checking accounts when they were already struggling to keep their checking accounts balanced; and Closing and opening new accounts for customers by convincing them that there had been fraud on their existing accounts.”
She explains that the stress during her tenure at the bank began making her have panic attacks. One morning, at the onset of a panic episode, Payden grasped a bottle of hand sanitizer and began imbibing. Payden recalls that the drink of sanitizating liquid “immediately reduced her anxiety,” the Times reports.
She was hooked on the sanitization liquid by November 2012, and notes drinking a bottle a day. Management caught wind of Payden’s dire need to clean her whistle, and she was forced to take a leave of absence and enter treatment.
The incessant news coverage of the banking scandal brought the memories of her experience too close for comfort, and Payden says she is now experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
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